Why Should You Replace Your Timing Belt

 Why Should You Replace Your Timing Belt

The timing belt of your car is responsible for making sure that the valves open and close in synchrony with the pistons' motion. Typically, timing belt replacement is considered a higher-priced maintenance item, and because of this, most car owners delay its replacement. This delay is not recommended because, in case of a timing belt breakdown, this may cause major engine damage. 

Here are several reasons why it's important to have your timing belt replaced:

When Should You Replace It?

Timing belts wear out, just like any other car component. This could be the result of major engine damage. Therefore, it's very important to have your timing belt replaced before it breaks or slips. Depending on your vehicle's make, the schedule for timing belt replacement varies. Usually, it's somewhere between 60,000 to 100,000 miles. To find more information, consult with your owner's manual.

Why Is Timing Belt Repair Expensive?

The timing belt is not easy to get at, in many car engines, thus making it a labor-intensive job. Also, when it comes to timing belt repair, it may be best to replace additional parts, such as the water pump, idler arm, and tensioner. This is all part of the so-called “preventive maintenance.” Its purpose is to replace a component or part before it fails. It's much less expensive to replace a timing belt in comparison to the cost for the replacement of the entire engine.

Is It Possible to Inspect the Timing Belt's Condition?

Unfortunately, the answer is No. Most timing belts are hidden behind covers and other engine parts that don't allow us to inspect its condition.

If Timing Belt Breaks, What Kind Of Damage Can Occur?

The extent of engine damage from a broken timing belt depends on the type of engine in your vehicle.

If it's a non-interference engine, the valves and pistons are not located in the same place so they won't slam into one another, in case of a timing belt breakdown. Although the damage to the engine won't be extensive, your vehicle will have to be towed for a timing belt repair.

In an interference engine, the timing belts prevents the pistons and valves from smashing into one another. If the timing belt breaks, you'll be left with bent valves, cylinder head or camshaft damage and the piston and cylinder wall could be damaged as well.

Are timing belt and timing chain the same?

Some cars have a timing chain instead of a timing belt. There's a rare need for a timing chain replacement and it's relatively easy to maintain this component. If you are not sure whether your vehicle has a timing chain or belt, look into the owner's manual for information or ask your local technician.

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