The use of a timing pulley and belt in automobiles is very important. They are essential components of your car’s internal combustion engine application that is responsible for controlling the opening and closing of the engine valves. It is the role of the timing belt and pulley to connect the crankshaft to the camshaft and synchronise them at the correct timing to keep the engine running.
Together they provide a positive drive by engaging the molded teeth in the belt to the accurately spaced grooves on the pulley. It is the entering and leaving of the belt teeth from the pulley grooves that produces a positive drive, resulting in a smoother and quieter engine operation.
Timing belts have replaced the use of older style timing chains in most vehicle types’ engines that were popular during the 1970s and 1980s. Recently, however, timing chains have re-emerged in the market, causing a new trend of car manufacturers to go back to timing chain engine design.
The re-emergence of vehicles with engines using timing chains have caused quite a confusion in prospective car owners over the choice of engine type they should go for.
Although it is unlikely that there will ever be an exact figure on timing belts versus timing chains performance comparison, here is a list of advantages a timing belt have over a timing chain:
- It provides precise registration and timing without the loss of high torque carrying capability
- It provides high mechanical efficiency, reaching as high as 98% in contrast with the 91% – 98% efficiency offered by a chain.
- It eliminates the risk of slippage through the belt’s positive grip on the pulley.
- There is little to no possibility of elongation due to wear since it is typically rubber made of high-tensile fibres.
- It maintains a quiet and clean operation as opposed to the timing chain requiring a quieting shoe for noise reduction.
- Lengthened use does not result in power transmission inefficiency.
- It resists rust, contaminants, and chemicals.
- It is simply a cheaper option since it does not require adjustments, lubrication systems, motor bases, and tensioning devices. Maintenance costs, therefore, is minimal. Though timing belts are low maintenance compared to timing chains, careful monitoring of these car components still needs to be implemented. When these parts are damaged or malfunction, there will be a serious impact on your vehicle’s overall performance.
We all have our own preferences and if you decide on a vehicle that uses timing pulleys and belts, ensure that you monitor their working condition to avoid car breakdowns.