Your timing belt is another piece of essential equipment on your vehicle. It is responsible for connecting your camshaft to the crankshaft and ensuring that each part moves when it should. The timing belt is put under a lot of strain regularly and thus has to be replaced occasionally. Before it goes out, though, your timing belt will provide you with multiple signs that it needs to be replaced.
When your timing belt isn't working right, your engine may misfire. This happens when the belt slips away from the gears and hits the camshaft. This causes the cylinders to open and close too early, resulting in a misfire. If you allow your engine to continue to misfire, you risk seriously damaging it. When your engine misfires the first time, you should take it to your mechanic and figure out why that happened.
When you are idling, your engine should be making a relatively smooth sound. When your engine is idling rough, it is going to sound louder and feel jumpy. This happens when the timing belt becomes loose from the teeth that help it grip the gears. The belt can fall into the gears, which will cause the rough idling you are experiencing. When your vehicle starts to idle roughly, you are going to want to get things checked out. Rough idling can eventually lead to your engine stalling out on you.
Pay attention to the smoke coming out of your tailpipe. When the belt isn't working correctly, the cylinders in the camshaft are not going to rotate properly, which will impact the intake of air and thus impact the exhaust. When the belt starts to fail and isn't in sync, the air intake can be impacted, which will result in the heavy exhaust and sometimes smoke. If your tailpipe is letting out thicker smoke than it should, you will want to get that issue looked at; the timing belt may be the culprit.
Oil Pressure Drop
If you notice that your oil pressure gauge has suddenly dropped, that is a serious issue. This can happen when the belt causes the camshaft timing to be off and part of the camshaft falls into the oil pan. Sudden falling oil pressure is a serious issue that can result in complete engine failure. If this ever happens to you, pull over as soon as possible, turn off your vehicle, and get a tow to your nearest repair shop.
The timing belt helps keep multiple systems working correctly and thus has a wide range of signs when it starts to fail, from thick exhaust smoke to rough idling to engine misfires. To avoid a timing belt failure, get the belt inspected every year so you can replace it before it fails.
Contact a company that offers services like Nissan repairs to learn more.