Timing Belt Vs Serpentine Belt: The Differences

Naomi O'Colman

Updated on:

Timing Belt Vs Serpentine Belt

Timing Belt Vs Serpentine Belt

When you’re trying to figure out how your car works, you can get a little lost in some technical terms, among those are timing belt vs serpentine belt. You might not understand the distinction between the two very important parts, the serpentine and timing belts, both of which are very important to your car. These belts are very different from each other.

Timing Belt Vs Serpentine Belt

1. Their functions

The serpentine belt carries mechanical power from the engine and sends it to a number of other parts of the car, including the oil pump, the water pump, power steering pump, A/C compressor, alternator, and air pump.

A timing belt, however, keeps the camshaft and crankshaft motions in sync.

2. You can easily spot the serpentine belt

This belt is very long and runs all the time. It is on the outside of the engine block. You can often see the serpentine belt from the front when you look at your engine block.

  Why Does My Oil Smell Like Gas? 7 Reasons to Know!

You can see that Serpentine Belt is a long, black and rubbery belt, and is ribbed on the outside. Most of the important parts of your car’s engine need power from the serpentine belt to work.

Timing belts, on the other hand, are hidden inside the engine block and not visible from the outside. when it comes to repairing, timing belt work might be charged a lot because this belt is inside the engine. Whereas, the mechanic can usually just replace the serpentine belt without having to do much trouble.

3.  Timing belts have teeth on them

Timing belts are made of durable materials like neoprene or molded polyurethane. They have small teeth that grip parts of the crankshaft, which then turns the camshaft. These two parts help open and close engine valves.

There are teeth on the inside of the belt’s groove.  The room between each set of teeth is termed pitch.

4. A broken timing belt is often almost impossible to fix

One that isn’t working is a lot more bad than one not working. If your timing belt doesn’t work right, it could cause long-term or costly damage to your engine.

Most of the time, your valves will stay open and get hit by the piston. Overheating engines and fuel leaks are the two main causes of a failed timing belt. It’s necessary to check your owner’s manual to see when the timing belt should be changed and then do it.

It’s better to spend a few hundred dollars on a timing belt work than to spend a lot of money on a new engine.

  Do You Tip Car Detailing Professionals Just Like Other Services? Things To Consider!


Both timing belts and serpentine belts are important parts of your car, but they are very distinctive in how they look, how they work, and how much it costs to fix them. It might be a good idea to think about replacing these belts at some point to prevent unwanted damage to the car.