Gates Gets Technical About Oil
Contamination from external sources is a common cause of premature timing belt failure. Oil is particularly destructive.
If it enters the drive system and gets between the belt and the pulleys, it becomes subject to intense pressure. As it is a liquid, oil cannot be compressed. Consequently, it becomes injected into the belt.
The result is a change to the dimensions of the belt. The tooth profile becomes different and the pitch is altered. Consequently, the belt no longer meshes perfectly with the drive belt system.
As a result, the timing belt becomes subject to intense wear.
Look closely at the image. The teeth have been ripped from the face of the belt. This is a classic sign of oil contamination in the drive system.
- Probable cause: Oil leak
- Corrective action: Replace faulty oil seals
A broken timing belt can cause catastrophic engine damage.
Check the drive system at every opportunity. It could prove to be a very worthwhile exercise!
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