How To Adjust a Timing Belt

The timing belt is a vital part of your vehicle’s engine.  Mechanics will often refer to it as a cam belt or timing chain.  The timing belt runs through your engine.  The valves work without missing when your timing belt is set properly.  Below you will find procedure to set proper timing.

  1. First park your car in a safe and level location. A garage or a quiet street will work well.  You will need only one tool to complete the task.  Be sure you have a good strong wrench.  You will also need plenty of light to see the timing alignment marks on the belt and mechanical devices.
  2. After you have everything you need and your hood is opened be sure to disconnect the battery.  Locate your timing belt and the related machinery.  If you are unsure what to look for then consult your vehicle’s manual.  Remove the timing cover and loosen the belt tensioner.  It will look somewhat like a pulley.  To loosen the tensioner you will need to find the bolts that hold it in place and loosen them.  You can tell that it is loose if it comes in contact with the timing belt easily.
  3. Adjust the timing belt following the vehicle’s maintenance manual.  Check along its track and correct any motion problems you see.  If you find the belt has come off the track when the tensioner was loosened then just move the belt back onto its track.  Your manual will be able to guide you through the proper path that the timing belt runs through the engine.  There are marks on the timing belt that need to be properly aligned with the cam, crank, and sprockets.  Each mark on the belt needs to be lined up evenly with the marks on the above mentioned parts.
  4. Once you have aligned the marks on the timing belt with the cam, crank, and sprockets then manually turn the engine.  This is where you get the wrench out and force the crankshaft pulley to turn.  Revolve the engine more than one complete cycle.  Resistance from the belt while turning indicates that the pistons and valves are touching.
  5. After you are confident that the timing belt is seated properly and aligned with the other devices in the engine then the belt tensioner bolts need to be tightened.  The bolts should fit snugly but careful that you don’t over-tighten them!  That way you can loosen them easier the next time.

Your timing has now been set.  Now connect the battery cables and put the timing cover back on.  Shut your hood and start your engine.  Ensure that everything is running smoothly.  If your engine sounds rough or does not run smoothly turn off the engine and repeat the procedures above.


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