Home / News / Industry News / What Are the Symptoms of a Timing Belt Going Bad

What Are the Symptoms of a Timing Belt Going Bad


A timing belt is simple but important for your car's en […]

A timing belt is simple but important for your car's engine. Also known as cam belt, the timing belt runs throughout your engine, ensuring that the valves work in timed coordination with each other. Though the mechanism itself is rudimentary, its function is so critical that you may need the help of a professional before you decide to adjust a timing belt.

Time for Timing Belt Repair

Excessive Exhaust

You may decide to change your timing belt when your car fires more than a typical amount of exhaust.

Difficult to Start

You should replace your timing belts when your car starts difficultly or has high mileage.

Leaky Engine

Older rubber timing belts degrade in hot temperatures and with exposure to motor oil. If your car runs hot and has a leaky engine, the life expectancy of your timing belt is lowered. Newer timing belts are made of heat-resistant materials and do not have this problem.


A working timing belt is perfectly timed with the valves and pistons. If the belt is going bad, the timing will be off, causing the car to shake.

Rough Idle

A timing belt will become loose if it is worn. When this happens, the engine’s valves, which are powered indirectly by the timing belt, will no longer run correctly. When the valves begin to run off-sync, the engine will function poorly and cause the vehicle to have a rough idle. A rough idle usually involves shuddering or shaking while the vehicle is in park or the brakes are applied.

No Ignition

If a worn timing belt becomes so loose that it no longer sits correctly on the gears and doesn’t turn properly when the crankshaft is engaged, the engine will not turn on. When this happens, it is important to replace the belt before attempting to start the vehicle. If the vehicle starts with a severely worn or broken timing belt, the engine may suffer costly or even irreparable damage.

Poor Function

A worn timing belt will allow the valves to operate at incorrect times, which causes the engine to run very poorly. When the engine runs poorly while driven due to a worn timing belt, the symptoms may include backfiring, bucking, shaking and sputtering.


When the car is running it may have a rattling sound from near the engine if the timing belt is loose. This is due to the loose belt vibrating when spinning from the crankshaft. This is a sign that the Timing Belt Company is near the breaking point and should be replaced promptly.