Why a Small Engine Failure Can Cause Big Problems

27 October 2020
 Categories: , Blog

For a diesel engine to work properly, many different components need to move in tandem with each other. To orchestrate this correctly, your engine will be fitted with an appropriately named timing belt, and its primary job is to ensure that the motor runs as efficiently as possible. While this belt is made from toughened rubber or mild steel and is designed to deal with many thousands of kilometres, it can fail, and when it does so, you'll be stranded. How do you know if such failure is pending, and why does one particular part often play a bigger role in this event?

Complicated Process

A timing chain can connect the crankshaft, camshaft, water pump, alternator, power-assisted steering, air conditioning and other ancillaries. It's activated by the compression phase and will turn all the other components in order to provide operational support.

Sometimes, auxiliary drive belts are connected to the timing belt system to provide the drive to those smaller ancillaries, but it's very important to keep up with timing belt maintenance in order to avoid knock-on damage elsewhere.

Parts Under Pressure

As mentioned, the timing belt or chain is carefully engineered so that it can cope with demand under load and high-temperature, but as with anything else mechanical, it will only last a certain amount of time. It may sometimes fall out of alignment, although this process is usually slow and may be due to issues with a much smaller but equally important part.

The Tensioner

The timing belt tensioner is, as the name implies, meant to maintain the right amount of tension in the belt or chain. It can be very precisely adjusted to make sure that the engine works perfectly but, eventually, its internal bearings will go bad. Some tensioners are hydraulically operated and can leak, and when this happens, the part will fail. Whenever it does so, it will invariably break the belt or chain so you need to keep a close eye on this diminutive piece.

Problems Ahead

If the tensioner starts to fall out of adjustment or the belt starts to slip, you will notice issues with the performance right away. The motor might start to misfire or will lose power dramatically, and it may be very difficult to start first thing in the morning.

Regular Attention

The diesel engine fitted to your truck is designed to last a very long time, but you will need to replace certain disposable parts whenever necessary. Make sure that you keep a close eye on both the timing belt and the tensioner so that you can replace them as needed before they fail.

If you need to replace a part of your truck, contact a supplier of products like Mitsubishi truck parts today.