Timing Belt ripped after 20K, cracks all over it. Mitsubishi Galant 2003.

Asked by Nov 19, 2013 at 10:59 PM about the 2003 Mitsubishi Galant ES

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Timing belt, tensioner, pump, etc (Timing Belt Kit) were replaced on my Mitsubishi Galant 1 year ago. After 20,000 the timing belt ripped. My mechanic got the belt out and showed to me - it has cracks all over. He says it must have been defective to begin with, probably had been stored way too long before I bought it. I went to the seller (all parts are aftermarket) and showed them pictures of the belt. Their technician claims it is cracked like that because its tension after installation was too high. My mechanic says, that with hydraulic tensioner there was no way to overtighten the belt.
I do not expect to be able to figure out for sure who was at fault here. But can someone please help me at least to understand better a couple of things:
1. If there is a hydraulic tensioner, is it still possible (or probable?) for a skillful  mechanic to overtighten the timing belt? If yes, cracks all over the belt are expected?
2. Are there any limitation on how long a timing belt may be stored after being manufactured? If it has been stored somewhere for 10 years, for example, is it plausible that it looks fine, but after being properly installed it cracks and rips?
3. Any other thoughts about this situation? And I was told already that it is not a good idea to buy an aftermarket timing belt, thank you :-)
Thanks everyone!
P.S. Oh, and I got lucky, the engine is not damaged.

3 Answers

5,815

was there not a warranty on the belt and the other parts or the work done??

6,355

the belt was old and had experienced to much heat and or dry conditions, where are you located? I'm in IL and have seen belts 15 years old still in cars that aren't that bad, I have always used Gates timing belts and will never use anyone else, Most Auto manufacturers also use these as there factory equipment.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20,485

OK- a belt won't deteriorate just sitting on a shelf- maybe after 100 years- there are other possibilities- the belt may have been the wrong size to begin with- just one tooth more or less will cause problems- also, if the cam wheel or crank wheel are worn, jaggedy, they will chew a belt up quickly- these "gears" should always be checked for wear when a belt is replaced- if some sort of solvent accidentally gets sprayed on a belt, when the engine is cleaned, for example- that will cause the rubber to degrade- so, take your pick- it will most likely remain a mystery- used cars are like that sometimes

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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