Can Timing Belt Causes a Low Oil Pressure? [With Examples]

A timing belt is a part of the engine that controls the timing of valve opening and closing. The function is to ensure that valves are opened and closed at the correct time relative to the piston position in order to facilitate efficient combustion. Without a proper timed valve action, an engine will be unable to build sufficient pressure during the compression process.

The answer to the question of whether can timing belt causes a low oil pressure is yes, it might cause a dramatic drop in the oil pressure of the engine.

For example, if one of the teeth on the timing belt has broken off from the body and caused it to jump out of alignment by about half an inch. This may not seem like much, but the difference in diameter between your average tooth (about 1/16″ on a 3.8L V6) and the connecting hole (around 1/4″) is not even close to something that can be ignored.

Considering that it takes around two full rotations of the crankshaft for one tooth to pass the camshaft, we are potentially looking at an engine with 0.5″ or more of cam timing error.

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What are the possible causes of low oil pressure?

Low oil pressure can be caused by:

  1. Leakage from oil pump relief valve, for example: the valve flapper not closing fully when it should, the valve may be damaged, or there is an oil pump leak. Remember that any leakage will result in loss of pressure at idle and low speed with a large amount of oil being pumped through a small gap.
  2. A stuck oil pressure relief valve may also cause low oil pressure: tight debris or foreign matter around the plunger can prevent it from closing fully when it should, the plunger in the valve might be bent, causing a failure to close or stick open, there is an internal fault in the seal mechanism, or there may be excessive clearance between the plunger and shaft.
  3. Another cause of low oil pressure is a failure in the oil pump: worn gears, faulty bearings, or damaged passages. The pump’s mechanical viscosity sensor will detect any change in viscosity as wear takes place. When this happens it reduces the output pressure until the engine stops.
  4. Excessive clearance between moving parts, for example, a faulty oil control ring, or worn bearings and gears in the pump may provide extra space, which produces low pressure but will not cause failure. This can be a problem if you have an older car in which average tread depths are less than 1mm.
  5. A faulty oil pressure relief valve will cause the engine to stop if there is insufficient oil pressure. The engine may then restart after a short period when sufficient pressure has built up.
  6. Dry sump pumps with worn gears and bearings will produce low oil pressure as they wear, but this is also unlikely to cause a failure.

Can timing belt cause jerking?

Yes. It can cause jerking because it is the timer belt that controls the opening and closing of valves in your engine. Therefore, you would get less oxygen to your engine which is one reason why your car is taking a long time to start up or even refusing to run on its own.

The jerking effect will be more prominent in the car if you have more teeth missing in the belt or the angle at which it is lying is greater.

Can timing belt stretch?

No, timing belt does not suppose to stretch because timing belt does not have any tensioner.

Timing belts are made of special materials that resist stretching, which means there is no need for periodic adjustments.

How tight should be the timing belt?

There is no magic number, just make sure you can move the belt slightly with your fingers when cold.

The belt when new, should have a slight bit of play in it, so that as the engine and everything attached to it heats up/cools down, the belt can “expand” accordingly.

The tensioner is designed with this in mind. It will pull the belt tight if there is too much slack for normal operation otherwise, it will leave it slack enough to be able to expand.

Can timing belt cause check engine light?

Yes, it can cause check engine light because the timing belt is the one that controls the opening and closing of valves in your engine. With a damaged groove on the timing belt, there is no way you will get enough oxygen to your car which means you cannot start up your car or take too long before it starts running.

Can timing belt affect power steering?

No, the timing belt does not have any affect on the power steering.

The drive belt is the one responsible to operates the power steering among others such as: alternator, water pump, air conditioner.

Can timing belt get wet?

In most cases, the timing belt has no contact with water or moisture in the air. It’s protected by other components such as engine block, and camshaft cover however, it can get wet from the water pump for instance.

Can a timing belt cause transmission problems?

Yes, timing belt could cause transmission problems because the timing belt not only drives the camshafts but also drives the intermediate shaft which is connected to the transmission input shaft. If a timing belt breaks, there will be no power to drive the intermediate gear and this could cause a transmission problem. in addition, the timing belt also drives the water pump and this could cause some transmission problems causing leaking from the water pump.

Can bad timing cause shifting problems?

Timing belt problems can be a major hassle, especially when you’re on the road. Why not prevent one before it happens by being mindful of these symptoms?

For example, difficulty in shifting gears – As a result of inadequate lubrication, the timing belt may need to be replaced for smoother gear changes and less harmful vibrations.


Timing belts are responsible for controlling the opening and closing of valves in your engine. If there is a problem with your timing belt, you may experience low oil pressure which can lead to engine issues like stalling or even an expensive repair bill if not addressed promptly. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your car’s timing belt is checked at regular intervals so that any potential problems can be caught early on before they become more costly and challenging to fix.


Check out these symptoms of a bad or failing timing belt