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Performance Specialists Since 1963

Timing Belt Catastrophe - The Importance of Changing Associated Parts When Changing a Timing Belt

2011-03-04 - IPD Staff

The timing belt is a critical part of your Volvo’s engine, it keeps the cam shafts and crankshaft in time with each other and keeps the engine running.

When the timing belt breaks it spells disaster, not only will the engine stop running but the intake and exhaust valves will come into contact with the pistons and as a result will become bent and damaged. A very expensive proposition to repair, typically a repair bill will be over $3000 for such a job! But before you jump ahead and purchase a timing belt don’t forget about the other players in the game.

Case in point, a good friend had his timing belt replaced at 140K miles which was the proper interval for his model, and he was feeling good as his car reached 150K miles. He was sure another 60K miles would be a piece of cake with how well he maintained his car. Just 10K miles later his timing belt tensioner bearing wore out and allowed the belt to come off the cams causing the type of engine failure that makes your wallet jump out of your pocket and start hitchhiking to Vegas looking for better ways to part with your money.

Needless to say the parts that are associated with the timing belt are just as important as the belt itself. If you’re car is about due for a timing belt remember that any part you don’t replace will have to last another 70K miles or more depending on your interval. With 140K miles on the engine it’s not likely that rest of the bearings will make it to 210K. So in their starring order here are the other parts of the timing belt system:

Idler pulley: This pulley lies between the crank shaft gear and the intake cam gear .

Water pump: Located just after the exhaust cam gear and is turned by the timing belt just like the crankshaft and camshafts.

Tensioner pully: This pulley is located just after the water pump and applies the pressure that takes up the slack in the timing belt.

Tensioner : The tensioner is a device that applies pressure against the timing belt and keeps it appropriately tight around all the gears and pulleys.

Take a tip from my good friend and purchase our Ipd timing belt kits which include all the pieces you’ll need to do timing belt service the right way!