Issues addressed in the material:

  • What is the difference between timing belts and how to choose them
  • What is the difference between timing belts and chains
  • Why can the timing belt fail?
  • What is the difference between timing belts from different manufacturers

The timing belt is an important element, the valve group and the closest engine elements depend on its integrity. If you do not quickly replace the torn belt, then the working process of the connecting rods and pistons will be disrupted, and the repair of these parts costs a lot of money. While changing the belt itself is much cheaper. In our article we will understand how the timing belts differ, what types they are, how to choose a suitable part and manufacturer.

What is a timing belt and how often does it need to be changed

A timing belt is a part in the form of a rubber ring with notches on the inside. It is located behind the plastic casing of the car and is the link between the crankshaft and camshaft. The performance characteristics of the latest car models have changed markedly due to serious loads. Manufacturers recommend replacing the belt drive on time, as with the continuous operation of the car, the rubber ring fails.

timing belts

The car has a timing belt and for a generator. What is the difference between a timing belt and a generator belt? Externally, the alternator belt is distinguished by the fact that it has a striped surface of a rubber ring, and the timing belt drive has teeth along the edges.

The location of the parts also differs. The generator belt can be seen immediately, if you open the hood, the rubber ring of the timing will be located behind the casing. In some car models, the timing belt drive can also turn the generator.

What is the difference between timing belts and how to choose them

To date, in the automotive industry there are 3 options for the timing mechanism. But the most popular and most often used is only one belt. However, we consider all three types and find out how each of them differs:

Gear drive: This type of drive can only be found in very old models of cars that are no longer in use and discontinued. Had active use in the lower engine. We will discuss this construction a bit later.

Chain drive : A belt or chain is a tensioner, which with its force protects against phase displacement and skipping. It has very great tensioning capabilities and high wear resistance. But the main minus – being a component of the timing, has too much noise. This type of drive is rarely used today in the automotive industry.

Top 3 most common car breakdowns:

Almost every day I see how an undetected and uncorrected problem leads to an expensive repair, and even to neglected cases, to accidents (God forbid, of course!).

It is IMPORTANT for everyone to know about the 3 most common problems that motorists face most often (below you can download a document that details all the possible problems):
1) Dashboard Warning Icons: Engine Check Indicator The “Engine Check” icon on the dashboard is the most common problem for cars and trucks. This indicator on the tidy lights up when the computer (electronic engine control unit) detects an error code in the system in the operation of any system. In total, there are more than 200 possible error codes, in order to identify the cause, you need to do a full-fledged electronic diagnosis in the car service nearest to you (most often it is free).
2) High fuel consumption When the engine is operating normally, it burns fuel at a speed that helps to efficiently consume fuel (we get fuel economy). However, some parts of the fuel system, such as fuel filters, air filters, mass air flow sensors and oxygen sensors (lambda probe), become dirty and worn out over time. If they are not replaced (and this is the most common reason for increased fuel consumption), then this will lead to the fact that the engine will consume more fuel than usual.

3) Squeaking brakes Brakes in a car are sacred. It is from them that the safety of our car, and sometimes life, often depends! Therefore, when you notice any signs of problems, such as a squeal, a creak, or if, for example, the brake pedal becomes soft, you should, of course, show the car mechanic as soon as possible. Most often, a creak or squeal suggests that it is necessary to replace brake pads or brake discs. Some car breakdowns are not critical and allow you to operate the car, while others, on the contrary, require immediate intervention.

Belt drive : This drive differs from the chain drive in that it has virtually no noise. The main disadvantages: a high probability of breakage due to low wear resistance, a small tightness. The last drawback suggests that all the engine power cannot always be fully utilized, unstable idling is noticed and the starting process is complicated. But the rest of the belt proved to be good and has the following advantages: low price, low weight, it is easy to replace it.

Belt drive

From the above it can be understood that the most commonly used timing belt drive. Therefore, the owner of the car with a drive failure will almost always be looking for the timing belt.

There are several ways to find a suitable part. Each of them will take a minimum of time and effort, because any computer device (tablet, smartphone) and Internet connection will be enough for this.

