The Timing Belt, sometimes called a Cambelt is an integral part of your engine. It keeps the valves opening and closing at the right time. If they open at the wrong time, major engine damage may occur. It's better to replace the timing belt when the manufacturer recommends it, rather than waiting for it to break and leave you stranded. Most timing belt failures give very little if any warning. Our customers often say "I was just driving along and the engine stopped" If your car has an interference motor, the pistons will hit the valves.
As the name indicates, a timing belt controls the timing of a car’s engine. As such, it is critically important that the timing belt remains tight. A tensioner helps to maintain tightness in the timing belt, but over time and with mileage, a timing belt can stretch out. When this occurs, problems arise within engine. Bad timing may cause the valves to hit the pistons, which can lead to serious engine problems. These problems range from bent pistons, rods or valves, and none of them are easy or cheap to repair. Sometimes the only way to fix this damage is by replacing the entire engine. The best way to avoid these issues is for you to stay on top of your timing belt maintenance
Replacing timing belts is generally not a job for amateur mechanics. The belts are generally inaccessible without removing quite a few other parts and accessories, like the distributor, alternator and possibly the water pump. The replacement timing belts must match the old ones exactly, which may require a time-consuming custom order. Once the timing belt itself has been replaced, the mechanic must synchronize the camshaft and the crankshaft with special tools and procedures. Repairing broken timing belts can take several hours, and the vehicle will have to be towed into the shop.
Timing belts should be changed at different times, depending upon the make and model of your car. Generally speaking, most cars need to have their timing belts changed between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. The important thing, however, is that timing belts are indeed changed when they are supposed to be changed. It is important for you to have a technician that you can trust who will tell you when your timing belt should be changed. Because timing belt repair is one of the more costly maintenance items, most people prefer not to have it done unnecessarily or too preemptively. Click here for maintenance intervals for most cars
It is not unusual for a technician to suggest replacing the water pump, cam and crank seals at the same time as the timing belt, even if there is no obvious wear or damage. It is not a requirement to take this advice, but it usually will pay off in the long run. Almost all of the labor required to replace a water pump and seals has already been accomplished while replacing the timing belt. On some models the water pump is powered by the timing belt. If the water pump or seals should fail later on, the mechanic would have to go through all of those preliminary steps again. If the water pump is driven by the timing belt a seized water pump may strip the teeth from the timing belt. ATiming belt may only have to be replaced once in a car's lifetime, so it is a huge value to replace the water pump, seals and any associated parts at the same time you have the timing belt replaced.
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