What You Should Know About Timing Belt Repair
Though it's just a toothed piece of synthetic reinforced rubber, the timing belt is a key piece of engine equipment that keeps the engine running smoothly on most all late model V6 and 4 cylinder Honda, Acura, Toyota and Lexus automobiles. Think of it as the coxswain of a rowing team, calling out the cadence for the rowers to follow. Without that direction, there would be chaos and the boat would go nowhere, and your engine will be just as lost without a timing belt.
The timing belt joins the crankshaft at the bottom of the engine to the camshaft(s) at the top, which controls the opening and closing of the valves for each cylinder. These valves control both the intake and exhaust strokes of each cylinder, so it is crucial that they open/close at the right time, otherwise the engine will not run in sync. If the pistons come up as the valves are going down, the resulting collision will cause very expensive internal damage. Timing belts come with "teeth" on one side to ensure that they line up correctly with the end of each shaft.
Timing belts need replacement at the mileage called out in the maintenance/service section of your Lexus, Toyota, Honda and Acura owner's manual. It is very important to follow this schedule; if a timing belt fails during operation the damage can be catastrophic. It is also recommended that when changing the timing belt on some cars, the water pump, camshaft and/or crankshaft seals should be replaced as well.