How to tell if timing belt is going bad?

Posted by dsm1103, Feb 17, 2012
Maintenance & Repairs - Oil choices, timing belt, setting timing, CV boot replacement, alternator servicing, fuse/relay checks, and other basic maintenance, repair and diagnosis discussions.

  1. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    medina, Ohio
    How can I tell if my timing belt is bad or going bad? Is there a way to visually check the belt? Will the belt become loose, have wear marks, cracks, etc? When i purchased the car the owner said it was changed about 25k miles ago but sometimes you cant believe everything.

    I know I should just change it if I'm concerned about it but its not the cheapest thing to do. Plan on changing it within the next couple months but would like to make sure it isn't going to snap next week if I can.
    #1
  2. iugrad92turbo

    iugrad92turbo Proven Member

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    When you dont know the history change it asap, why take chances, you could wait you never know when it will snap and what wasnt changed, tensioner, pulleys etc.
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  3. MichaelSuch

    MichaelSuch Proven Member

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    Mine always had cracks on the teeth of the belt. Kinda hard to see with the timing belt still on the car but if the belt were to be flipped over and the teeth pushed out the cracks could be clearly seen. Many timing belt failures are due to the tensioner actually going bad and causing the timing to jump. Right before this happens the tensioner starts with a clicking or tapping noise during cold start ups, but not always does this happen. It can happen randomly. Some of the timing belts strip teeth, due to the cracks next to the teeth. My advice is inspect the belt closely. But plan on doing a timing belt job ASAP with OEM Mitsubishi parts. Do not use a parts store hydraulic tensioner. Do not cheap out on the main parts that keep your engine running. Any failure in the timing components can be VERY costly.

    Edit: Just seen you have an N/T. The hydraulic tensioners on those don't seem to fail quite as often but there are a few people that swap over to a mechanical tensioner.

    http://aseclub.net/forums/index.php...a-mechanical-timing-belt-tensioner-in-a-420a/
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  4. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    ..could pull the inspection cover off of the belt cover to see what it looks inside. Roll the motor over by hand while you see the belt's condition.
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  5. talonawd1991

    talonawd1991 Proven Member

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    lake stevens, Washington
    Just be safe and change it. If it snaps it can potentially ruin the engine.

    visually If there is any oil on it you should change it too.
    #5
  6. jamarh85

    jamarh85 Proven Member

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    i agree with the above post, my friend and I rotated the engine and inspected the belt on his gst and it visually passed. Two weeks later it snapped on his way home from work crusing on the highway, bending valves. Another friend had teeth break off his belt that threw off his timing bending vaves. Like one of the guys on this forum a long time ago, a timing belt looks new until you get to the part snapped in two.
    #6

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