A quick question before I start my engine.

On a renault sandero (K7m), I took the timing-belt cover off to inspect the condition of my timing-belt.

I then rotated the crankshaft until I could get a better idea of the condition of the timing-belt.

The question is..... Is it safe to switch on the engine at this point?

I didn't mark anything or count the revolutions, but I removed nothing other than the cambelt cover i.e. I did not remove anything on the crankshaft at all. I used a large torque wrench to turn the engine (clockwise), attaching the wrench to the main crank pulley bolt, while inspecting the timing-belt.

Just want to make sure I don't wreck the engine.

Any help much appreciated.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


If you are worried about cam timing and lunching the engine, if you've not taken apart any of the cam timing components (belts/cogs/tensioners), you've done nothing to cause you issues. I think the biggest faux pas you've done is using your torque wrench to turn the engine over. Next time, just use a socket & breaker bar (or large ratchet).

Another thing of note here is, you can't really tell the condition of the cam belt by looking at it. You can see obvious things, like if it was starting to fray, but during the life expectancy of the belt, you won't see it do this unless foreign matter has gotten in there. There is a reason manufacturers put a mileage figure on changing your belt and that's so it'll get done well before your engine is close to being in trouble. Do the belt change at recommended intervals and your car won't suffer the fate of When Piston Met Valve saga.

Note: Sorry for the "punny" link ... had to do it.

  • Thanks for the advice. May I ask... why do you say using a torque wrench is a bad idea to turn the engine?
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 16:51
  • 2
    @Jim - It's bad for the torque wrench. That's not what it was designed to be used for. Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 18:44
  • 2
    @Jim a torque wrench is a precision measuring instrument. It is not a large spanner. The risk is damaging the torque-wrench's sensors and calibration, therefore its accuracy. Example - you can hit a long breaker bar with a hammer to drive a socket, but hitting a torque wrench with a hammer will ruin it immediately. This could be a stand-alone question, we don't seem to have "why not use a torque wrench as a breaker bar?" already.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 1:56
  • 1
    Great answer. I don't want to write a competing answer just to add that one best be careful to not turn the engine backwards while manipulating the crankshaft.
    – psaxton
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 4:08
  • Last time I worked on a car, a "torque wrench" had no sensors or calibration. c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/image/…
    – WGroleau
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 4:23

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