The timing belt is one of the most vital component of the engine as it connects the crankshaft to the camshaft, which in turn controls and synchronises the opening and closing of engine's valves. This synchronisation of the opening and closing of the valves allows for the fuel mixture to enter into the engine for combustion and the burned mixture to leave the combustion chambers at precise timings to ensure engine efficiency. Made of rubber with high-tensile fibres, the timing belt is exposed to wear-and-tear, as such, the regular maintenance and checks on the timing belt and its components are crucial to the well-being of your Alfa Romeo's engine.
How do we tell if a timing belt requires replacement?
Belt abrasion - Belt's edges are worn and threads can be seen sticking out.
Cracking - Signs of cracks on the topside and underside (rib section).
Piling - Timing belt had not been replaced for a long time and the ribs of the belt are loose, resulting in excessive noise and vibration.
Elongation - Belt has slacked causing loose tension and decreased performance of the tensioner bearing.
Misalignment - The belt tensioner has worn, thus causing misalignment, and therefore excessive noise, vibration, and heat.
Worn timing tensioner bearing
What are the effects of a broken/worn timing belt?
A worn or loose timing belt can cause the crankshaft and camshaft running out of sychronisation. This leads to incorrect timing of valves opening and closing, and in turn, results in loss of power and extensive premature wear on internal movement parts.
If the timing belt has snapped, the valves will stop moving and the pistons may collide with the valves causing extensive damage.
When does the timing belt needs to be replaced?
There is no indication or warning sign for when the timing belt needs to be replaced because the rate of wear-and-tear of the timing belt is dependent on our driving habits/driving conditions. As Singapore's driving conditions are considered to be mainly town-use with occasional long idling periods, EuroAutomobile recommends the replacement of the timing belt to be done between 50,000 km to 60,000 km.
Remember that preventive maintenance is key to keeping your Alfa Romeo health, and any negligence to the maintenance of your timing belt could result in costly damages to your engine and its components.
If you're in doubt of the condition of your Alfa Romeo, feel free to contact our Alfa Romeo Service Centre at +65 6567 5252 or schedule your servicing by clicking on the button below.