Timing belts: the dos and don’ts
Bosch’s technical training team provides instruction on some of the most complex of engine systems, but they still find themselves answering questions on the humble timing belt. We ask a Bosch technician for some advice on the basics of timing belts.
As one of Bosch’s most experienced technical trainers, Darren Todd has a long experience working with workshops. However, he still shakes his head when he sees shortcuts taken with timing belts.
“I have seen some pretty horrible fitments, normally in an effort to save time and money, but you simply can’t afford to gamble on a timing belt”, he said.
Most mechanics understand the catastrophic consequences of a timing belt failure, but as workshops come under increasing cost pressures, there is a temptation to use cheaper belts, or shorten the time taken to fit the belt.
“Such measures are counterproductive”, says Todd, “as failure will cost a workshop owner both a nasty repair bill, and the reputation of their business.”
To assist workshops, we asked Darren to list five dos and don’ts of timing belt fitment. Don’t force the belt into place. Using screwdrivers or any other object to lever the belt into place can cause damage to both the belt and the pulleys. Do check all of the timing components and replace them if necessary. If there are any signs of wear on any of the components, replace all of them – it will save time and money in the long run. Bosch has a range of timing belt kits available that include everything required for a full replacement. Don’t bend or crimp the belts. Timing belts have internal tensile cords that can be broken if the belts are bent beyond their tolerances. The damage may not be evident on the exterior, but the life of the belt will be significantly reduced. Do be aware that not all engines are the same. As engines become increasingly more complex, timing belts are more difficult to replace. Some manufacturers even require special tools to aid in the fitting of a belt. If in doubt, consult a source such as Bosch’s ESI [tronic] which provides detailed instructions. Don’t use inferior quality belts. Sourcing cheap belts is easy these days, but it will cost you in the long run. Always insist on a quality brand such as Bosch, which you know has been manufactured and tested to meet the highest quality standards. The above information may seem basic to an experienced technician, but in a complex environment it is often the basic things that are overlooked. Make your job easier by remembering the basics and always insist on quality.
Bosch timing belts are manufactured to original equipment specifications and are backed by the technical expertise of the world’s leading automotive components supplier.
For more information on Bosch timing belts, visit www.bosch.com.au.
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