Timing belts are one of those mysterious car parts that many drivers are either unaware of, or they just don’t understand them. Your car’s timing belt isn’t visible from the engine bay, yet it needs regular replacement. There is no dash light that tells you to replace it, you have to look in your owner’s manual and see what the manufacturer recommends and when a shop recommends that you have your timing belt replaced, you should listen. As with many other components on your car, if one breaks, you could be left stranded. The timing belt takes that a step further and, upon breaking, it could cause catastrophic engine failure often requiring a very expensive engine replacement.
So how do you know when to replace your timing belt or if your car even has one? Some cars do have a timing chain which is often considered non-serviceable and doesn’t need regular replacement as with a timing belt. If you are unsure as to whether your car has a timing chain or a timing belt, contact us at GIC Car Clinic and one of our friendly staff will gladly assist you.
Replace Your Timing Belt Before it Fails
As I mentioned previously, if your timing belt breaks, you could do serious engine damage including bent valves if your car has what is known as an interference engine. Your car’s engine would need rebuilt or replaced and that could end up costing you thousands of dollars. This is why it is so important to have your timing belt replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
How Often Do Timing Belts Need Replaced?
A timing belt replacement is a costly repair but it is one that is necessary for the maintenance and operation of your vehicle. All vehicles are different and the repair estimate could be different based on model or engine type. The recommendations for replacement of timing belts vary and usually range from 60k to 120k mile intervals.
There are some other parts that are recommended to replace with the timing belt and these can include your water pump, timing components and any pulleys that may be worn. The reason these parts are replaced is that the labor to disassemble the front of your engine and replace a timing belt would need to be paid again later if your water pump fails or if a timing belt tensioner fails. Be sure to ask our certified technicians at GIC Car Clinic about replacing these other components at the same time as your timing belt to save you money and ensure that your car will be dependable and properly maintained.