Ford Fiesta Timing Belt Problem-What happens when your Timing Belt Breaks

Post Updated 31st Dec 2013

Ford Fiesta Timing Belt Problem;Your Car Timing belt must be changed when recommended

When we carry out routine services we always check the changing times for timing belts, and inform the customer if the time to change will be coming up in the near future. Most of

Ford Fiesta Timing Belt Problem

Ford Fiesta Timing Belt Problem;Picture showing pulleys with timing belt fittedj

our customers will take notice of us and have their timing belts changed.

The reason for the need to change the timing belt is simply that the belt is made from rubber based material similar to the materials used on a conveyor belt or indeed your fan belt. The timing belt over time will start to perish and eventually break, these Timing Belt Symptoms are easy to spot. To prevent this we at Pellon Auto Centre make a note on the customers service sheet of the time or mileage that the parts require replacing. When replacing the belt we always fit a full kit and not just the belt, this should eliminate any future problems after the replacement  has been fitted.

Ford Fiesta Timing Belt Problem

Ford Fiesta Timing Belt Problem;some of the damaged parts on Fiesta

The timing belt is a very accurate and precise part of your car. It is the part that allows all of the engine to work together. When the belt breaks the whole of the inside of the engine is thrown into turmoil. Some lucky people can get away with a timing belt breaking with no damage caused, and can just get away with Timing Belt Replacement, but this is extremely rare and most motorists end up with bent valves and a cylinder head job.

Ford Fiesta timing belt broke and shattered top half of engine

Ford Fiesta Timing Belt Problem

cylinder head ready to be re-fitted

This week we had a phone call from a distressed customer who just thought that his car had just stopped on his way back from Manchester. When the car was towed in we found that the Ford Fiesta Timing Belt Problem,was worse than we thought the belt had actually snapped off. After inspection by our then mechanic Andy Mawdsley he discovered that the timing belt breaking had caused further damage to the engine. The valves were all bent and the cylinder head needed skimming, at a specialist engine company. We also have to supply all new gaskets (we only use Unipart gaskets) and complete timing belt kit and the whole job can be quit expensive. The moral of this story is that you must change your timing belt when recommended by your service centre. Also when you buy a car with no service history you should get the timing belt changed to be on the safe side, then you are not facing a much larger bill in the future.

For further good reading about timing belts click on the link bellow.

     http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/car-part-longevity/timing-belt-last.htm

About Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and Cheap Car Tyre and leisure Battery business now for 40 years. I worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business.

Rover Street Wise- with a Timing Belt Problem.

I must admit that when I heard about a Rover Street Wise car in to us with an engine problem,

I could not remember what one looked like? The car is a beefed up version of the Rover 25, but in my opinion the car is far better looking and I think that it made the car more appealing to younger drivers. The owner of this car is only in his mid- twenties, so I may be right.

When the car arrived it was 1.4 petrol driven 2003 model, and the engine appeared to be locked out. The Rover Street Wise differed from the Rover 25, because the car some additional body panels fitted and a raised height. The car was said at the time to look a little outdated, but to the trade’s surprise, the car took off and sold well. To some people the car was a tough little car and it looked the part too.

The Rover Street Wise was built from 2003 to 2005, when the last one rolled off the assembly line at the Longbridge Plant. Over the life of the cars, known faults have reared there ugly heads, including a faulty Security Control Unit (SCU). This fault comes in all sorts of forms from, the horn not working or another small electrical item such as the electric windows not

rover street wise

Timing belt just visible

working, to bigger problems, with the central locking, alarm and immobilisers knocked the car out of commission. If you had such a problem then you were not able to drive the car at all.

Dealers were rubbing their hands, charging anything from £700 to £1000 for a new SCU fitting. However the car that we had in was another problem. The owner of the car had lent it to his friend for the day. The friend went shopping and when he got back to the and tried to start it, he heard a loud bang and the engine acted as though it was dead, in fact the engine had locked.

Rover Street Wise engine had locked?

This can happen when a car runs out of engine oil, but with this car this was not the case. The AA brought the car to my garage here in Halifax in the UK and Ryan took a look, to see what he could find wrong with the car. The car owner was not one of our regular customers and it turned out that he had previously had a timing belt fitted at the garage where he normally goes.

Suspecting that this might be the seat of the problem we started to take a look at the timing belt area. There was the problem, the engine had locked because the timing tension-er had come loose and the timing belt had jumped three cogs. This had caused the valves on the engine to close. The exhaust valve closed and so would not release the gases or the pressure and so the engine would not turn and was locked.

