7 Best Timing Belts In 2023 (Buyer’s Guide)

The timing belt, also known as the rubber belt or cambelt, is a simple but important component of a car engine. Unfortunately, like many car parts it also needs to be replaced from time to time. However, this also opens the question of which timing belt you should go with.

Well, to save you some time, we have already made research and selected the best timing belts on the market. If you are interested in knowing more about them, just keep reading!

timing belts in a car

What Is the Purpose of Timing Belts?

A timing belt (or cambelt) is a toothed belt that connects the engine's crankshaft to the camshafts and synchronizes these parts into a fixed position as soon as the engine is fired up.

This results in a proper closing and opening of the valves so that the gas and air will flow correctly and ensure the cooling of the engine. In other words, this component allows the crucial moving parts of the engine to work together.

However, when the crankshaft and camshaft don’t synchronize properly due to a broken cambelt, the entire engine will take a hit. This can heavily damage the valves and pistons, and cause the entire engine to fail. To learn more about the crankshaft, have a look at our blog post here that covers that topic in specific.

Timing Belts or Timing Chains?

Timing Chain vs Timing Belt

Not every car has a cambelt. Newer car models can sometimes instead have a timing chain. The reason is that timing belts need to be replaced at certain mileages (and how often that is, depends on the manufacturer), while the timing chain does not.

The reason for this is that there is no way to tell when a timing belt is about to break until it does and breaks the entire car engine along with it. A timing chain, on the other hand, doesn’t have this issue. Its wear and tear will be noticeable before the issues cause significant (and irrevocable) damage to the rest of the engine. By the way, if you notice that there are some issues with the oil pump.

How Much Does a Replacement Cost?

Best Timing Belt Selection

An expert would say that a timing belt replacement could cost up to around $1 000, which isn't exactly a fun way to spend your money - especially when you can't tell whether or not the timing belt has been worn down.

However, keep in mind that it's way better paying for a new cambelt than for an entire engine. So if you decide to take this step and replace your timing belt before it causes more damage to the engine, make sure to check out our honest buyer reviews of the best timing belts available on the market.

Our Top Picks: The 7 Best Timing Belts

There are quite a number of auto suppliers out there today, and finding value-for-money car parts can be tricky. It can also be annoying to handpick car parts that, at the end of the day, don't fit together. Our experts picked these top seven timing belt kits to help you decide which one would suit your car the best so before taking any decision make sure to read our detailed reviews:

Aisin TKT-025 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump

Aisin TKT-025 is without a doubt one of the best timing belts that at the moment can be found on the market. Each part consists of high-quality materials and matches original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards. What this means is that you can install each component of this kit without worrying whether they will fit or not.

This timing belt gets our praise because it allows your engine to be up and running in no time. It also comes with a price that's affordable - which many people consider super important. It boasts a top-notch cooling performance via its die-cast construction that enables weight and size reductions.

Moreover, the body is resistant to corrosion and other harsh natural elements. The brand uses various technological advancements to design and create each component, making cooling channels flow smoothly, and your engine run without any issues. 

Pros:

  • Aluminum die-cast technology reduces weight and size while retaining peak cooling performance.
  • Carbon-ceramic seals guards against leaks.
  • Meets original equipment standards and dimensions.
  • Reasonably priced for its high-quality design and construction.
  • Fits several Toyota models with no hassle.

Cons:

  • Does not include crank or cam seals.
  • Does not come with a thermostat

Bottom Line 

Aisin is a leading brand for cambelt products, therefore, the TKT-025 is exceptional in both, value and quality. If you own a Toyota Tacoma, 4Runner, or other, this kit is the right one for you.

Aisin TKT-026 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump

Another timing belt that reflects great quality is Aisin TKT-026. This timing belt checks all the boxes for quality and functionality and is trustworthy for a hassle-free installation. It’s a great replacement for old or worn rubber belts, ensuring that your car's engine works as smoothly as it should.

The Aisin TKT-026 boasts the brand’s aluminum die-casting technology. This improvement makes it lighter and smaller yet still class-leading in cooling performance. The TKT-026 is 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 timing belts out there. Another plus is that it’s one of the most affordable brands in the market.

As already mentioned above, Aisin is a dependable brand and is compatible with Toyota models (such as the Sienna and Highlander, among others) and Lexus car models. The tensioner is already ‘loaded’, which means that you only need to pull out the pin and you’re good to go. 

Pros:

  • Matches factory specifications and sizes for Toyota and Lexus models.
  • Aluminum die-casting ensures weight and size reduction while maintaining cooling performance.
  • Made from high-quality materials at a price you can afford.
  • Instruction is easy to follow, especially for 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. When you want good quality, factory-specific components that are made to last, the Aisin TKT-026 is definitely your best friend.

Aisin TKH-002 Engine Timing Belt with Water Pump

As the name indicates, Aisin TKH-002 Engine Timing Belt with Water Pump is yet another original equipment quality product from the same brand. Like its other products, the TKH-002 leads in every aspect that matters to car owners. It is high-quality in design and functionality, yet at a price that your wallet will appreciate.

The Aisin TKH-002 is made to fit OEM specifications, making it easy to install. It also boasts the brand’s aluminum die-cast technology that it's known for. This innovation allows reduced weight and size without decreasing the engine’s cooling performance. The carbon mechanical seals and body design reinforce the strength of each component.

You get durable and long-lasting parts that are reliable for several thousand miles. What we also like about this cambelt set is that it doesn’t come off as thick, noisy, and stiff. The Mitsubishi manufactured belt is everything you need to look out for in replacement parts. This kit offers an excellent fit for several Honda models, including the Acura and Odyssey EXL.

