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Old 29th October 2011, 13:15   #1
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Default Symptoms of a worn out timing belt?

I have an Opel astra MPFI with mileage 129000 km, the long term report of my car is on T-Bhp linked: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ng-review.html (OPEL ASTRA club, 1.1 lakh km, long review)

2 days ago, while on my way back to New Delhi from Chandigarh on NH-1, somewhere between Panipat and Sonipat driving at 130 kmph, suddenly the speedo needle showed that the car was de-accelarating as if it being in neutral even though it was in 5th gear. I pressed the throttle to accelerate, but still it continued to de-accelerate as if in neutral. I reckoned that something must be wrong ,therefore gradually pulled over on the left of the highway , in the course of which all lights on the display came on and the engine shut down just before complete stop at which point some smoke bellowed out from the hood. I tried to re-start, but the noise came as if something is jammed, or something is not allowing the engine to turn over!!? I checked air filter, coolant level , engine oil , etc nothing was amiss. My younger brother came to the place where I was stranded , tried many things on the car, but it wouldn't budge.

Anyways, reached home somehow late night, but on the very next day went back to my stranded car on the highway with my brother and our preffered mechanic.We left the mechanic to begin his diagnosis. When we came back to our car after an hour, the mechanic had already opened the timing belt cover , and had the timing belt in one hand and the adjuster in other and forthwith told me that the timing belt of my car had 20 teeth worn out from its total 111 teeth!!. Fortunately, the timing belt had not broken, so we got a local timing belt to him. He installed that into my car and did some adjustment. Then with push start the car came to life, we reached home and my car is at my prefferred mechanic ,pending assesment of further damage in my car engine.My car timing belt was last changed around 95000 km.

The question is: What symtoms help identify a worn out timing belt?

Last edited by ritedhawan : 29th October 2011 at 13:16.
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Old 29th October 2011, 14:23   #2
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Default Re: What symtoms help identify a worn out timing belt?

For regulars drivers like you or me, open the dust cover of the timing belt & have a look. If you can see cracks, broken or missing teeth, feel that the belt is loose, then it is time to change the belt.

Did you see the old timing belt when they replaced it with the current one & charged you for it? I doubt a relatively new belt would be in the condition you described. Normally it is advisable to change the timing belt every 60000 kms for good order & peace of mind.

If the engine started & the car was running OK, then there is little chance of damage to the valve system. However do open the cylinder head & have a look.

Last edited by 1self : 29th October 2011 at 14:25.
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Old 29th October 2011, 15:12   #3
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Default Re: Symptoms of a worn out timing belt?

Golden rule with timing belts : STICK TO manufacturer recommended replacement intervals. I go a step further and usually replace them 10,000 kms before required. Timing belts are made of rubber and will deteriorate with age. And with many engines, a broken timing belt = engine destroyed.

Your mechanic should have replaced the water pump at the time of the timing belt change (the timing belt + water pump are almost always replaced together). If you are still running the old water pump, that's probably what caused the premature belt wear.
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Old 29th October 2011, 15:48   #4
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Default Re: Symptoms of a worn out timing belt?

Thanks for the advice, 1self and GTO.

Quote:
1self: If the engine started & the car was running OK, then there is little chance of damage to the valve system. However do open the cylinder head & have a look.
After the local timing belt was installed the car ran adequately.However, I shall urge my preferred mechanic to open the cyclinder head.

Quote:
GTO : Your mechanic should have replaced the water pump at the time of the timing belt change (the timing belt + water pump are almost always replaced together). If you are still running the old water pump, that's probably what caused the premature belt wear.
Well, my preferred mechanic brought with us on the highway,requisite tools that would enable him to get the broken vehicle running.Now that the vehicle has reached the mechanic's workshop, damaged shall be checked. He was actually of the opinion that not only water pump, but the oil pump too may be replaced.

Nonetheless, just to add to the subject query:- Is there any way , can one realise that timing belt may give up without opening the hood and opening the timing belt cover?

