Symptoms of Bad Timing Belt -10 Common Signs

symptoms of bad timing belt

Timing belts are made of rubber materials, so they get worn out at some point. Here are common symptoms of bad timing belts that tell you when you need to replace your timing belts.

The timing belt serves as a connection between the crankshaft and the camshaft. The primary function of the timing belt is to harmonize or synchronizes the camshaft to the crankshaft position, so the valves will open and close at the proper timing in relation to the position of the pistons.

10 Symptoms of Bad Timing Belt

As a result of the strenuous and continuous activity, timing belts can become slake even if they don’t break a replacement would be needed. In this article, we will see the signs that tell when the timing chain is bad and needs to be replaced.

  • Difficulty in starting the engine
  • Misfiring Engine
  • Oil leak
  • Rattling noise in the case of timing chain
  • Check engine light
  • Reduced car performance
  • Smoke from engine
  • Rough idling
  • Broken piston valve
  • Low oil pressure

All these are signs and symptoms of a bad timing belt chain. If you observe any of these signs as mentioned here on Cookip, you should consider replacing your timing chain or belt as soon as possible.

Read Also:- Incorrect Timing Belt Installation Symptoms


How do I check my timing belt?


How do I check my timing belt? Good question, checking the timing belt is a visual process. Since the timing chain is made from rubber materials the edges can get worn off, it might lose its grip.

To check the timing belt you have to open the bonnet and visually inspect it to see if the is still in good shape or not. Look for any contaminants that could eat away at the belt or cause it to slip. Also, look for cracks in the belt.

If you notice cracks on the belt, this can indicate that the belt is old or has dried out. Consider replacing it when you noticed cracks don’t wait until it is broken before your take action.

To avoid having serious expensive repairs to make, it is better to change the belts when any symptoms that indicate a bad timing chain is noticed. You can easily replace the old timing with a couple of dollars, you save more if you can do your auto work yourself even.


Will a Car Start with a Bad Timing  Belt?


The simple answer to this is now, an engine will not run if the timing chain is broken. The timing belt, links the two most important parts of the engine together (the crankshaft and the camshaft)

This link is to make sure the crankshaft and the camshaft are working in harmony to open and close each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes. Generally, if the crankshaft and the camshaft cannot turn at the same time then the cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes will not be possible.

If the cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes is not possible it means the car would not start, this is a simple term. If the timing belt fails in an interference engine, it will bend valves in the cylinder head, requiring very expensive engine repairs. It is advisable to always inspect your timing belt for any bad symptoms when changing engine oil.


How do You Tell if Your Timing is Off?


Bad timing is characterized by an audible rattling sound from the engine, there might be difficult in starting the car too. When timing is off or incorrectly installed, it could cause a lot of damage to the engine.

A good explanation of this is with the function belt and movement of the crankshaft piston and the cylinder intake. The timing is supposed to synchronize the crankshaft and camshafts movement to open and close at the proper time.

If the speed timing sensor is failing or sending inaccurate data, the engine will rev higher before the transmission shifts into a higher gear. If the opposite happens, the valves might become bent by incorrect movement and result in a damaged piston.


What Causes Timing Belt to Break?



Constant heat generated by the engine is the major cause of the timing belt being broken. Since the timing belt is made by robbers and robbers are vulnerable to heat and can be broken as a result.

However, age and mode of vehicular use also matter as reasons why timing belt break. If the belt does not brake it could as well lose its grip as a result of wearing off of the teeth.

This often results in a slip of the timing belt and potential damage to the engine. The timing belt may also begin to crack under stress.


Can a Bad Timing Belt Cause Check Engine Light?


Bad timing, yes can cause or trigger the check engine light since it affects the overall engine performance. The check engine is light is basically an indication of engine performance, it is meant to notify you of the slightest problem that could be happening to the engine.

A loose or slake timing belt would not function as expected, this will lead to the engine’s discomfort and the check light might just pop up at any time. If the timing belt breaks, the engine can’t run — and on some engines that break can cause internal damage.


Is it Worth Fixing a Broken Timing Belt?


The timing chain ensures that the cylinder intake is going on and going on properly. If there is no cylinder intake, it means there is no running engine.

Did you just ask if it is worth fixing a broken timing belt? yes, it fixing a broken timing chain is worth it, except you are not using the car anymore. Remember, your engine will not run with a bad timing chain talk more of a broken one.

The timing chain is replaced and should be done as required or advised by the manufacturer. Most often this will be between every 75,000 and 100,000 miles. Eventually, the belt will break and you may have thousands of dollars in engine damage. It’s simply not worth the risk.




Timing belts are essential for the proper functioning of any engine. They synchronize the movement of other parts and ensure that they work in harmony. However, there are certain symptoms that can indicate if your timing belt is in need of replacement.

The most common symptom is a rumbling noise that happens during idle or low-speed driving. It could also be a noticeable vibration when the engine is running at high speeds or when you turn on the air conditioner. If you have any questions on the symptoms of a bad timing belt please drop them in the comments section.

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