Timing belt replacement is an expensive repair so we understand that you might want to do some research before committing to such an investment. Whether you were advised by a mechanic that it’s time to replace your timing belt or just trying to follow the manufacturer’s preventive maintenance schedule, this article will explain the purpose of your timing belt and signs that you need a new timing belt.
Function Of Your Timing Belt
Timing belts allow your vehicle’s engine to operate. They connect your engine’s crankshaft to the camshaft and play a vital role in controlling the pistons and valves in your vehicle.
Due to its importance, it is essential to replace your timing belt routinely as recommended by your vehicle’s owner manual.
How Often Is Timing Belt Replacement Needed?
In some instances, there are no obvious signs that your vehicle’s timing belt is near its end of life which is why most manufacturers recommend you have your vehicle’s timing belt replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
4 Signs You Need A Timing Belt Replacement
Here is a brief, informative video that explains 4 signs that it might be time to replace your timing belt:
1) Loss of power or idles more rough than usual – Your timing belt is constructed with “teeth” that grip gears as it rotates your engines moving parts. If these teeth break or fall off, you will notice your car start to slip gears which can lead to failure and stalling of your engine.
2) The engine doesn’t start – Obviously there are a variety of reasons this could happen, a broken timing belt being one of them. Your vehicle won’t start if your timing belt is broken.
3) Ticking, clicking or squealing from the engine – As mentioned before, a timing belt has teeth on the inside of it, which helps produce a distinct “ticking or clicking” sound. This happens when either the teeth wear off or they fall off completely.
4) Engine misfires – When the timing belt slips on the camshaft drive and causes one cylinder to open or close earlier than it should, this can cause your engine to misfire. This should be corrected as soon as possible, otherwise it may result in greater engine damage.
Lastly, in some instances, a failed timing belt may trigger the check engine light to come on due to the change in performance from increased emissions.
How Much Does Timing Belt Replacement Cost?
The average cost of a timing belt replacement can range between $250 – $700 depending on the size, make, model, and year of your vehicle. While the cost of the belt itself is not too high, the labor required to replace the belt is quite intensive and some vehicles may make gaining access to it more difficult than others.
It’s also suggested to replace the water pump at the same time as the timing belt since they’re in the same area. Though you will need to pay a bit more for the water pump, you’ll save on the additional labor costs than if you replaced it at another time.
If you have any questions about replacing your timing belt, we welcome you to contact us at (703) 352-7770. You can rely on us for honest, upfront advice & recommendations, which is reflected by our 4.9 google star rating.