Replacing a worn or out-of-service timing belt is a very delicate task that should be left to the care of a professional mechanic, to avoid possible engine breakage.
However, with the technical review of your vehicle on hand, the right tools and the necessary precautions, you should be able to perform the operation yourself.
We explain the different steps to follow to change your timing belt safely.
Explanatory video for changing your timing belt
Step 1: Is it a good time to change the belt
To find out, refer to the technical data sheet for your vehicle which provides information on the frequency of belt maintenance. Its lifespan may vary depending on the manufacturer. It generally oscillates between 100,000 to 140,000 km, corresponding to the period after which you must change your timing belt.
Step 2: Secure and Support Your Engine
As indicated in the technical review for your vehicle, you must turn the engine over so that all the parts are aligned with the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley. Then use suitable timing rods to lock the engine in an ideal position to continue removing the old belt.
Step 3: Remove all items that give access to the belt
Depending on your vehicle model, you may need to remove the wheel located on the timing side to gain access to the belt. The parts to be removed generally include the timing cover and in some cases the dumper pulley, as well as the screws securing the distributor cover.
Step 4: Remove the old belt and its accessories
You must first loosen the tensioner roller by actuating the button / mechanism provided for the trigger (hydraulic or eccentric cylinder, etc.). You must then dismantle the idler rollers, as well as the water pump and remove the old belt.
Step 5: Lay out the new belt
First of all, check the condition of the toothed pulley and the water pump and replace them if necessary. This done, you can reassemble the idlers in their place, then install the new belt by aligning the various marks.
Step 6: Tension the belt
With the new belt in place, take care to tension it to the optimum tension. Make sure that it is neither too loose, which could shift while riding, nor too stretched to the point of breaking. Refer to the technical review for all the information concerning the adjustment of the belt tension.
Step 7: Before doing the rest, check that the engine is running properly
Start by removing the setting rods to unlock the engine. Then use the crankshaft screw to manually revolve the engine several times. Check that the marks are still aligned and that nothing is obstructing rotation.
Step 8: Finish by reassembling the rest
Reassemble any items that were removed, in the reverse order of disassembly. Finally, note that the screws, such as the crankshaft pulley, must be tightened to torque using a torque wrench according to the instructions in the technical review of your vehicle.