7 Best Timing Belt Review and Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to efficiency in cars, ensuring that components like the timing belt are working correctly makes all the difference. This automotive element, known alternatively as the rubber belt or cambelt, allows the synchronization of the crucial moving parts of the engine. It provides precision timing, including the balance of fuel-air mixture and cooling properties to power up the vehicle.

However, finding the right timing belt is tricky. This review introduces the seven best timing belts in the market today, so you know which brands to trust when it comes to this component.

Best Timing Belt Selection 2020

While the rubber belt looks simple compared to other automobile parts, it’s not a cheap job to have them replaced, which is why you need to invest in ones that offer value for money and high quality at the same time.

There are several automotive aftermarket brands out there today, but are they all the same? The quick answer is no, not every cambelt you see in the current market is worth buying. It’s important to sift through every product and find the best timing belt for your vehicle.

To save you and other owners from this confusing task, we have rounded up the seven best rubber belts for this year, along with their pros and cons.

Our Picks: 7 Top Timing Belts

To ensure that the engine performs at its optimal state, your vehicle needs to have a suitable cambelt that makes the other components work seamlessly together. Here are the top seven choices picked by our experts to help you decide which one best suits your vehicle.

1. Aisin TKT-025 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump- Perfect OEM Match

Topping the list for this review is the Aisin TKT-025 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump and for a good reason—each part is made of high-quality materials and matches original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards. What this means is that you can install each component of this kit to the assembly without worrying about fitment.

This timing belt because it allows your engine up and running in less time and at a price you can afford. It boasts an uncompromised cooling performance via its die-cast construction that enables weight and size reductions. It’s the brand you can fit Japanese automobile models without hassle and trust to deliver the durability that you need for your vehicle.

The body of this timing belt is built to be healthy and resistant to corrosion and other harsh elements in nature. The brand uses various technological advancements to design and create each component, making coolant flow channels smooth and your engine run reliably every time. 

Pros:

  • Aluminum die-cast technology reduces weight and size while retaining peak cooling performance.
  • Engine-specific water pressure minus the excess load
  • Carbon-ceramic seals guards against leaks
  • Meets OEM standards and fitment
  • Reasonably priced for its high-quality design and construction
  • Fits several Toyota models to a perfect tee

Cons:

  • Does not include crank or cam seals

Bottom Line Aisin is a leading name in OEM cambelt products, and you’ll find that the TKT-025 is both exceptional in value and quality. If you own a Toyota Tacoma, 4Runner, or other models from the brand, this kit is the perfect fit for you.

  1. Aisin TKT-026 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump- Highly Efficient Cooling Components

Another leader in the list is the Aisin TKT-026 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump since this brand doesn’t stop at one excellent product. This timing belt checks all the standards in quality and functionality, which you could trust when installing it on your vehicle. It’s a superbly efficient replacement for old or worn rubber belts and related components, ensuring that your car is up and running in no time.

The Aisin TKT-026 boasts the brand’s aluminum die-casting technology that makes it lighter and smaller yet still class-leading in cooling performance. This model is made to be resistant to corrosion, rust, and other damaging natural elements, enhancing its durability and longevity. People who bought this kit praise it for matching OEM specifications and allowing easy installation, unlike other products out there.

Another plus factor for this brand is that it’s one of the most affordable names in the market at a quality you can depend on for your vehicle. Aisin is compatible with several Toyota models such as the Sienna and Highlander, among others. The tensioner is already ‘loaded’, which means that you only need to pull out the pin until it’s installed and you’re good to go. 

Pros:

  • Matches OEM specifications and fitment for Toyota and Lexus models
  • Aluminum die-casting ensures weight and size reduction while maintaining cooling performance
  • Made from high-quality materials for a price you can afford
  • Instruction is easy to follow especially for skilled DIY enthusiasts
  • The gasket included is made of metal, similar to the original
  • Pre-compressed tensioner for easy application

Cons:

  • Does not include crank or cam seals

Bottom line Toyota and Lexus owners praise this rubber belt kit for its efficiency and easy installation, which is what Aisin delivers for every product. When you want OEM-specific components that are made to last, the Aisin TKT-026 can be your best friend.

  1. Aisin TKH-002 Engine Timing Belt with Water Pump- OE-Matched Convenience

Joining the toppers on this list is the Aisin TKH-002 Engine Timing Belt with Water Pump. It is yet another OEM quality product from the brand that matches and exceeds expectations for the best timing belt for your vehicle. Like its other products the brand, the TKH-002 leads in every aspect that matters. It is high-quality in design and construction at a price point your pocket will appreciate. You can save hundreds of dollars when you purchase this kit.

