The euphoria of buying a new car usually pushes such concerns into the background - the owner remembers the manufacturer’s guarantees, but today we are not talking about repair conditions, but how to try to avoid it.
Of all types of timing drives, the least protected is the timing belt drive. Whatever you say, the probability of its damage is much higher than, for example, a chain. The intervals between belt changes during routine maintenance are usually prescribed by our factories quite modest - two to three times shorter than on foreign cars. However, some foreign manufacturers for machines operated in Russia began to do the same thing - they say, the local conditions are unpredictably difficult. But still, new cars rarely upset bona fide owners.
On the other hand, there are many problems with second-hand ones. Especially with foreign cars, which are usually offered in such a brilliant appearance that the modest mileage figures on the odometer for many cause complete confidence. In vain: having bought a used car, the most reasonable thing is to start from scratch your own service schedule. You yourself will change the belts or contact the service - it's up to you. But do not save on the timing belt, especially since the spread in prices among eminent manufacturers and little-known ones is only 20 percent.
In the event of a belt break, the car owner most often scolds the manufacturer, forgetting that the life of the belt is determined not only by its properties: it also depends on other factors. For example, the quality of the rollers and their installation. The sliding of the belt to the flange of the roller in almost a hundred percent of cases is caused by defects in this support. The tension roller bearing, and the roller itself, especially the plastic one, are not eternal. In addition, in some drive designs, additional supporting rollers are used. All are subject to replacement. Leading manufacturers often supply kits to the market - a timing belt with rollers. This is convenient and cheaper than buying parts separately.
However, high-quality parts are not a guarantee of success. It is imperative that the rollers and belt are correctly mounted, in particular, the belt is tensioned as expected. Engines in which the automatic device monitors this are few. This was once installed on the VAZ 2105 engine, but the positive experience is now forgotten - on the engines of the “eighth” and subsequent families the drive was extremely simplified, thereby complicating the life of the owners and the service.
Even experienced experienced repairmen are not always able to pull the belt around the eye. So, on a diesel GAZ-560, when replacing the belt, it is also necessary to check the progress of the pump nozzle, on which the angle of advance of fuel injection depends. The case is very responsible and delicate!
But still, how to check the tension, if we do not trust the primitive methods? For this, measuring instruments have been developed. Here is one of them - a kit from Contitech (photo 1). Elegant control unit and sensor with strain gauge device (photo 2). In what units is tension measured? Good question! Each company - engine manufacturer has its own conventional units for working with this device, and the instructions will help to understand. Turning on the device, enter the car model - in this case, the requirements of the minders will be automatically taken into account. Then we install the sensor strictly on that section of the belt, which is indicated in the instructions: this is very important! Now let's start the adjustment: we turn the tension roller around the axis of the eccentric until the green indicator flashes on the display. Here it is, the right tension! And is it so important for us what it is measured in - kilograms, pounds, newtons? After fixing the result, we check again after several revolutions of the crankshaft - if necessary, we adjust it.
You can act differently: without entering a car model, set the required tension in advance, for example, in Newtons, and then the procedure is the same. Which is more convenient - decide for yourself.