A timing belt is a rubberized belt which links the camshaft and crankshaft on the 2.0L diesel engine. The timing belt performs the same function as the timing chain on the 2.3L and 3.0L engines.
The 2.0L diesel engine has TWO timing belts, one at the front, behind the accessary belts, and another at the rear, above the connection between the transaxle and the engine.
Because of its construction, and its importance to the engine, regular inspection and replacement of the timing belts is recommended. This belt should be changed at least every 100,000 miles.
The 2.0L diesel engine is an interference type engine. If the timing belts break, the camshaft will stop turning, leaving certain valves in the open position. Should this occur, pistons travelling upward in those cylinders could contact the valves causing extensive (read that as expensive) valve and piston damage.
Regular inspection of timing belts is necessary to prevent potential engine damage. Remove the timing belt cover and inspect the timing belt carefully. Depending on the environment, a flashlight or other light source will help to better inspect the belt. If the timing belt is glazed or shiny, cracking, torn or excessively worn on the edges, missing any teeth on the belt, or soaked with oil or other liquid, replace the belt.