Alberta Cash for Cars

What Happens When Timing Belt Breaks

What Happens when Timing Belt Breaks

Let’s face it, cars are like our companions. They take us on adventures, errands, and help us navigate our everyday life. But just like any trusty friend, sometimes they cough, sputter, and throw a wrench (or in this case, a belt) your way.

So what happens When timing belt breaks? It is a common culprit for a car suddenly going kaput.

What in the world is a timing belt?

Think of it as the orchestra conductor of your engine. It’s a toothed belt that synchronizes the rotations of the crankshaft (the engine’s powerhouse) and the camshaft (the maestro controlling the valves).

This harmonious dance ensures the pistons and valves work together in a beautiful rhythm, keeping your car humming along.

But what happens When timing belt breaks?

Imagine the orchestra conductor trips and falls flat on his face mid-symphony. Chaos erupts! Here’s the breakdown that follows a broken timing belt:


That sweet purr of your engine? Gone. A broken timing belt means your car will abruptly stall and refuse to crank back to life.

Potential Engine Damage

This is where things get dicey. There are two main types of engines: interference and non-interference. In an interference engine (which are quite common), a broken timing belt can cause a nasty collision between the pistons and valves.

This can lead to expensive repairs, and in some cases, a complete engine replacement.

So, how do you know if your car might be on the verge of a timing belt meltdown?

Here are some clues to listen out for:

Ticking or Squealing Noises

A healthy timing belt should run quietly. If you hear strange ticking or squealing sounds coming from your engine, especially during startup, it could be a sign of a worn-out belt.

Rough Idling

If your car vibrates abnormally while idling, it might be due to a timing belt that’s slipping or damaged.

Decreased Engine Performance

A worn timing belt can affect your car’s overall performance. You might experience sluggish acceleration or a drop in fuel efficiency.

The Importance of Replacing Your Timing Belt on Time

The Importance of Replacing Your Timing Belt on Time

Wondering what happens if timing belt breaks? Well, it’s not good news as you can tell by now. Its replacement is very important as preventative maintenance for your car.

Every car manufacturer recommends a specific interval for timing belt replacement, typically between 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Don’t wait for the belt to snap and potentially cause thousands of dollars in damage!

Here’s the good news:

  • Replacing a timing belt before it breaks is a much more affordable repair compared to dealing with a broken belt’s aftermath.
  • Many mechanics will include a timing belt replacement as part of a routine service, so be sure to ask your mechanic about their recommendations for your specific car.

But what if the worst happens?

Don’t panic! Here’s what to do:

  1. Pullover Safely: If you’re on the road, find a safe spot to pull over and turn on your hazard lights.
  2. Call for Help: Since a car with a broken timing belt won’t start, you’ll need a tow truck. Albertacashforcars (yes, that’s us!) can come in handy as towing services Calgary.
  3. Get a Diagnosis: Once your car is at a mechanic’s shop, they can diagnose the problem and determine the extent of the damage.

Facing a Tough Decision? Albertacashforcars Can Help

If the repairs for a broken timing belt are too extensive or simply not cost-effective, you might be faced with a difficult decision.

Here at Albertacashforcars, we understand that letting go of a car can be tough.  That’s why we offer a hassle-free way to sell your cash for junk cars in Calgary, Alberta.

We’ll give you a fair ‘cash for cars with broken timing belt’ offer, regardless of its condition.

Can You Drive With a Broken Timing Belt?

Can You Drive With a Broken Timing Belt?

Absolutely not. A broken timing belt essentially severs the communication between the crankshaft and the camshaft, grinding your car’s performance to a complete halt.

The good news? Unlike a totaled car, a situation with a broken timing belt isn’t always a death sentence for your vehicle.  If you suspect a timing belt issue, here’s what to do:

  1. Don’t crank the engine repeatedly. This can worsen the damage by causing further collisions between internal components.
  2. Call for a tow truck. As mentioned earlier, Albertacashforcars can help!
  3. Get a mechanic’s diagnosis. They’ll be able to assess the extent of the damage and give you a repair estimate.

Depending on the severity of the damage and the value of your car, repairing a broken timing belt might not be the most economical option.  Here’s where Albertacashforcars comes in. We specialize in buying cash for junk cars in Calgary, and we take all sorts of vehicles, even ones with significant engine problems.

Selling your car to Albertacashforcars can be a quick and convenient way to turn a frustrating situation into an opportunity. We understand that letting go of a car can be emotional,  but we’ll make the process as smooth and transparent as possible.


We overviewed everything about what happens when timing belt breaks. The best way to avoid the drama of a broken timing belt is through preventative maintenance.  Refer to your car’s owner’s manual for the recommended timing belt replacement interval, and schedule the service well before the belt reaches its breaking point.  This relatively inexpensive maintenance can save you a ton of trouble and potentially thousands of dollars in repairs.

So, the next time you hear your car purring along, remember the silent hero – the timing belt. With a little knowledge and proactive care, you can keep your engine’s orchestra playing a harmonious tune for years to come.