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We’re Hiring!Cartell is the Irish market leader providing automotive services and data to the motor trade. Whether you own a Honda or a Toyota, one thing all engines have in common is some type of cam drive system. Though todays timing belts last longer than ever before, the same cannot be said for timing belts in older engines - even if the vehicle manufacturer does not publish a recommended replacement interval. Regardless of mileage, any timing belt that shows obvious damage such as frayed or exposed cords, damaged teeth, hunks of rubber missing, deep cracks, excessive surface cracking or severe glazing should be replaced without delay! Belt replacement is also recommended anytime the cylinder head has to come off of the engine, or when replacing a water pump that is driven off the timing belt. On interference engines, a timing belt failure is really bad news because there is not enough clearance for the valves to clear the pistons if the belt snaps. Regular belt replacement is especially important on Acura and Honda engines because almost every one of these engines is an interference design! Convincing a customer to replace a timing belt that has not yet failed takes salesmanship - and education. Most timing chain sets are sold as three-piece kits (chain, crank sprocket and cam sprocket), but some OHC kits also include a chain dampener or tensioner. On many newer engines, spring-loaded automatic tensioners are used to keep the timing belt tight.
It is difficult to determine the true condition of the tensioner components with a simple visual inspection because the components are not operating under a load. On older Honda 1.5L engines in the CRX, the cam sprocket says "UP" and there are three different timing marks.
With early Honda single overhead cam engines, a camshaft that has been incorrectly timed and is overadvanced will have higher than normal idle vacuum and the engine will lack high speed power.
If you find a belt with stripped cogs, it indicates that something in the cam drive system has jammed or stuck, overloading the belt and causing it to shear teeth or jump time.
When OHC cylinder heads get too hot, they usually swell up in the middle, causing the cam to bend or bind. Misalignment problems in the cam drive also can occur if the cam sprocket is installed backwards, the wrong thickness of washer is used (incorrect end play), a thrust button is forgotten, or the crank sprocket is not positioned properly on its keyway. Finally, turn the engine over by hand several times to make sure the timing marks realign correctly.
Finish the job by installing a sticker indicating when the belt was changed (write down the mileage) and when the next change is due. A more affordable and easier to use way to access the factory service information is via AlldataDIY.
The standard aftermarket recommendation for replacing OHC timing belts has traditionally been 60,000 miles - which is still a valid number for most older vehicles.
According to Gates Rubber Company's "Timing Belt Replacement Manual," these are the "official" belt replacement recommendations Acura, Honda and Toyota make for their specific engines. Note: On applications where no specific mileage recommendation is given, it does not mean the timing belt will last indefinitely and can be ignored. Also Note: On Acura and Honda applications with 105,000-mile recommended replacement intervals, this does not include vehicles that are operated in extreme climates (below -20 degrees F or above 110 degrees F). Honda also makes a time recommendation as well as mileage on the newer applications: 105,000 miles or 84 months, or 90,000 miles or 72 months depending on the engine. As a growing company and due to internal promotion, we have identified an opening for a Field Sales Executive.

Valve timing and ignition timing (if it reads off the camshaft) also remain steady because timing belts do not stretch. The fact is, any belt can fail if the reinforcing cords inside the belt become weak and break.
The cords are under tremendous tension, and eventually the combination of constant flexing and heat causes them to weaken. Belts that still look like new on the outside may be dangerously weak on the inside and on the verge of failure. In both cases, the belt has to be removed anyway to make the other repairs so there is no extra labor required to replace it. The belt itself may not be that expensive, but the labor to change it is typically about four hours.
A belt failure on an interference engine almost always results in one or more bent valves - or worse. Many motorists may not know timing belts have a limited lifespan and that the vehicle manufacturer lists a recommended replacement interval. These "extra" components play a vital role in supporting the chain and keeping it tight and should be replaced at the same time.
So there is no way to clean, inspect or relubricate the bearings when a timing belt is changed.
At the same time, a leaky seal will allow the grease inside to escape, dooming the bearing to rapid failure. Even so, any pulley bearing that has visible looseness, grease streaks radiating outward from a damaged seal, makes noise or does not turn freely should be replaced before a new belt is installed - otherwise the new belt is doomed to premature failure.
Pay particular attention to the location of the timing marks in the service literature (you do have a manual, right? A white mark may be used to indicate Top Dead Center (TDC) and a red mark for ignition timing. The sprocket should be aligned so UP is at the top, but the actual timing mark to use is the one at the 7 o'clock position that lines up with a plastic pointer on the head.
This, in turn, may make the mixture so lean that the O2 sensor ceases to switch, setting a code for a bad O2 sensor. The most likely culprit is the camshaft, which may have seized due to engine overheating or lack of lubrication (low oil level or loss of oil pressure).
In some cases this may break the cam, snap the timing belt or shear the cam drive sprocket off the end of the cam. Belt length, width, tooth profile and pitch must be the same, and the material must be the same or better.
Belts, remember, do not stretch and forcing one to do so will likely damage the cords and cause it to fail.
Adjust to the recommended specifications (always refer to the manual because the amount of recommended play can vary depending on the application). But newer belts last longer and may go 90,000 to 100,000 miles before the risk of failure starts to increase.
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If you require further details regarding the transaction data, please contact the supplier directly. That is why Honda, Toyota and most other vehicle manufacturers usually recommend replacing the timing belt at a specific mileage interval (see below).

It is also a very good idea to replace the water pump at the same time if the pump is mounted behind the belt.
The cam and crank sprockets usually do not have to be replaced unless they show unusual wear or damage. Over time, the grease inside breaks down and oxidizes, accelerating bearing wear and increasing the risk of a bearing failure or seizure. As the miles accumulate, though, wear can cause the plate to stick against the engine block, preventing the tensioner from maintaining proper pressure.
If you use the red mark instead of the white one, valve timing will be off as much as 18 degrees. There is nothing wrong with the O2 sensor, of course, because the real problem is the mistimed cam.
One set is used to time the intake with the exhaust camshaft when they are mounted in the cylinder head, and the other set indicates the TDC position for both camshafts. Do not substitute a less expensive neoprene belt for one made of HSN or EPDM synthetic rubber. The risk of belt failure goes up sharply once a belt surpasses its recommended replacement interval, which is typically 60,000 miles for belts in older vehicles (those built before 1990 to 1998), and 90,000 to 100,000 miles or more for newer vehicles. You do not want to do this job twice, and most water pumps have about the same lifespan as the belt. Apparently, Toyota engineers were more generous with combustion chamber clearances than Honda engineers. Explaining what it might cost to repair an interference engine with bent valves versus the cost to change the belt now might be all it takes to convince them of the value of preventive maintenance. Like the water pump, the service life of the tensioner pulley bearings is about the same as that of the belt.
Also, the hotter the operating environment, the shorter the lifespan of the grease and the bearings. The engine may also experience detonation (spark knock) because of the overadvanced valve timing and lean fuel mixture. Toyota has been recommending 7,500-mile oil change intervals for some of its vehicles - which has lead to oil sludging and other engine problems. Use a quality brand of belt because some generic brands use inferior materials that will not last as long as the OEM belt or a quality aftermarket belt.
The location of the tensioner components under the timing belt cover prevents them from receiving much cooling, so they tend to run quite hot. This can be damaging to the head gasket, pistons and rings, and may cause the engine to run hot.
Changing the oil and filter every 3,000 miles or every three to six months is still the safest recommendation. Or it may not even make it to 60,000 miles depending on operating conditions, load and rpm. That is a lot of money to most people, but postponing the recommended maintenance can cost them a lot more!

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