The motorist will be able to find the part according to the following criteria:

  • VIN- COD auto . The option is reliable and very simple. Find a spare part in the network or in the online store, where you can count on the help of an employee who will be able to evaluate compatibility and choose similar models of belts to the original one.
  • Auto data . You will need to enter the name of the manufacturer, model, equipment and technical data of the engine. This can easily be done in electronic catalogs of large trading floors; the motorist will be able to choose from the presented options. First you can sort by model and brand, and then choose the appropriate engine. There are modern catalogs that even a compatible analogue for the original spare part can offer.

When you receive your order, carefully examine the packaging. On the package in which the part is packed, the numbers will be indicated. The first three of them will be the factory designation, and the next the production date (week and year of manufacture).

The service life of the rubber timing element will be longer if it is new. Products with the old release date may begin to delaminate, and this can be clearly defined.

What is the difference between timing belts and chains

Name pros Minuses
Timing belt affordable price;

simple construction;

no noise.

risk of sudden rupture, and therefore the likelihood of engine damage.
Valve train chain long term of operation;

It can be used for abrupt weather changes and aggressive driving;

it is possible to determine wear in advance, a knock during cold engine operation will indicate this.

high price;

frequent lubrication required;

high level of noise;

It is quite difficult to determine wear visually.

Why can the timing belt fail?

timing belt1

There are many reasons to replace a timing belt drive that is out of order. Statistics show that the most common reasons for contacting:

  • Retension of the rubber element during installation. The rubber ring is stretched, and the rollers with bearings have excess pressure. The workflow continues, but the part resource is used too quickly. In most cases, the belt will break.
  • Reducing the tension of the rubber element. It is recommended that after half the service life and service life of the spare part pass the diagnostics and check the tension. If necessary, the belt must be tightened.
  • The car is used in hot climates. There are recommendations from manufacturers – to replace the rubber timing ring more often if the car is operated in hot weather.
  • Depressurization of the protective cover. If any dirt gets under the casing, the entire timing mechanism, belt or other components may cease to function ahead of time.

If during the inspection of the timing belt drive slight damage was noted, this is not a reason to worry about a break. Since under the neoprene part there is a strong base made of metal, because of which the whole mechanism has great resistance to heavy loads. When the metal base is weakened, difficulties with starting the car appear and additional noise appears, all this is an occasion to replace the rubber timing element.

There are many reasons why a belt can break. Correctly determine the cause only the auto service master can after the diagnosis.

There are the following reasons for the break:

  • Incorrect installation; alignment has not been performed;
  • They installed a rubber ring of poor quality, which could not withstand the load;
  • There are badasses in the camshaft bed;
  • The service life has passed and it has long been necessary to make a replacement;
  • Coolant or antifreeze has spilled onto the rubber ring;
  • The pump does not work correctly;
  • The camshaft or crankshaft does not work correctly;
  • There were difficulties with the tensioning roller, he himself releases or wedges it.

If the rupture occurred at idle, then it is necessary to replace several valves, but with a wedge in gear, it will be necessary to replace them completely. At break there is a risk of breakdown of other components of the engine. The largest material costs will be required to repair DOHC on Japanese machines. Repair of similar breakdowns of European car brands and the United States will cost owners a little cheaper.

How To Replace Your Timing Belt

What is the difference between timing belts from different manufacturers

1. Bosch – reasonable quality at an affordable price.


Data the manufacturer offers not only household appliances, but also auto parts. The Bosch timing element has a long service life and an affordable price.

With careful use of the car, without unnecessary engine load, this spare part can last up to 60,000 km.


  • country of origin – Germany;
  • there are belts for a wide range of models, for VAZ cars and for BMW;
  • rarely seen fake;
  • the availability of auto parts in most retail outlets;
  • long term of operation;
  • integrity is maintained until replacement, you can make it in the service station, and not unexpectedly on the street.


  • can only be replaced with rollers;
  • if you store a new belt drive in the garage, then it will dry out and it will become rude.

2. Lemforder – an assortment for all cars


If the rubber ring of the gas distribution mechanism breaks, you can use the Lemforder timing belt to replace it, since the brand represents the richest assortment for all brands and models of cars since 1997.

This is a joint project of a German company and Korean manufacturers, which has increased the ability to service various modifications. To select a suitable spare part, you can use VIN-code.

  • warranty for mileage up to 60 thousand km;
  • the teeth of the part have clear boundaries, which will allow you to firmly fasten the pulleys;
  • It has high stability when used at high speeds with long time intervals.


