Best timing belts and timing belt kits 2021 [Buying guide and review]

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The timing belt is responsible for ensuring that the camshaft opens and closes the valves at the correct time. Even with proper maintenance, there will be a time where the timing belt will require replacement.

To better equip yourself for a potential replacement when the time comes, read this helpful guide. 

It’s also worth mentioning that timing belts are available individually as well as in kits. Here’s a compiled list of the best timing belts and best timing belt kits in the market. Let’s get to know more about them.

Buying guide

Here are some considerations to keep in mind before you go for a timing belt and a timing belt kit shopping spree!

Timing belt vs. timing belt kit

In general, automobile experts and manufacturers suggest that you must change the timing belt at least once in a lifetime. You must also know that the timing belt has half the lifespan of your car.

When you find some bad signs of the timing belt, so it’s time to change your timing belt, the performance of your car will reduce. Additionally, when your timing belt fails, all the other parts around it also require replacement.

Because of this reason, it better to change not only the belt but also the minor parts, water pump, and tensioner. Therefore, it is only wise to buy a timing belt kit. It’s more feasible to change the elements all at once.

Compatibility

As mentioned already, your timing belt or timing belt kit must be compatible with your car engine. They can differ in strength, thickness, or temperature resistance to suit a specific car’s needs. If you choose without checking compatibility, premature failure can arise.

To make sure you choose what meets your demand, follow these steps:

  • Read the review of the products below and click on what you want
  • Choose what year of vehicles you have and their make
  • Choose your vehicle’s model
  • Then, check fit
  • To make sure it fits your vehicle correctly, choose the type of your vehicle’s trim and engine
  • Finally, check fit again
check timing belt compatibility
Follow these steps to make sure the timing belt fit your vehicle.

Top brands

Top brands for timing belt

Let’s take a look at the top brands that manufacture good quality timing belts.

Gates

Gates is one of the leading manufacturers of the best power transmission solutions in the world. The company’s product range includes components like timing belts, V-belts, and power transmission tools.

The Gates timing belts are reliable and low maintenance. Their durability is so good that many buyers confessed to not need to change the timing belt regularly.

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ContiTech

ContiTech is a division of Continental AG, a world leader in engineering rubber products. This division is responsible for designing automotive accessories and items like timing belts and safety components.

ContiTech makes highly durable timing belts with top-quality polyamide fabric and special HNBR (hydrogenated acrylonitrile butadiene synthetic) rubber. The belts show high resistance to extreme temperatures.

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Dayco

Dayco is one of the largest timing belt manufacturers in the world. They offer a variety of timing belt designs with the latest engineering tech and patented belt tooth construction.

Dayco timing belts with extra flexibility to fit into different engine models. These belts feature a molded cog design so they run quiet and keep the engine running smoothly.

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Top brands for timing belt kits

You will also need to look at brands for timing belt kits separately. The above top brands also make timing belt kits. However, the quality of a kit is very different from the quality of a single component. Therefore, among many manufactures, I will recommend you to go for timing belt kits produced by the Aisin brand.

Aisin

Aisin is a Japanese company well known in the car parts industry. It is famous as one of the largest suppliers of premium automotive components. Also, it is a Fortune Global 500 company that makes a vast range of OEM parts like timing belts and water pumps.

Aisin uses the best tech resources and engineering experts to produce and combine OE-matched components for a convenient aftermarket kit.

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Best timing belts

Gates T275 – Timmy’s choice

Gates T275 timing belt
Gates T275
4.8
If you are looking for a timing belt which is suitable for your tight budget. Here is definitely your priority. Not only affordable, this belt’s performance is also very long-lasting, making it a good pick for you.

Pros

  • Low maintenance
  • Superior resistance against heat and contamination
  • Aramid nylon jackets and backsides of the belt improve durability
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Teeth may get stripped off due to sudden jumps or turns

Gates T275 timing belt holds the signature Gates quality that exceeds standard OE fit, function, and performance. It is made of HNBR rubber. HNBR (Hydrogenated acrylonitrile butadiene rubber) is durable and extremely resistant to temperature. Therefore, your Gates T275 timing belt remains cool through your long drives. However, you have to be careful about avoiding sudden bumps on the road as the T275’s teeth can easily get dented.

