Hunt & Knight Auto Repair
2701 Watterson Trail
Bluegrass Industrial Park
Louisville , KY 40299
Tel: (502) 267-5160
Hours: 8am to 5pm, Mon - Fri

Engine Timing

Your engine is a complex symphony of rapidly moving parts — pistons, rods, valves, pulleys, camshafts, a crankshaft — all of these heavy, strong pieces are moving with great velocity inside your engine. Your piston moves up and down, the valves move in and out, the connecting rods push and pull, and the crankshaft spins wildly at the center of it all. This symphony plays itself out thousands of times every minute as you drive down the street.

There are two kinds of timing involved with each engine cycle.  The first is called cam timing, the second is ignition timing. Cam timing has more to do with all of the heavy stuff moving fast inside your engine.  Both the valves and the pistons are moving, and the piston is moving with the explosive force provided by the other cylinders in your engine. Your engine has a timing belt or chain that does a lot more than take energy from the spinning crankshaft and use it to spin the camshaft or camshafts. It’s job is to make sure the valves are out of the way when that piston comes flying toward the engine’s head.  Even a slight slip in cam timing can be catastrophic and result in a complete engine overhaul — thousand of dollars. This is one reason it’s so important to inspect your timing belt for wear or damage.

Luckily unless you’ve been doing some serious work on your car, the cam timing is probably right on the money. If it wasn’t, you’d know it because your car would be running horribly, if at all. Your ignition timing, on the other hand, can be throw off by any number of little things. The good news is it’s just as easy to adjust and reset. ! The key to this whole operation is making sure the timing of that spark is on cue. A fraction off and you get an engine that is working against itself, which will cause a loss in power and choppy idle. A little more off and you can get some serious fireworks when you don’t want them!

Hunt & Knight will inspect your engine with the latest diagnostic tools and determine what timing adjustments, if any, are needed.  Our ASE Certified Technicians will then make any necessary adjustments, which often significantly improves performance.