Your vehicle comprises a multitude of seemingly innocuous parts that have complex duties to carry out. One such component that not many motorists think about is the timing belt. Not only is this component tasked with connecting the car's crankshaft to the myriad of other components that the vehicle is made up of, but it is also responsible for ensuring the various valves and pistons in the engine are functioning at optimum. Hence, when the timing belt develops physical wear or, worse yet, it snaps, you should expect to experience issues with your vehicle. Nevertheless, since not many motorists think of this auto part, they tend to be unaware of why their car is acting up. To give you some clarity, here are signs of a compromised timing belt that mandate an immediate car service.
Suspicious ticking sounds
Ticking sounds coming from your engine are usually indicative of a couple of things. The most common reason why this noise may start up spontaneously is when your vehicle is in dire need of an oil change. You should check the condition of the oil to rule this out. The second reason why this noise can crop up is when the timing belt is degraded, as it loses its ability to operate the opening and closing of the valves. Car repairs are critical if you want to prevent the timing belt from completely snapping and causing damage to said valves.
Persistent engine misfiring
Another problem that will crop up due to an array of reasons is engine misfiring. From worn spark plugs to damaged valve seals or even a poorly functioning fuel injector, you will likely experience an engine misfire several times as a motorist. But one less talked about cause of these misfires is a worn timing belt. The more impaired the timing belt becomes, the higher the likelihood of its slipping out of place. As a result, the opening and shutting of the engine cylinders become out of sync because their timing is off and this leads to your engine misfiring. Since this issue cannot be resolved without a car service, you should not drive your car in this condition, as the frequent misfires will steadily jeopardise the engine.
Steadily diminishing performance
As illuminated above, the timing belt is an essential auto part when it comes to the overall functioning of your engine. Therefore, the moment this component becomes defective, you will begin to notice the gradual decline in your engine's performance. A common symptom that motorists experience is intensive vibrations when the vehicle is idling. On the other hand, you may also find that your car is unable to pick up speed as it used to before.
For more information on timing belts, contact a local car service.