Timing Belt Replacement
Proper maintenance will save you serious money and when it comes to your timing belt the perfect example is replacing the belt. It is relatively easy and in comparison not doing so causes major damage resulting in serious costs! We tell our Ithaca drivers that this is one item on the maintenance list we feel you "must" replace based on the vehicle's recommended service or earlier if your driving habits have impacted the integrity of your timing belt. Here at Autoworks, we have seen first-hand exactly what happens when drivers miss that manufacturer's recommended maintenance.
How important is this service?
The timing belt drives the water pump in 60% of the vehicles on the road. The labor cost of replacing the water pump is significantly higher than the cost of the pump. While replacing the timing belt, it is cost-effective to replace the water pump. We highly recommend replacing the timing belt pulleys and tensioners. The tensioner applies pressure to the timing belt keeping it tight, while the pulleys keep the timing belt in line. These components are sealed units that contain bearings (they cannot be lubricated on a regular basis). The bearings wear out over time and may seize, causing the timing belt to come off, which can cause major internal engine damage. Ignoring the replacement of a timing belt as a part of scheduled maintenance could result in major engine failure down the road.
The timing belt essentially connects the bottom half of your engine to the top half, driving the camshafts which open the valves at precisely the right moment. In the majority of cars, the timing belt drives the water pump, which replacing can become very pricey. Issues with the timing belt can also cause major internal engine problems and even engine failure, which just adds more and more to the necessary services. Any amount of slack causes a decrease in performance in most cases, a broken timing belt will cost you an engine, or at least an expensive repair.
Don't wait until the timing belt breaks! Like other belts on your vehicle, timing belts wear out due to mechanical wear and age. Dry rot and constant movement are both factors in timing belt failure. The difference is, a timing belt can’t be readily seen just by popping the hood, and it isn’t as simple as installing a new one if yours snaps or falls off. For this reason, it is essential to have yours replaced at the recommended age or mileage, or sooner, typically in less than 100,000 miles. If the belt breaks, then the car will not start and you may hear a squeaking noise. Knowing this will equip you with the knowledge to get the right service for your vehicle. This preemptive measure is one you won’t regret, as it’ll save you a lot of money and anxiety in the long run.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Timing Belt?
- Suggested service intervals every 60,000 miles unless your manufacturer specify longer
- Abnormal squeaking coming from the timing cover area.
- If the timing belt breaks, the car will not start.
If it’s time to replace your timing belt, or you aren’t sure when or if your timing belt has been replaced before, have one of our expert mechanics at Autoworks in Ithaca, NY take a look. We want your car to have the most longevity as well as durability. Bring your car, truck, or SUV by anytime and let one of our professional technicians take care of you. Whether it’s something as important as a timing belt, or as routine as an oil change, we have you covered.
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