Car Won’t Start After Timing Belt Change

Car Won’t Start After Timing Belt Change

Car Does Not Start After Timing Belt Change

After changing the timing belt, the car would not start. On some engines, changing the timing belt can be a difficult task. To access to the timing belt, you may need to remove a number of plastic covers and other engine components. When everything is put back together, the car sometimes won’t start.

If your car won’t start following a timing belt change, it’s most likely because the engine timing hasn’t been adjusted correctly. A lack of fuel pressure, a problem with the spark plugs, or a fault with the starting motor can also cause it.

It might be tough to figure out why a car won’t start after a new timing belt has been installed. The first thing you should do is double-check that the engine timing is adjusted correctly. Make sure the engine is adjusted to top dead center (TDC) while installing a new timing belt, so the piston in the first engine cylinder is at its maximum position in the compression cycle. The crankshaft and camshaft are normally aligned with their respective markers on the engine block.

Six Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start After Changing Your Timing Belt

Timing belt replacement is one of those operations that varies greatly from vehicle to vehicle. To get to the timing belt, you normally have to remove a variety of plastic covers and auxiliary pieces. The duty of locking the camshaft to guarantee that the timing remains set when the belt is removed is also required.

This varies per vehicle and frequently necessitates the use of a specialized tool developed for a specific engine block.

When it comes to changing the timing belt, there are several potential for mistake. The most common reason for a car not starting after a new timing belt has been installed is that the engine timing is incorrect.

If the car won’t start after the new timing belt is installed, go over each step again and double-check everything.

1. The timing belt was not properly installed.

The timing belt has been installed improperly, which is probably the most common reason the engine won’t turn over. This indicates that the belt is either too loose, too tight, or not properly positioned on the camshaft/crankshaft teeth.

When replacing a timing belt, it’s critical to ensure that the replacement belt is a perfect match for the old one. It must be the exact same thickness, breadth, and length, as well as have the same number of grooves. Assuming the belt is right, make sure it is tensioned properly and that the grooves on the belt are properly aligned with the teeth of the camshaft and crankshaft.

An automated timing belt tensioner is standard on most current cars. This means you won’t have to worry about the belt being tight enough while it’s in place. It is, nevertheless, critical to replace the tensioner at the same time as the timing belt. Tensioners can lose their capacity to keep the belt in place, causing the belt to jump a tooth or come off entirely. If the car is older, you may need to manually tighten the timing belt before starting the engine.

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It’s also crucial that the timing markings on the belt correspond to those on the crankshaft and camshaft. If the engine has two overhead camshafts, the belt must be installed such that it is neither excessively tight or too loose over the top of the camshafts. Count the number of grooves on the belt between the top teeth on each camshaft sprocket to determine this.

2. The starter motor has not been correctly re-mounted.

To change the timing belt, you may need to remove the starting motor.

It can prevent the car from starting if it is not correctly replaced.

When changing the timing belt, the crankshaft pulley must normally be locked in place so that the crankshaft bolt may be removed. Auxiliary belts, such as those that drive the water pump or the air conditioning, are turned by the crankshaft in most cars. It may be required to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt in order to access the timing belt.

The flywheel is the greatest way to keep the crankshaft in place. Remove the starting motor and use a flywheel lock tool or a big wedge such as a screwdriver or metal bar to keep the starter ring gear in place.

It’s crucial that the starter bendix aligns up with the ring gear on the flywheel so that it may engage correctly when the starter is activated while reinstalling the starter motor. It’s also crucial to double-check that the positive and negative leads are properly connected and that all connections are secure.

3. Ignition coils are not properly reconnected.

To gain access to the timing belt, it’s typically required to remove the ignition coils or spark plug leads, however this isn’t always necessary. Individual ignition coils (COP – coil on plug) for each spark plug are common in newer cars, but older vehicles have a distributor with spark plug leads running to each spark plug.

It’s crucial to take note of how and in what order the ignition coil and spark plug leads are connected before removing them. Ignition coil packs can be reinstalled in any sequence, and they don’t have to be fitted on the same cylinder as before.

The wiring sequence, on the other hand, is critical. When it comes to coil packs, each ignition coil’s wire is generally only long enough to reach the relevant coil, making it impossible to make a mistake. It is possible to make a mistake if your car has a distributor pack and spark plug leads. Make a note of each lead before removing it so that you can replace it on the correct spark plug.

4. Insufficient gasoline at the appropriate moment.

The ignition and firing sequence of the spark plugs are controlled by the timing belt. Fuel will not be supplied to the combustion chambers at the correct moment if the timing belt is installed incorrectly, and the car will not start.

The flow of gasoline and the operation of the fuel pump are also determined by the position of the crankshaft and camshaft. The ECU will get contradictory information from the crankshaft and camshaft sensors if the engine’s timing is wrong, causing the engine to misfire.

You may need to separate sections of the gasoline delivery system, such as the fuel injectors, fuel filter, or even the fuel pump, to replace the timing belt.

If these parts are not properly restored, difficulties with the fuel system supplying gasoline at the correct time and pressure will arise.

5. There’s an issue with the spark plugs.

A issue with one or more spark plugs is another typical reason why a car won’t start after changing the timing belt. In order to reach the timing belt, it’s typically essential to remove the ignition coils or detach the spark plug leads, as described above. As a result, it’s critical that everything be reassembled in the appropriate order and securely so that each spark plug can fire properly when needed.

