In the late 70s, timing belts were invented to substitute chains in effort to create a lightweight and less expensive car. The whole idea behind this was; the less your vehicle weighs, the better mileage you get. Furthermore, educating yourself on how belts operate and when to know when timing belt replacement is necessary will aid you in making your vehicle last longer while saving on pricey repairs. With that being said, not all vehicles contain timing belts as some vehicles have timing chains. Make sure to refer to your owner’s manual to see which part your vehicle has.
How Timing Belts Operate
A timing belt, which is located in the engine, allows the crankshaft to control the camshafts in the cylinder head at about 50% of the RPMs of the crankshaft. The engine’s intake and exhaust valves are opened and closed by the camshafts in synchronization with the movements of the pistons in the engine. When the timing belt is ruptured, the valves, which are extremely delicate, will unlatch at an inopportune time. This causes the valves to hit the larger pistons and cause damage.
Signs of Timing Belt Replacement
Unlike other parts in your engine, there aren’t any tell-tale signs that your timing belt is near it’s end. However, here are a few tips that will serve as a rule of thumb for when it’s time to replace your timing belt:
- Engine won’t start: At times, the timing belt can malfunction while the engine is operating.
- 60k-90k miles, routinely: Refer to your vehicle manufacturer guide to see the range of mileage on recommended timing belt service. Usually, the range is every 60k-90k miles.
- Loud clanking sounds in the engine: In some cases, if the timing belt has broken, the valves and pistons will smack against each other which causes the loud noises. Needless to say, this damages your engine severely.
- Bad running engine: The more miles that you rack onto your timing belt, the teeth on it begin to wear down, causing the belt to stretch and jump position on the crankshaft. If this happens the engine will not run good and maybe even shut down completely.
Timing Belt Costs
The cost for servicing your timing belt depends on why you are servicing it. If you are replacing your timing belt for preventative purposes, it usually costs between $500 to $900. On the other hand, replacing a fractured timing belt could cost you upwards of $2000 at most auto repair shops if it has damaged other parts in the engine.
Timing Belt Experts
If your vehicle has gone 60,000 to 90,000 miles without servicing your timing belt, bring it in to Ace Auto Doctor & Repair today to get it serviced. We have mechanics trained to deal with the most severe timing belt issues and are ready to at your convenience. Don’t risk having to dish out more money than you need to, be proactive in taking care of your timing belt. Call us today!