The Rover Street Wise owner was very lucky that the valves did not cause any damage to the cylinder head itself as is the usual scenario when a timing belt slips or breaks, it normally makes a mess of the engine and can be very costly, that is why you must replace the timing belt at the times designated by the car manufacturers, and if possible with Rover Street Wise genuine Parts. The guy was very lucky indeed.

The Rover Street Wise owner gave us permission to carry out any work that was required, and he would try to claim off the garage that did the original job, a couple of weeks before.

 Rover Street Wise

Timing markings done in tip-ex marker to align the cogs teeth on the Rover Street Wise

Ryan began the work by removing the other two auxiliary belts (fan belts) and then supported the engine before removing the engine mounting.

He removed the timing belt cover and then marked the sprockets with white tip-ex

to mark where the original setting was to assess how far one of the cams was out of alignment due to the timing belt previously skipping some cogs. He then consulted the auto-data computer program to find he correct settings for this type of engine. Ryan them proceeded to mark-up the correct setting  using a ruler to make sure that the cogs were straight and marking the cogs in the correct position.

Ryan then built the parts back up and the engine then run fine. This is what I enjoy most about owning a garage, the fact that we just do not know what we might get in next. The owner picked up his and his friend was very relieved because he thought that he had blown up his friend’s engine.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Rover Cars Tyres online from our website www.pellontyres.co.uk by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Timing Belt Needs Changing Sir? the dreaded words from your mechanic?

Change your  Timing Belt it’s imperative?

When our customers are having a service to their car, there are certain things that we will report to them when their cars service is complete. What we do which is what most garages do

timing belt

This Ford Fiesta cylinder head was badly damaged because the timing belt broke when the car engine was running.

nowadays, is to take a contact number of the person who’s car it is having a service. Before mobile phones this would have been more difficult to do, but now most of our customers have some sort of mobile phone or other.

The things we report on are such things as tyres or worn steering parts, these can be changed later on in the day if the customer is contacted and we will have time to carry out the repairs. One important thing though is the Timing or cam belt. The Timing Belt Kits come in two types ,the chain type, which as the word say’s is very similar to a motor bike chain and a rubber looking belt, that looks very similar to a fan belt or the belt that drives your washing machine or spin dryer.

This is made out of very strong material similar to the materials that tyres are made from. The importance of the timing belt cannot be overstressed. If the belt breaks in use then the engine can be damaged beyond repair. When we carry out a service we always check in the Autodata online manual, for the exact time for the belt to be changed. Sometimes it will state a Timing Belt Intervals and other times it may state a time period, but usually it will be between 60000miles and 100000 miles when the new belt should be fitted.

This is also important to know if you buy a second hand car. I have known customers who have had a car for a couple of months and their timing belt has snapped leaving them with a

timing belt

Timing Belt showing fitment on the pulleys

blown up engine and no redress from the person that they bought the Old Cars from, so if you buy a second hand car you must only buy one with a history record and the knowledge of the timing belt, otherwise you could be caught out with a huge repair bill, always ask about the timing belt?

A simple explanation of what this important part does is as follows; the timing belt is used to turn the camshaft at exactly half the speed of the crankshaft. Your camshaft controls the opening and closing of the valves in time to the pistons going up and down the engines cylinders. The camshaft belt runs on pulleys at the end of each important part and very often also drives the water pump. Should the belt break; then all these other parts simply smash into each, other causing major damage to the car’s engine.

The timing belt is spinning at tremendous speed and generates much heat,

so the belt is subject to many pressures and eventually starts to break up and cracking starts to appear, once again very similar to tyres. Perhaps you can see now why it is so important to change the belt at the correct time, we also recommend that you change the water pump at the same time. The water pump runs on a bearing and the bearings tend to wear out at the same time. If the water pump is not changed and goes at a later date then the garage will have all the same work to carry out all over again.

Many different companies makes of timing belt but we prefer to use Unipart belts, because as a Unipart Car Care Centre, our customers are covered under a warranty should anything go wrong with the part or the fitting of your new belt. You will be covered across the whole of the mainland UK, under the terms of the warranty a great protection to have.

So to finalise if your garage warns you that the timing belt is due for a change well get it done as soon as you can afford to, before the thing breaks and causes much more damage to the car and to your wallet or purse.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger

timing belt

Damaged caused by a broken timing belt

days, before starting my first business. I now own a garage and MOT testing centre, here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.