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The spark plug is also important in the ignition sequence of the engine’s combustion cycle. If the timing is incorrectly adjusted, the spark plug will ignite at the incorrect moment, increasing the likelihood of the engine failing to start or operate properly. You may also review the effects of Retarding Ignition Timing.

6. Sensors that have been left disconnected or that have been damaged.

As part of the timing belt repair process, it’s frequently required to unhook sensors or cables. The ignition coils must generally be removed, as stated above. It’s also possible that you’ll need to unplug the camshaft and crankshaft sensors, as well as additional sensors like the mass airflow sensor (if you need to remove the air filter box for access).

If the car still won’t start after everything has been reinstalled, double-check the sensor connections to ensure they are secure. If a sensor, such as one of the camshaft sensors, is destroyed, the ECU will be unable to adjust engine timing and the car will not start.

If feasible, perform a diagnostic to discover if the ECU has any engine error codes that might indicate a bad sensor. P0340 is a typical camshaft sensor error number, whereas P0335 indicates a malfunctioning crankshaft sensor.

Popular Video Car Won’t Start After Timing Belt Change

Why won’t my car start after I installed a new timing belt? So, what’s next?

If the engine still won’t start after you’ve installed the new timing belt and replaced any missing components or sensors, you’ll need to do a few easy tests to verify you haven’t neglected anything.

Here are a few things to look into to assist you figure out what’s causing the issue.

1. Make sure the time is correct.

When installing a new timing belt, this is the most crucial step. Double-check that the new belt is securely fastened. Make that the belt is positioned properly on the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets and that it is installed in the correct orientation. Turn the engine clockwise to top dead center and double-check that all of the timing markings are aligned with the new belt. You should also double-check that the belt is properly tensioned and that nothing is obstructing the belt’s smooth movement.

2. Make sure the spark plugs are in good shape.

Check that each spark plug is correctly installed and that the proper ignition coil is connected to the corresponding spark plug. If the engine is older, ensure sure the distributor is correctly reinstalled and the spark plug leads are securely fastened. If everything appears to be in working order but the engine still won’t start, you’ll need to remove and clean the spark plug lead contacts and spark plugs before reinstalling.

3. Verify the fuel pressure.

A lack of gasoline pressure at the fuel rail is another reason why your car could not start. You may need to prime the lines again to restore fuel pressure and eliminate any airlocks if you changed one of the fuel lines or removed the fuel filter or injectors to obtain better access. If you suspect a problem with fuel getting to the fuel rail, you’ll need to connect a diagnostic tool to measure the fuel pressure and pinpoint where it’s dropping off. Fuel pressure-related engine fault codes P0087 and P0193 are prevalent.

4. Verify that the starter has been correctly reinstalled.

If you removed the starting motor to lock the flywheel, double-check that it has been correctly reinstalled. Make sure the starter is correctly installed and the mounting nuts are snug. Ensure that the wiring has been properly reinstalled and is secure. If the starter does not turn at all, make sure the battery is charged and connected.

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5. Make sure all other hoses are in good working order.

If you’ve removed any additional hoses, such as turbo or vacuum hoses, double-check that they’ve been properly rejoined. A large vacuum leak might prevent the engine from starting or cause it to shut out quickly when it does. Vacuum hoses are generally installed on engines, and the number of them varies depending on the type.

It’s also a good idea to double-check that the air filter is correctly reinstalled and that any hoses or pipes leading to or from the air filter box are securely connected.


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Q.1) Is it possible for a timing belt to fail due to a lack of oil?

No, a timing belt will not break due to a lack of lubrication. The timing belt, on the other hand, might snap if the engine has an indirect seizure due to insufficient oil.

Unlike a timing chain, which is installed within the engine and requires engine oil to function properly, the timing belt is installed on the exterior of the engine and has no contact with the oil. The only way a timing belt may break due to insufficient oil is if the camshaft or crankshaft locks up, forcing the timing belt to cease rotating at one end while being tugged at the other.

On a contemporary engine, this is unlikely to happen because there are safety devices in place to stop the engine if the oil pressure drops too low.

Q.2) When a timing belt is placed incorrectly, what happens?

If the timing belt or chain slides due to wear of a tensioning component, or if it’s placed improperly, cam timing might be wrong.

If your engine is an interference engine, there’s a potential the piston will collide with a valve, destroying it.

It won’t start if it’s a non-interference engine.

Q.3) Is it possible for a car to start if the timing is off?

Engine Won’t Start: If the timing belt on the engine has broken, the engine will not start. When you turn the key, you may hear it “engage” as it tries to start, but it won’t since the engine timing belt is what drives the camshaft and crank that cranks the engine.

Q.4) What might cause a car to not start after the timing belt has been replaced?

If your car won’t start following a timing belt change, it’s most likely because the engine timing hasn’t been adjusted correctly.

A lack of fuel pressure, a problem with the spark plugs, or a fault with the starting motor can also cause it.


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One comment

  1. Hi my name is Renee and I have a 2014 Chevy Cruze 1.8 LT and a friend of mine did the timing belt on the car and now it won’t start I told him not to mess with it if you didn’t know what he was doing he said he did and then so I let him do it so now my car won’t start all kind of people are saying different things like he bent the valves cuz he tried to start it after she did the timing three or four times so people are seeing the valve that might be bent engine has no gas going to it all kind of things but I really do need help I need somebody to come that knows what they’re doing to come and look at my car for me I need my car really bad I’ve been having to use family members vehicles because I go to work every night so he’s telling what to do I need somebody to come help me you know I don’t have that much money or labor but I will do what it what I can it’s just people are so expensive these things have a good day

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