The timing gears work with the timing belt and chains in the engine to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly. The gears are connected to the crankshaft at one end and the camshaft at the other end. They have small increments around it, which correspond to the degrees of timing. The marks help the mechanic who is tuning up the engine to ensure the correct timing of the parts and ultimately the best timing of the camshaft and engine.
The purpose of the timing gears is to control how much fuel and air enter the cylinder. They do this by firing the spark plugs, closing the valve, and release exhaust fumes all at the correct timing according to how the belt moves. The gears are durable as they are made from aluminum or steel materials. While they do last a long time, they normally do not last the lifetime of your vehicle.
Over time, the gears can become chipped, damage, or fail because they work hard on a regular basis. Every time you turn your vehicle on, the timing gears are engaged and work until your vehicle is turned off. They are an important part to your engine running smoothly, so if you suspect an issue with your timing gears, contact a professional mechanic to have the timing gears replaced.
If the gears are off when the engine is assembled or after the timing gears are replaced, the vehicle will not run well. If the timing is off by as little as two teeth, the engine may not run at all.
Since this part can go bad and fail over time, it is important to recognize the symptoms that indicate it needs to be looked at by a mechanic soon.
Signs that point toward your timing gears need to be replaced include:
The engine starts but the vehicle runs poorly after it is started
Noise from the engine or front of the vehicle
The engine does not turn on at all
The engine backfires on a regular basis
The timing gears are an essential part of your engine, therefore, this repair should be completed as soon as you start noticing symptoms.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Do the Timing Gears Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.