Does Timing Belt Affect Air Conditioning? [Explained]

No, a timing belt can’t affect air conditioning. However, a serpentine belt can. The timing belt makes sure that the crankshaft and camshaft are in sync with each other. If the timing belt fails, the engine will shut off, which will cause all other parts, including the serpentine belt to stop functioning. Eventually, this will also impact the air conditioning since the serpentine belt is responsible for operating it.

This is just a quick rundown. If you want a full understanding of the correlation between the timing belt and air conditioning, keep reading.

The Relationship Between Timing Belts and Air Conditioning

The timing belt and the air conditioning have a strong but indirect relation in a vehicle. The timing belt is responsible for synchronizing the timing between the camshaft and the crankshaft. This ensures that the inlet and outlet valves open and close at the correct time. 

If the timing belt is damaged, such as if it is worn, stretched, or broken, it may cause the engine to stop running or run poorly due to the misalignment between the camshaft and crankshaft. Sometimes, a broken timing belt can cause the valves to bend. Here you’ll get to know about the ways you can tell if the valves are bent after the timing belt breaks.

Whenever the engine stops running or runs poorly, the serpentine belt will also stop turning or will run poorly, since it’s dependent on the engine crankshaft. As the serpentine belt drives the air conditioning compressor pulley, the air conditioning system will stop working when the serpentine belt stops turning.

Therefore, a damaged timing belt can affect the air conditioning system via the serpentine belt by causing the belt to stop turning and the air conditioning to stop working. In the next section, we will discuss the solutions if the timing belt is damaged.

Timing Belts and Air Conditioning Infographic

What to Do If the Timing Belt is Broken/Damaged?

Timing belts can get damaged in various ways, such as becoming worn out, stretched, broken, and failing completely. Not all issues with the timing belt will eventually affect the air conditioning. 

But if the problems with the timing belt are severe enough to stop the engine, then they can indirectly affect the air conditioning as well. If your engine stops due to a problem with the timing belt, you’ll need to replace it.

If you ride a Jaguar XF, you might ask whether it’s equipped with a timing belt or a chain; here you’ll find the answer.

How to Replace a Damaged Timing Belt?

The following steps are involved in replacing the timing belt.

  1. Taking the serpentine belt off
  2. Taking off the timing belt cover
  3. Loosening the tensioner pulley to remove the timing belt
  4. Adjusting alignment & install the new timing belt
  5. Adjusting the timing belt tension 
  6. Cross-checking the timing belt tension
  7. Reassembling the parts

Check out the following video tutorial for a comprehensive guide to a timing belt replacement.

What Else Can Affect Car Air conditioning?

Aside from the timing belt, there are numerous other factors within a vehicle that can impact the air conditioning system. There are two types of issues: mechanical and electrical.

Mechanical Issue

The air conditioning could be affected by some mechanical issues. The table below outlines these problems and their fixes. 

Clogged A/C FilterUnclog the filter 
Refrigerant LeakReplace the refrigerant seal and refill refrigerant
The condenser or Radiator is DefectiveCheck, clean or replace if necessary
A Bad A/C CompressorReplace the compressor

These are all the potential air conditioning mechanical problems and their quick solution.

Electrical Issues

Air conditioning systems in cars may also have electrical problems that make them inoperable. Take a brief glance at the table below for a short summary.

Problem Fix
Blown A/C compressor relayReplace the relay
Burned-out clutch compressor coilReplace the clutch compressor relay 
Broken WireFix the broken wire 
Low BatteryRecharge the Battery
Dead BatteryReplace the battery

These are the possible electrical issues that can affect the air conditioning in the car.  

What Causes the Timing Belt to Fail?

There are several factors that trigger the failure of timing belts. The following reasons usually cause timing belts to fail.

  1. Inadequate maintenance and replacement
  2. Extreme temperature and humidity exposure
  3. Contaminants and chemicals exposure
  4. Belt and pulley misalignment or tension issues
  5. Damaged or worn pulleys or tensioners
  6. Excessive wear or damage to the belt itself
  7. Engine overheating
  8. Improper installation or tensioning of the belt


Are Timing Belts Covered Under Warranty?

No, timing belts are not covered under extended warranties because routine maintenance components are not included in extended warranties. All components that are subject to wear and tear, including the timing belts, serpentine belts, and brake pads are not covered by the warranty. However, some of the aftermarket timing belts may provide a warranty for their belts.

What Is The Average Life Of A Timing Belt?

The average lifespan of the timing belt is 60,000 and 100,000 miles (7 to 10 years) depending on the vehicle type and model. However, improper maintenance can cause the timing belt to be damaged before ending the said lifespan.

Why Is My Car Ac Running But Not Cooling?

The car A/C running but not cooling can be caused by a clogged A/C filter, refrigerant, leak, or defective radiator. Clogged air conditioner filters prevent the compressor from cooling the air, which is why this happens. Additionally, if the refrigerant leaks, the system will no longer be able to cool the air because of a lack of refrigerant. 


So that’s it for your question about whether does timing belt affects air conditioning.

Hopefully, you discovered the solution you were seeking for. Just remember that the timing belt isn’t the only thing that can cause problems with the air conditioning, so make sure to check that it’s actually the timing belt causing the issue before trying to fix it.

Leave a Comment

Written By

Photo of author

Aaron Byrne

Hi, Aaron Byrne here. I'm an expert automotive mechanic with 10 years of experience. I work on engine parts especially timing belts for their repair, maintenance, and replacement.

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.