Think of a timing belt like a bike chain for your vehicle—it keeps all the internal moving parts of an engine in sync or “in time”. If the engine components are not in sync, they might collide and damage each other, resulting in costly repairs. Because the timing belt is made of rubber, it will wear down over time and eventually break. When it breaks, the engine will stop running or the components will be out of sync, damaging the engine. Making sure your timing belt or belt tensioner is working properly and in good condition can help prevent costly repairs down the line.
Neglecting to replace the timing belt at the recommended time could result in engine failure, broken or bent valves, cylinder head or camshaft damage, and piston and cylinder wall damage. Replace the timing belt according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule to avoid thousands of dollars repairing or replacing your engine.
Often, there are no warning signs before a timing belt breaks, but a few possible indicators that it might be time to replace your timing belt is decreased engine power, ticking noise coming from the engine area, squealing noises from the belts, overheating, vibrating or shaking, trouble starting the vehicle, or the check engine light is illuminated.
Depending on your vehicle model, you might have a timing chain instead of a timing belt. A timing chain functions the same as a timing belt, but it is metal instead of rubber. If your vehickle has a timing chain instead of a timing belt, you may be able to go longer before replacing the timing chain.
If you believe your timing belt may need changed, give us a call to be sure and we can let you if you have a timing belt or chain and what the manufacturer recommended interval is to have it replaced. While your vehicle is in for a timing belt replacement, we also recommend replacing the water pump. The water pump usually has a similar lifespan and is easy to access when the timing belt is off. That way you save money on labor costs.