The Aisin TKH-002 is made to fit OE fitment and specifications, making it easy to install. It also boasts the brand’s aluminum die-cast technology it is known, allowing weight and size reduction without degrading the engine’s cooling performance. It also prevents excess load on the engine while achieving the optimum water pressure.

The carbon mechanical seals and body design reinforce the strength of each component, ensuring durability and longevity that you can rely on for several thousand miles of driving.

What we also like about this cambelt set is that it doesn’t come off as thick, noisy, and stiff. The Mitsubushi manufactured belt is everything you need to look out for in replacement parts because they are worth every penny you pay for them. This kit offers an excellent fit for several Honda models including the Acura and Odyssey EXL, among others. 

Pros:

  • Dependable OE geometry and specifications
  • The Mitsubishi-manufactured belt is made to fit Honda models perfectly because of its OEM quality
  • Highly durable and efficient components that last for several thousand miles
  • Significantly cheaper and money-saving than counterparts
  • The tensioner prevents leaks satisfactorily even after a few years of usage
  • Water pump features o-ring retention tabs that offer convenience

Cons:

  • Does not include crank or cam seals
  • The water pump’s cast boss is not machined and has a crackle-type finish unlike the original part’s smooth finish

Bottom Line, one of the best reasons to choose the Aisin TKH-002 is the convenience you get from its OEM fitment. It’s crucial to select parts that don’t need further modifications upon installation, and this kit delivers that dependability and more.

  1. Gates TCKWP329 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump- Convenient Power Grip Solution

Another trusted name in the market for quality components is the Gates brand, and it’s no wonder why this product entered the top seven timing belt list. The Gates TCKWP329 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump deserves a spot because it offers efficient cooling for virtually every make and model of several vehicle brands.

The kit includes the timing belt, tensioner pulley, water pump, shaft seal set, deflection pulley, and vibration damper, which you can install conveniently in your vehicle. The set is considered OE exact in the comparison rating, which means that it will enable you to replace the critical parts at the same time.

This kit is compatible with several Honda models, including the Acura, Odyssey, Ridgeline, and many more. It’s one of the choices from this list that is already a complete set, so you don’t have to worry about extra purchases to make every component work. Gates is a leading manufacturer of automotive components that many people trust across the globe.

However, along with the stellar acclaim this product receives, some critical comments mention that the water pump is failing and leaking after a few thousand miles. 

Pros:

  • OE fit makes it compatible with many car models, including Honda Acura, Odyssey, and more
  • The kit is complete with all necessary parts, so there’s no need to source each component separately
  • Great price for vehicle owners who want a timing belt that fits the budget
  • Detailed instructions that DIY enthusiasts will appreciate

Cons:

  • The water pump has a high failure rate after several thousand miles
  • Tensioner struggles to bear spirited driving

Bottom Line, many mechanics and owners trust the Gates brand because the name is synonymous with quality, which is why the TCKWP329 made it to this list. However, you need to take caution against the water pump’s failure rate and ensure that everything is installed correctly to minimize premature damage.

  1. ContiTech CK334LK1 Black Series Timing Belt Kit- Great Value Purchase

It’s a big deal to choose rubber belt kits that are of OE quality because they will dictate the ease of installation when you’re trying to optimize the cooling performance of your vehicle. The ContiTech CK334LK1 Black Series Timing Belt Kit is worthy of praise since it has every part and accessory you need to install the timing belt properly.

One of the standout remarks regarding this product is the excellent value provided by the water pump impeller, rollers with tensioner, and the Continental belt that matches and exceeds OE quality.

The water pump impeller, in particular, is metal instead of plastic, which helps improve performance. It’s a comprehensive kit that has all of the synchronous components needed and isn’t heavy on the wallet.

The replacement job is efficient and quick thanks to these parts that fit the assembly perfectly. If there’s a downside to this kit, likely, you won’t get the O-ring with the water pump. While the manufacturer ensures that this kit can be installed in all Asian and European imports, it doesn’t offer the universal fitment you would expect. It does fit several models of Volkswagen and Audi, among others. 

Pros:

  • OEM quality kit that includes all synchronous components needed on the assembly
  • Excellent fit and hassle-free installation
  • The water pump impeller is metal and not plastic, which improves performance
  • ContiTech is an ISO-certified manufacturing company, that ensures high standards of quality

Cons:

  • O-ring might not be included with the water pump
  • Not compatible with all Asian and European models

The bottom line selling point of the ContiTech CK334LK1 is its metal water pump impeller, which boosts the performance of the kit when installed. If you own an Audi or Volkswagen, this product is your best bet whenever you need a replacement for your old or worn rubber belt and all its associated parts.