Pros:

  • Easy installation.
  • Highly durable and efficient components that last for several thousand miles.
  • Significantly cheaper than other timing belts.
  • The tensioner prevents leaks even after a few years of usage.
  • The water pump features the O-ring retention tabs that offer convenience.

Cons:

  • Does not include crank or cam seals.
  • Does not include the sleeve for the tensioner.
  • The water pump’s cast boss is not machined and has a crackle-type finish.

Bottom Line 

One of the best reasons to choose the Aisin TKH-002 is the convenience you get from its factory-like dimension. It’s crucial to select parts that don't need to be modified to fit.

Gates TCKWP329 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump

Another trusted brand is Gates, therefore, it’s no wonder why this product entered our top 7 timing belt list. The Gates TCKWP329 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump offers efficient cooling for virtually every model of several car brands.

The kit includes the timing belt, tensioner pulley, water pump, shaft seal set, deflection pulley, and vibration damper, which you can install easily by yourself. The set is considered factory-exact, which means that the parts fit perfectly. This kit is compatible with several Honda models, including the Acura, Odyssey, Ridgeline, and many more.

It is already a complete set, so you don’t have to worry about extra purchases - something that definitely could save you a few bucks! Gates is a leading car components manufacturer that is used by many around the world. However, the brand has been criticized that the water pump leaks after a few thousand miles.

Pros:

  • The stock-like fit makes it compatible with many car models, including Honda Acura, Odyssey, and more.
  • The kit is complete with all the necessary parts, so there’s no need to buy additional components.
  • Great price for car owners on a budget.
  • Detailed installation instructions that DIY-errs will appreciate.

Cons:

  • The water pump has a slightly higher failure rate.
  • The tensioner struggles to bear high-demand driving.

Bottom Line

Many mechanics and owners trust Gates' quality, which is why the TCKWP329 made it into this list. However, you definitely need to look into the water pump from time to time. You should also ensure that everything is installed correctly to prevent premature damage.

ContiTech CK334LK1 Black Series Timing Belt Kit

Choosing stock-like rubber belt kits could be the best option for someone that's on a budget. The ContiTech CK334LK1 Black Series Timing Belt Kit is without question the best budget option. The quality of this belt is excellent, especially as the water pump impeller is made of metal instead of plastic. As a result, it allows an improved performance.

The kit is easy to install and comes with all the necessary components included. However, remember that while the manufacturer ensures it can be installed in all Asian and European car brands, some say that it does not offer a universal fit. Yet, it does fit several of the Volkswagen and Audi car models.

Pros:

  • Factory quality kit that includes all components necessary.
  • Excellent fit and hassle-free installation.
  • The water pump impeller is made of metal and not plastic, which improves performance.
  • Conti Tech is an ISO-certified manufacturing company, that ensures high standards in quality.

Cons:

  • The O-ring for the water pump is not included.
  • Not compatible with all Asian and European car brands.

Bottom Line

The selling point of the Conti Tech CK334LK1 is its metal water pump impeller, which boosts the performance of the car engine. If you own an Audi or Volkswagen, this product is your best bet when replacing old or worn timing belts and all their associated parts.

ACDelco TCKWP329 Professional Timing Belt and Water Pump Kit with Idler Pulley and 2 Tensioners

The ACDelco TCKWP329 Professional Timing Belt and Water Pump Kit with Idler Pulley and 2 Tensioners is one of the best timing belts on the market. You can replace old or worn-out cooling components with this kit.

We recommend the ACDelco TCKWP329 because it meets all the requirements of a professional installation. It matches OEM expectations that fit the different Honda models, like the Pilot, Accord, Acura, and Odyssey. 

The water pump is efficient in providing cooling to the motor, due to its superb design. The hydraulic tensioners included in the kit are also durable and long-lasting, giving us another reason to recommend this brand. If there’s one con to this product, it’s that the timing belt does not have any markings on it.

Also, the cambelt might be longer than the original counterpart. We've also encountered incidences where the pull pin of the tensioner spring has been bent. One more thing to keep in mind is that it is prone to damage when used in extreme driving conditions.

Pros:

  • Durable and efficient water pump design.
  • Hydraulic tensioners are long-lasting and work well.
  • Complete stock-fitting aftermarket replacements that make installation convenient.

Cons:

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

Bottom Line

Honda owners 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.

ECCPP Timing Belt Water Pump Kit

car parts for engine

The last but not least addition to our list is the ECCPP Timing Belt Water Pump Kit. It is one of the cheapest choices for cambelts in the market today. This product ticks the box for affordability while also delivering the performance you need for your vehicle. The manufacturer guarantees less transmission resistance, which leads to a quieter ride. 

The ECCPP Timing Belt Water Pump Kit is made of high-performance material that prevents the belt from getting deformed due to cracks. What buyers also love about this product are the detailed installation instructions. It’s fairly easy to install every standalone part.

This rubber belt kit is made to fit Honda models like the Accord, Acura, Odyssey, Cross tour, and more. When you want to extend the life of your engine, choosing this kit could be a money-saving option. It’s a great combination of value and budget that you won’t find in any other product of this kind.

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.
  • The belt is a little less durable than other brands.

Bottom Line

When you are after a cheap kit, the ECCPP offers one of the current market’s reasonably priced timing belts. It virtually eliminates noise and transmission resistance, giving you a more enjoyable and quiet drive.

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Final Thoughts

A timing belt may look like a simple, inconsequential part of the vehicle’s engine, but its role is indispensable to keeping your car on the road. If you ever need to replace an old or damaged timing belt, make sure the kit you pick fits the car model.

Make sure to read each one of our reviews about these top-notch timing belts carefully and determine which option suits your car and your budget best. Remember to compare the pros and cons and then decide the best option for you.

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