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SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR RIG’S TIMING BELT?

Motor homes are one of the greatest modern day engineering marvels. You will be awestruck by their amazing array of mechanical components. Take the engine for example. The long list of its components includes pistons, cylinder, spark plug, valves, crankshaft piston rings, connecting rod and more. Mind-boggling, isn’t it? On the flipside, this complex design makes engines prone to developing mechanical glitches quite fast. If you are planning to , it’s better to diagnose and replace the faulty parts before you put it up in the market. You can begin with the engine’s timing belt.

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Importance of Timing Belt

A timing belt is a toothed band, which performs the important function of synchronizing the movements of two components – crankshaft and camshaft. The synchronization between these two components is of critical importance, as it helps control the flow of air and fuel and exhaust gases. The proper functioning of the timing belt ensures that the engine valves open and close at the appropriate time with the strike of the piston.

In order to function properly, a timing belt needs to be under tension. A timing belt tensioner provides this all-important pull. When the timing belt gets loose, the synchronization between crankshaft and camshaft gets affected. Older RV models generally have adjustable timing belt tensioner, so you can readjust them if the belt gets loose. Newer cars come with automatic timing belt tensioner and they cannot be re-adjusted. When a belt wears out and starts losing tooth, it needs to be replaced immediately.

When to Replace a Timing Belt?

  • The timing belt of any automobile has to be replaced at the mileage point recommended by the manufacturer. For RVs, this mileage point usually varies between 60,000 miles and 105,000 miles. Check the owner’s manual to find the recommended replacement intervals.

  • Look out for the signs of damages such as cracks or cuts. These are the signs of excessive wear. In such cases, the belt has to be replaced immediately even if it has not reached the recommended mileage point.

  • You will also have to change the belt if it gets soaked in oil leaking from the engine.

What Happens If You Don’t Replace a Worn-out Belt?

If not replaced in time, the belt may break, and the engine may stop working. The synchronization between the two shafts will be impacted, causing the pistons to strike the valves that are left open. This may result in broken valves, damaged piston, and worse still, a destroyed cylinder. The net result is a stalled engine.

If you are planning to sell your RV in near future, check whether it is approaching the mileage for a timing belt change. If you are not sure about the condition of this vital component, hire a mechanic to inspect the timing belt condition, and take steps accordingly. When you are ready to sell, .