As vehicles age and accumulate miles, it’s common for the timing belt to wear out and become compromised. Timing belt replacement is a relatively simple service to perform. However, if a worn out timing belt snaps, it can seriously damage your engine. This can cost you thousands of dollars.
The Role of the Timing Belt
Your vehicle’s timing belt is a small rubber belt that connects the crankshaft to the camshaft which controls when the valves open and close. Timing belts are developed to be strong and durable, but they will eventually wear out. When the belt breaks, the valves won’t close in time, and the pistons hitting against them begin to cause immediate engine damage.
Replacement of your vehicle’s timing belt is part of the regular auto maintenance recommended by the manufacturer. Timing belt replacement should be done approximately every 70,000-110,000 miles. You should check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations. Replacement costs vary from vehicle to vehicle, but the cost is always substantially less than engine repair costs.
Indications of Timing Belt Failure
In some cases, your vehicle will exhibit signs that the timing belt is compromised:
- Significant visible exhaust. If you notice thick smoke coming from the tailpipe, the fuel isn’t burning properly. This could be because the valves are not opening or closing properly.
- Strange engine vibrations. If the timing belt is stretched or is missing teeth, it can affect the engine rhythm, causing the vehicle to vibrate or shake.
Unfortunately timing belts can break without any prior symptoms. If your vehicle is due for timing belt replacement, do not put off this essential service.
Is your vehicle in need of a timing belt inspection or replacement? Contact us today for an appointment.