The timing belt jacket is infused with PFTE or Polytetrafluoroethylene. PFTE has high strength and heat resistance. The T275 stays on the rotation track so you can avoid frictional loss.

Moreover, the PFTE jacket keeps the Gates T275 belt clean by repelling any kind of debris. To further the strength of the PFTE jacket, the T275 also includes premium tensile members.

Verdict: If long-lasting performance is what you want, then look no further than Gates T275. The T275 timing belts show high resistance against hazards, so you can do long rides with maximum comfort.

Contitech CT1208 – Bang for the buck

Contitech CT1208 timing belt
Contitech CT1208
5
ContiTech timing belt will bring you the experience of enduring engine performance. The high price of this product will be not such a big deal if you only care about its reliable performance. A huge investment for the right timing belt will be a wise investment.

Pros

  • Made with cutting edge technology
  • Requiring low maintenance
  • Strong body design
  • High-performing teeth for smooth rotation

Cons

  • Falls under the expensive category

With the CT1208 Timing Belt, ContiTech brings you the experience of enduring engine performance. However, ContiTech CT1208 is rather expensive but that’s because of its material and design.

Unlike Gates T275, the ContiTech CT1208 timing belt has a polychloroprene cover. The cover will protect the timing belt from debris, dirt, and grit. So it goes about its business without having its teeth broken from road debris.

For high tensile strength, the tensile members of the CT1208 timing belt are made of glass fiber. This material enhances toughness and impact resistance. That explains why your belt will be able to handle the load of the engine without causing any stress on the rotation.

Verdict: Safe to say, the quality of the ContiTech CT1208 Timing Belt is at par with OEM. It may be a bit more expensive than some belts like the Gates T275. However, if reliable performance is a must, then this investment will be worth it.

Dayco 95329 – Also great

Dayco 95329 timing belt
Dayco 95329
4.4
If you are not into doing maintenance work, the Dayco 95329 timing belt will be your saviour. Because of its being self-reliant, you can do high-speed performances for a long time and don’t need to worry about cracks on the timing belt.

Pros

  • Self-lubricated fabric prolongs belt life
  • Round tooth profile to perfectly fit timing sprockets
  • Has a high-temp construction to avoid heat damage

Cons

  • Can overstretch quite quickly

Dayco 95329 is made of Dayco’s patented, self-lubricating fabric. The lubrication provides your belt with resistance to abrasions. This way, you can do high-speed performances and not worry about cracks on the timing belt.

The belt is made with a high modulus glass fiber stretch cord for improved precision. The movements in the engine will take place in a stable and timely fashion, so the Dayco 95329 rotates smoothly. You will never even hear a sound from it!

One thing I don’t like about this belt is that it can start to overstretch quite quickly. However, the high temperature-resistant material, which the belt is made of, helps to make up for that drawback. In case of any overheating, Dayco 95329 stays cool and continues to work efficiently.

Verdict: Dayco 95329 Timing Belt is a perfect match for those who do not have an interest in doing maintenance work. Self-reliant, Dayco 95329 keeps itself guarded against all hazards to give you a flawless engine performance.

Best timing belt kits

Aisin TKH-002 – Best for Honda

AISIN TKH-002 timing belt kit
AISIN TKH-002
4.7
Aisin TKH-002 will be one of the great kits that you shouldn’t miss. The reliable performance of each part will be a plus for this kit because you don’t have to worry about replacing any part for a long time. If you own a car, especially Honda cars, I will highly recommend this kit.

Pros

  • Water pump remains sealed to avoid leakage
  • Hydraulic tensioners are lightweight
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Idler pulley can cause noises

The Aisin TKH-002 kit has OE matched idler, tensioner, bearings timing belt, gasket, and water pump. Unlike the TKT-021 kit, here, the aluminum water pump comes with a carbon-ceramic mechanical seal. As a result, it can go on for thousands of miles without ever having to worry about leaks. The ideal water pressure for the engine is achieved without stressing the engine.