I mean, like 'shreaking sound' that increases with throttle input , is that one of many symptoms for worn out timing belt.Even though my car didnt made that 'shreaking sound'.
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Old 7th March 2012, 12:20   #5
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Default Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

Need help on the time belt change duration for Swift.

The car has clocked 63K kms and is going steady, what is the time frame fro getting the timing belt changed and is there any way one can find out what is the current condition of the belt.

What all gets changed with the timing belt.
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Old 7th March 2012, 12:34   #6
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

The timing belt replacement duration/mileage will be mentioned in your car's owner manual. For inspection follow the steps below

To inspect the belt, first look at the outside of the belt to see if any tiny cracks are forming. One or two small cracks in the outer shiny coating of the belt are ok, but if you see lots of cracking on the surface this may indicate extreme wear. Next flip the belt over slightly to inspect the teeth. A single broken tooth can be catastrophic. Also check the belt's play by twisting it. If you can turn it much more than halfway around, it might have too much free play. Check your manual to see what your car's specs indicate.

Source: Timing Belt Inspection - Checking Your Timing Belt - Timing Belts
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Old 7th March 2012, 12:49   #7
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

Thanks Vikram, will check the manual for the duration.
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Old 7th March 2012, 12:50   #8
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

Agree with Vikram. Always go with what the owner's manual says which is ideal duration for replacement.
For my Wagon-R's 100k Service, I specifically asked MASS to replace the timing belt (as mentioned on the manual). When they inspected, they found the belt intact with no cracks and neither it had become hard. Still, I insisted them to just replace it.
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Old 7th March 2012, 12:54   #9
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

Well you are right paragsachania, I too requested the supervisor at the garage to do an inspection but they as usual due to work load gave an excuse that it normally lasts for 100k kms so dont worry. I just dont want to land up in the middle of nowhere if it cracks in between as this has happened to me once with the Baleno which just refused to start out of nowhere and we found out the timing belt was gone at 66k kms.
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Old 7th March 2012, 13:44   #10
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

I do not know about the intervals for the Swift, but I have heard that Skodas usually replace timing belt at about 80k to 100k kms. I also hear that the tensioner will need to be replaced at the same time instead of waiting for the tensioner to give way.

I do not know about the technicality involved, but maybe someone can help explain what I just said.
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Old 7th March 2012, 13:48   #11
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

Change is needed only beyond 1L kms. The condition can not be assessed without opening the timing side covers. Not at all necessary to even worry a bit at 63K kms for your Swiftie.

Last edited by rajeev k : 7th March 2012 at 13:50.
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Old 7th March 2012, 14:19   #12
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

Again, do keep in mind that 60K kms seems to be a major landmark in the petrol Swift's lifecycle when components have been known to fail !

If I were you, as preventive maintenance, I would get the timing belt changed at not later than 80K kms.
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Old 7th March 2012, 14:57   #13
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Again, do keep in mind that 60K kms seems to be a major landmark in the petrol Swift's lifecycle when components have been known to fail !

If I were you, as preventive maintenance, I would get the timing belt changed at not later than 80K kms.
Not really. My swift is still running on the stock timing belt and it has run 1.2 lakh kms. Even the turbo'd G15 was using this belt.
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Old 7th March 2012, 15:02   #14
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Default Re: Swift Petrol Timing Belt help

75-80k is what is recommended for almost all MUL petrol engines IIRC. Again if the vehicle is older than 7-8 years might be a good idea to get it replaced. Its hardly a 3-4k job but a failure will result in 15-20k INR.
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Old 7th March 2012, 15:56   #15
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Default Re: Symptoms of a worn out timing belt?

I think the cost of replacing it will be higher than 3-4K as there are a lot of other things which are replaced with it I believe like for e.g. all rubber belts, water pump are inspected and changed as well. Can anyone share the total cost of the work involved and also what all gets replaced with it.
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