DIY: Change Timing Belt

diy change timing belt

  • Function of the Timing Belt
  • When to Change Timing Belt
  • DIY Timing Belt Change Process
  • FAQs

Automobiles are a combination of numerous components. All car parts are combined to make a vehicle functional. However, any problematic car component can cause trouble and reduce the vehicle’s performance. Similarly, these repairs can cost a fair amount of money. Fortunately, certain component replacements can be undertaken independently. Specifically, the replacement of a timing belt is feasible as a do-it-yourself task. Although a complex process, the right tools and skills make this task possible at home. We have compiled a step-by-step DIY change the timing belt guide for you. Also, we will go through the lifespan and some issues in the component.

Timing Belt Function

it is possible to change the timing belt of a vehicle at home
The timing belt is an essential part of the vehicle’s engine

The timing belt ensures synchronised movement of the camshaft and crankshaft. The correct synchronisation allows the proper functioning of valves and pistons. Additionally, properly functioning pistons ensure the smooth running of the engine. The timing belt, therefore, is pivotal for the smooth operation of the vehicle.

Like any other component, the timing belt experiences normal wear and tear. Moreover, aggressive driving or bad travel conditions can cause premature deterioration. Prompt replacement is therefore compulsory to get the best out of the vehicle.

When to Change the Timing Belt

a damaged belt can cause issues like engine overheating
Issues such as overheating and decreased engine power indicate a fault in the timing belt

The timing belt can break without any signs of damage. However, a lookout for a few symptoms can help decide when to change the timing belt before it breaks down. Some common signs include the following:

  • Decrease in engine power
  • Car overheating
  • Vibrations during the drive
  • Problems in starting the engine
  • Oil leakage
  • Squeaky noises during the drive

DIY Change the Timing Belt

Although complex, it is possible to DIY change the timing belt. Additionally, the replacement process does not require any extraordinary tools. Here is a list of tools required for the process.

  • A new timing belt
  • Combination wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Jack and Jack stands
  • Torque wrench
  • Socket set

The process to replace the timing belt can vary with vehicles. Moreover, it is important to be cautious as other components like the crankshaft and alternator are located near the component. Let’s now go through a step-by-step guide on how to replace a timing belt in your car.

be sure to get a vehicle-specific timing belt for best outcomes
Read the owner manual to determine the ideal type of timing belt for your vehicle

STEP 1 – BUY THE CORRECT TIMING BELT

Get the appropriate timing belt for the vehicle. Check out the vehicle manual to know the right type. Moreover, buy from authorised dealers to get quality components.

STEP 2 – DISCONNECT THE BATTERY

Disconnect the car battery as a safety precaution. Remove the negative terminal to break the connection. This helps to avoid electric shocks. Moreover, keep a check on the symptoms to replace the car battery as it is essential for smooth running.

STEP 3 – REMOVE THE ALTERNATOR BELT

Next up, remove the alternator belt. It is usually located on top of the timing belt. Moreover, some models may require the removal of the serpentine belt. This is usually the case if it comes in the way. Remove the serpentine belt to access the timing belt.

STEP 4 – REMOVE OTHER ACCESSORIES

To DIY change the timing belt, remove the accessories surrounding the component. For instance, the AC compressor and the power steering pump among more. Carefully loosen the nuts to remove these parts. Moreover, be sure to remove the distributor cap. It usually has clips that may require extra attention and power.

STEP 5 – ALIGN THE TIMING LINES

Use a spanner to rotate the crankshaft bolt. Also, make sure the timing mark aligns with 0 on the timing scale.

STEP 6 – REMOVE ALL BOLTS AND SCREWS

Be extra attentive and locate the timing cover. Additionally, make sure not to disturb other parts like the alternators or crankshaft. Loosen and remove all the bolts and screws holding the timing cover. Once done, remove the timing cover.

STEP 7 – LOOK AT THE ALIGNMENT

The crankshaft and camshaft should have a proper alignment. Use a pulley to ensure the shaft heads are in line. Moreover, the line should be in its respective position.

STEP 8 – WATCH OUT FOR LEAKAGES

Check the engine area for any signs of leakages. For instance, water or oil leakage. This is a compulsory step in the DIY timing belt replacement process.

STEP 9 – KEEP THE TENSIONER BELT IN PLACE

Loosen the bolts to ensure the tensioner stays in its place. This allows easy removal of the timing belt without disturbing the belt tensioner’s position.

STEP 10 – PLACE THE NEW TIMING BELT

Remove the old timing belt carefully from the sprockets. Now, place the new belt over the pulleys. Don’t force the belt into the new position. Moreover, be sure to adjust the torque as per the manual.

STEP 11 – REASSEMBLE ALL PARTS

Carefully reassemble all parts of the vehicle. Additionally, be sure to adjust them to the actual position.

STEP 12 – TAKE A TEST DRIVE

Reconnect the battery and take the vehicle out for a spin to test the timing belt. Check the ignition timing when starting the vehicle. Moreover, drive slowly and in an isolated area and check if the belt is working properly.

FAQs

Should I Change the Water Pump With the Timing Belt?

The timing belt and car water pump generally have a similar lifespan. Therefore, it makes sense to replace both. Check the user manual to learn about the exact intervals. Moreover, if the water pump is in proper condition, there is no need to change it along with the timing belt.

Can I Change My Timing Belt Myself?

Yes, it is possible to change the timing belt on your own. However, it is important to have a know-how about car parts and repairs to do it effectively.

change the timing belt at home or take the vehicle to a mechanic if you are unsure about the process
If you are unsure of the process, take your vehicle to a experienced professional for changing the timing belt

Here, we end our DIY change the timing belt guide. The timing belt is a crucial engine component. Therefore, it is essential to ensure timely maintenance. Luckily, changing your car’s timing belt is possible at home.

However, if you are unaware of car anatomy, take the vehicle to a professional to change the timing belt. Besides, be sure to keep a check on signs of timing belt damage. For instance, noise issues in the timing belt among others.

Furthermore, here is a guide on car safety checks at home to ensure all major components are in running condition. If your vehicle often encounters timing belt issues, the problem may lie deep within. It is a viable option to go for a vehicle change. Check out these used cars for sale in the UAE and select from a wide variety of vehicles in pristine condition.

Stay connected to dubizzle’s auto blog to learn DIY car repair jobs and more.

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