This kit also includes an idler pulley and a rubber gasket for the water pump. Although a nice bonus to the kit, the idler pulley does end up making the engine sound noisy. TKT-021 rubber gasket seal is also not as strong as it would be with a metal gasket.

Even so, the rubber gasket works great as a sealant to prevent leaks from the pumps into the engine. Aisin TKH-002’s timing belt has an improved body design and strength for better efficiency of the engine. You will witness better flow channels as the rotation goes on smoothly. The belt goes on for several thousands of miles without getting rusted.

Verdict: This kit will be well compatible with various types of vehicles. Especially, if you are Honda users, Aisin TKH-002 offers everything to be the best timing belt service kit.

Aisin TKT-021 – Best for Toyota

AISIN TKT-021 timing belt kit
AISIN TKT-021
4.7
The Aisin TKT0921 contains every part you need for a complete replacement. This kit will be a perfect fit for many kinds of your vehicles, especially for Toyota owners.

Pros

  • The parts match the exact Toyota OEM parts
  • Stays stable through all high-speed performances
  • Cooling fan bracket included

Cons

  • Water pump may easily fail

The Aisin TKT-021 kit includes bearings, rollers, gaskets, a timing belt, tensioner, and a water pump. With the TKT-021 kit, you will get Koyo bearings that are the same used by Toyota. Bearings will fit perfectly and are sturdy enough to hold the shaft in place as they rotate. You can even go for high-speed performance with these bearings.

The water pump is manufactured with aluminum die-casting technology. This tech makes them lightweight, small and optimizes the cooling performance.

However, you may notice a few cracks or leaks in the pump after a period of driving time. The tensioner bearing also produces some rough sounds when spinning. So you have to get the pump and tensioner replaced quicker than the other parts.

Apart from these vulnerabilities, the TKT-021 is very flexible. Whether you drive with sudden acceleration or de-acceleration, the belt easily handles the stress without making noise. 

Verdict: Aisin TKT-021 is a perfect fit for all Toyota owners as well as other types of vehicles. It will cost you half the Toyota OEM parts’ price from the dealer. The TKT-021 kit comes with everything to ease the installation process.

Aisin TKF-001 – Best for Subaru

AISIN TKF-001 timing belt kit
Aisin TKF-001
4.8
Maybe this kit is not very affordable for you, but the quality will make up for that high price. Especially, I highly recommend this kit for Subaru owners. By buying this kit, you only need to make the initial investment and then you will rest assured for a long time without needing any replacement.

Pros

  • Ceramic mechanical seals avoid leakage
  • Doesn’t pressurize the engine
  • Best for Subaru

Cons

  • Costly

This Aisin timing belt kit includes idler bearings, tensioner, water pump, and a high-quality timing belt. The water pump is responsible for maintaining the ideal water pressure without overpressuring the motor. The pump’s new structure has improved strength.

The parts of this kit employ a cast aluminum cast. The pieces match the OEM specification for proper functioning. The best part is that the timing belt kit comes with precise user instructions. However, when you buy this kit, it requires a strap wrench to disconnect the camshaft pulley while installation.

Although this kit is not affordable, it is equipped with ceramic mechanical seals that ensure no leakage. This will ensure you that it will last longer than other kinds of kits you buy on the market.

Verdict: The Aisin TKF-001 Engine Timing Belt Kit is a good choice. The parts of the set have improved design and reduced weight. Even though it will be more expensive than the others, I still recommend this kit for several other excellent features.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, now you’re equipped with all the information you need to buy a good-quality timing belt or timing belt kit.

If you are still wondering what to choose among the top products I have mentioned above, I will help you to make the final decision. I recommend you to pick Gates T275 for the best timing belt and AISIN TKH-002 for the best timing belt kit.

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