Timing Belt Repair – Is it Really Necessary to Replace Your Timing Belt?

Your car’s timing belt is responsible for making certain the valves open and close at in time with the motion of the pistons. Timing belt replacement is usually among the higher-priced maintenance items, and for that reason, many car owners postpone its replacement. This can be bad and here’s why – If the timing belt breaks, its failure might cause serious engine damage. In this month’s blog post, I’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions about timing belt repair.

When should I have the timing belt replaced?

Timing belts wear out. When they do, serious engine damage could be the result. That’s why it’s important to replace the timing belt before it slips or breaks. The schedule for timing belt replacement depends upon the make of your vehicle. Recommended replacement intervals range between 60,000 to 100,000 miles. You can find this information inside your owner’s manual. The technicians at Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ, are also pleased to answer any questions you may have about timing belt repair.

Why does it cost so much for timing belt repair?

In most car engines, a timing belt isn’t easy to get at, making it a labor intensive job. When it comes to timing belt repair, it may be advisable to replace additional parts, like the tensioner, idler arm, and water pump. This is all part of what we refer to as “preventive maintenance.” The purpose of preventive maintenance is to replace a part or component before it fails. The cost to replace a timing belt is much less expensive than replacing an entire engine that fails because the timing belt breaks.

Can you inspect the belt to find out if it needs to be replaced?

No, most timing belts are hidden behind covers and other engine parts that prevent us from seeing its condition.

What kind of damage can occur if timing belt breaks?

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

If it’s an interference engine, the timing belt keeps the values and pistons from smashing into each other. If the timing belt snaps, you’ll end up with bent valves (at the very least), cylinder head or camshaft damage, and possibly damage to the piston and cylinder wall.

In a non-interference engine, the pistons and valves don’t occupy the same space so they won’t slam into one another if the timing belt breaks. Though there won’t be extensive damage to the engine, you will need to have your vehicle towed in for timing belt repair.

Is a timing chain the same as a timing belt?

Some cars are equipped with a timing chain instead of a timing belt. A timing chain is a fairly maintenance-free component and will rarely need to be replaced. If you don’t know whether your vehicle has a timing belt or chain, you can find the information in your owner’s manual or ask one of our technicians.

Need to have your timing belt replaced? Call the automotive repair professionals at Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, New Jersey. Click here to make an appointment with Shade Tree Garage for timing belt repair now.