  1. ACDelco TCKWP329 Professional Timing Belt and Water Pump Kit with Idler Pulley and 2 Tensioners- Total Timing Solution

What’s great with timing belt kits is that you don’t have to source for individual parts, which is time-consuming and costly. The ACDelco TCKWP329 Professional Timing Belt and Water Pump Kit with Idler Pulley and 2 Tensioners is an excellent option for owners who want to swap old or worn-out cooling components with quality aftermarket replacements.

This brand offers a great deal of dependability and quality, which are what you should look for in such automotive parts. We’re saying yes to the ACDelco TCKWP329 because it meets all the requirements of a professional installation. It matches OE expectations that you can fit on different Honda models like the Pilot, Accord, Acura, and Odyssey.

The water pump is commendable for providing efficient cooling due to its superb design. The hydraulic tensioners included in the kit are also durable and long lasting, making it another reason to choose this brand. If there’s one undesirable trait of this product, it’s that the timing belt does not have any markings on it.

Also, the cambelt might be longer than the factory counterpart. There are also incidences when the pull pin of the tensioner spring may bend, mainly when applied to demanding conditions. 

Pros:

  • Durable and efficient water pump design
  • Hydraulic tensioners are long-lasting and work well
  • Complete OE-fitting aftermarket components that make parts sourcing more convenient

Cons:

  • There are no markings on the rubber belt and tends to be longer than its stock counterparts
  • The tensioner spring’s pull pin might bend

Bottom Line Honda owners and industry experts never forget to mention ACDelco because it upholds tradition and innovation in all its products. This TCKWP329 timing belt kit is no exception, making it a worthy addition to this list.

  1. ECCPP Timing Belt Water Pump Kit- Highly Affordable Pick

Last but not least on this list is the ECCPP Timing Belt Water Pump Kit, which is one of the cheapest choices for cambelts in the market today. This product checks the marks for affordability while also delivering the performance you need for your vehicle. The manufacturer guarantees less transmission resistance and a quieter ride since it allows a smoother operation.

The ECCPP Timing Belt Water Pump Kit is made of high-performance material that prevents belt deformation caused by cracks, which lengthens the service life of the components. What buyers also love about this product is the detailed instruction regarding the product, guiding you or the mechanic in installing every standalone part.

This rubber belt kit is made to fit Honda models like the Accord, Acura, Odyssey, Crosstour, and more. When you want to extend the life of your engine, choosing this kit could be the money-saving option for you because it’s a great combination of value and budget that you won’t find anywhere else.

Pros:

  • Very affordable timing belt kit compared to other counterparts in the market
  • Offers less noise and less resistance on the transmission, allowing smoother operation
  • Made of highly durable materials that prevent cracks from belt deformation

Cons:

  • Some buyers complain of the water pump failing after a few months of installation
  • The belt is a little less durable than other brands

The bottom line when you are after an affordable kit, the ECCPP offers one of the current market’s reasonably priced timing belts without compromising quality. It virtually eliminates noise and transmission resistance, giving you a more enjoyable drive.

Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider for Timing Belts

Various people will have something different to say for every timing belt kit out there, which makes it quite confusing to find which one would fit your vehicle best. Here are several pieces of information you need to consider and use as a reference to ensure that you’re choosing the right timing belt.

What does a timing belt do?

A timing belt or cambelt is a toothed belt connecting your vehicle’s engine crankshaft to the camshafts, synchronizing these parts into position. The result is the proper closing and opening of the valves to let gas and airflow correctly.

Timing belt or timing chain?

Not every car uses a cambelt because newer models equip a timing chain instead. Timing belts need to be replaced at a specific mileage and depending on the instruction of the manufacturer.

On the other hand, a timing chain lasts with the engine and doesn’t require regular replacement unless it is damaged. One thing you should remember is that timing chains don’t have noticeable symptoms before breaking, so having a replacement job at regular intervals will prevent any unwanted damage caused by a broken belt.

What makes a broken timing belt terrible for the vehicle?

When the crankshaft and camshaft don’t synchronize due to a broken belt, the engine will cease to work. It will heavily damage the valves, leaving them bent or damaged, and could also result in damaged pistons and cylinder blocks, s and heads. At the least, your vehicle will stall and leave you stranded once the belt breaks.

How much does a replacement cost?

The cambelt could cost anywhere between $200 and $750, but there are still many factors to consider including the brand and standalone parts that you need to purchase if necessary. Sourcing every component is even more costly and time-consuming, which is why experts would agree that a timing belt kit would be the ideal purchase rather than buying each part separately.

Conclusion

A timing belt may look like a simple, inconsequential part of the vehicle’s engine, but its role is indispensable to keep your car in optimum condition. If you ever need to replace the old or damaged timing belt, you first have to ensure that the kit you’re choosing can fit your car model. You can refer to the seven timing belt kits on the list to find the most suitable candidate for the job.

Latest posts