  • You can often come across a fake;
  • other manufacturers offer their products in German packaging;
  • when buying auto parts for future use, you will need to observe the storage conditions.

3. Gates – a leader in their field

gates timing belts

This timing belt drive is the best in the industry among similar products, because they are produced in France, Germany, Belgium, the UK.

Parts are of such high quality that they are ordered directly by the automobile industry to factories for the production of new cars. But spare parts can also be found on the market. The rubber timing element is highly reliable and has a long service life.


  • compatible with many car models;
  • suitable for high speed use and compatible with sports car models;
  • the manufacturer gives a guarantee for the operation of up to 50 thousand kilometers or a period of up to 2 years;
  • reduced risk of tearing due to a width of 34 mm;
  • having 211 teeth, reliably fastens on pulleys;
  • Directly supplied to automobile production.


  • price from 2000 rub .;
  • It is advisable to carry out the replacement together with the rollers, which further increases the cost of repair.

4. Contitech – from a well-known tire manufacturer


Excellent timing belts are offered by the well-known tire manufacturer from Contitech, which is a subsidiary of Continental’s delusions.

Spare parts are very famous and just like Gates are delivered directly to automobile manufacturing plants. But on the market there is a fairly wide selection of timing belt drives that are suitable for most models and brands.


  • long service life, which exceeds the one declared by the manufacturer by about a third;
  • differs in high indicators of wear resistance due to additional components in the composition of rubber;
  • the outside of the rubber element has a rubberized fabric that protects the internal structure from fuels and lubricants;
  • able to withstand loads 15% more than similar belts;
  • compatible with most cars manufactured in Europe, USA, Japan.

AMD – a wide range of kits


Most often, when replacing a rubber timing element, it will also be necessary to replace the tension rollers, since an excessive degree of wear will result in the failure of the new rubber drive.

To save time on finding all the necessary components, you can purchase excellent timing belts from AMD, which immediately offer a complete set. The country of origin is Korea. You can not waste time searching and be sure of the compatibility of parts in terms of width and speed of rotation.


  • there is a marking on the belt, so you can not confuse the product with a fake;
  • are included in the package: timing belt and balancing, three tension rollers;
  • each spare part is packed in a separate box, which reduces the risk of deformation;
  • works without too much noise;
  • the tension roller included in the kit has no play on the bearing;
  • with proper installation will withstand the entire period of operation;
  • kit price up to 5800 rub .;
  • inside the package there can be a belt drive from the manufacturer Dongil (Korean company);
  • play may appear in the bypass roller in the bearing.

What else is useful to know about timing belts

Car owners need to know about the following things:

  • it is better to have at least one belt in reserve;
  • replacement period will depend on the brand of car. The average operation period is from 50 to 80 thousand km, much less than more than 90 thousand km., Additionally study the difference between a reinforced timing belt and a usual one;
  • pay attention to the condition of the seals;
  • when replacing a rubber ring, it is advisable to replace the tension roller;

Since most motorists prefer the Gates manufacturer, we will consider how the original belt drive differs from a fake. Recommendations apply when buying rubber rings of other brands.

Pay attention to:

Packaging: Material and packaging design matter; it must be made of hard cardboard and have a hologram. If in doubt about the design, it is better to compare the packaging with photographs of the original goods on the Internet. Even slight differences will mean that this is not an original product. The hologram on the original is attached to a strictly defined place and can only be removed with a clerical knife.

Content . There may be differences. Recently, original Gates spare parts are placed in plastic molds.

Appearance and marking . The original product has a slightly cut marking, but there is no difficulty in reading it, it is printed very clearly. The fake is distinguished by the absence of a slice, small print and a different color (the original is blue).

Tensioner pulley included . There will be no metal-based engraving on a fake, and on plastic it will be difficult to read.

Bypass roller . Fake is characterized by the absence of engraving.

Bypass roller

Great difficulties with the rubber timing drive are only for car owners who ignore regular inspection and maintenance, who continue to use the car for obvious violations: difficult start, discoloration of exhaust gases, noise and overheating of the motor. To check the rubber timing element, you should find out if there are delamination or cracks. Belt hardening indicator – when pressed with a hard sharp object, there is no trace and dent. When the spare part resource has been exhausted, the replacement must not be delayed. An irresponsible attitude can lead to engine damage, and consequently high repair costs.