A loose timing belt will rub up against the plastic housing surrounding the belt. It also can cause a distributor drive to chatter at idle. A loose fan belt may slip causing the timing to go out which can give poor performance or cause a potential misfire.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
If you feel you have a suspect timing belt you may have to remove some of the housing to get to it to feel the belt to see if it is loose. Otherwise take the belt to your local mechanic to rectify.
The cost to adjust a loose timing belt is around $30.00 but remember, this timing belt lasts somewhere between 60,000-80,000Kms. If it is around about that time, it might be a good idea to get the timing belt replaced as a timing belt replaced before it snaps is by far the cheapest repair or service on any fan belt.
This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the price of a latte, but you will learn not to buy a lemon
By Darren Gow-Brown, Melbourne Australia ©2009