The Timing Belt, sometimes called a Cambelt, is an integral part of your engine. The timing belt keeps the valves opening and closing at the right time. If these valves 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 which can lead to significant damage. Click here for our timing belt interval tool
Why do I need to change the timing belt?
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 repair and maintenance schedule.
Why do I want a technician to install my timing belt?
Timing belt repair is generally not a job for amateur mechanics. The belts are generally inaccessible without removing quite a few other parts and accessories from the car, 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 professional mechanic must synchronize the camshaft and the crankshaft with special tools and procedures. Timing belt repair can take several hours, and the vehicle will have to be towed into the shop.
How often should timing belt repair occur?
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 timing belt repair is necessary. 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 our timing belt service interval tool
What else should I be thinking about related to timing belt repair?
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 repair, even if there is no obvious wear or damage in those parts. 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 during the timing belt repair. On some car 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. A timing 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.