What Does the Timing Belt Do, and When Should I Get It Replaced?
The timing belt on your vehicle has a very specific job. Like other parts of your car, truck or SUV, it has to work properly so other motor processes can operate efficiently. While other parts of your vehicle's engine may be familiar to you, not everyone knows exactly what a timing belt does, and how often it should be replaced.
A timing belt, also sometimes called a timing chain or cam belt, is an integral part of the internal combustion engine that powers your car. Its job is to synchronize the movement of your crankshaft and camshafts. This makes sure that your valves are opening and closing at the right time, in alignment with the exhaust and intake strokes of your cylinders.
While you are driving your vehicle, your timing belt is constantly working. This means that simple wear and tear will eventually lead to a replacement sometime down the road. You may sell, trade in or otherwise get rid of your vehicle before this happens. However, when that belt becomes damaged or simply lives out its usefulness, it needs to be replaced.
Your timing belt is an often overlooked part of an efficiently running engine. Replacing your timing belt when it is faulty is absolutely crucial to your car running properly. This vital part of your vehicle causes your engine to shut down immediately when it breaks. If you are driving comfortably down the road at 65 or 75 mph and your timing belt snaps, you are talking about serious motor damage.
When You Should Replace Your Timing Belt
Timing belt replacement should be performed at least once during the life of your vehicle. This is the case because, unfortunately, your timing belt can break with no obvious signs that there was a problem. This is why a responsible auto repair shops recommend you have your timing belt replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles.
Your vehicle's owners manual will give you a more specific replacement recommendation. However, it is always smart to have a timing belt replaced before it breaks. Aside from the obvious safety reasons when a belt snaps as you are driving down the road, you have some financial incentives here as well.
Timing Belt Replacement Cost – Before and After Breaking
Most, if not all, of the important parts of your car's engine have different “before and after costs”. If you keep up with your maintenance, replacing or maintaining parts and pieces when you should, you will pay the lowest possible price to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
On the other hand, if you wait until there is a problem, such as a timing belt breaking, you will often pay significantly more than if you simply kept your car maintained properly.
Preventive replacement of a timing belt could cost you
anywhere from $500 to $1,200. However, wait until your
timing belt breaks and you could be staring at a very
realistic $2,000 auto repair bill. This is because after your
belt breaks, your engine could suffer damage to your
pistons, water pump and or valves.
In some cases this leads to an entirely new automobile purchase. In the best case scenario, you will have to rent a car or otherwise figure out how to get around town while your vehicle is being repaired. Don't let that happen to you.
At Campbell’s Garage here in Sherman, Texas, we want to keep you on the road. And we want to do so at the lowest cost to you. Our contact details are below, and we are looking forward to helping you with this vital, and other important, automobile repair needs.