The timing belt is located at the front of most engines, which does not necessarily mean the front of the vehicle. On the back, vehicles with four-wheel drive older and new trucks and luxury cars, the timing belt is usually located just behind the radiator fan is toward the front of the vehicle. However, the new models, front-wheel drive, the engine is located on the side in the engine compartment, so that the timing belt will be on the side. On the old and new V8 models vehicles, the timing belt is actually a chain, and on smaller vehicles, it is a rubber belt, much like the belts you'll find on alternators and power steering components.
The purpose of the timing belt is to keep crank and the camshaft of the engine rotating at the same speed. In this manner, the exhaust and inlet valves will open and close at appropriate times, keeping the portion of the internal combustion engine operating smoothly. On older vehicles, this process can be refined by slightly turning the distributor to the left or right, which provide maximum precision of the process. The new models are mostly controlled by computer, and the timing adjustment is an automatic process which takes place depending on that the computer reads out the processes taking place in the engine. Older vehicles have a vacuum line going to the distributor, which will slightly advance or delay time if necessary, as for quick takeoffs or transition, reducing the risk of pre-detonation, which means the explosion of fuel happens when the piston is at the top of its stroke. This causes significant heat and a significant loss of power.
Although the replacement of broken timing belts or chains are best left to a mechanic, those who are so inclined can change without recourse to a store, but it is an extensive process. The crank and cam pulleys must be removed and the distribution housing. Usually the radiator fan and the radiator is best to remove as well. There are painted dots on both the cam and crankshaft gear, which should be aligned before placing the new belt or chain on the vehicle. This gives a good base point for the moment, and fine-tuning adjustments can be done with the engine running. Inspect the two gears to make sure nothing broke when the timing belt dropped, as well. A timing belt without motor will not run, so it is necessary to replace a broken one before driving the vehicle.