What Does the Timing Belt Do?

All vehicles have a timing belt or a timing chain. The job of this car part is to determine how and when your engine’s valves do their job. While timing chains are generally considered longer lasting than timing belts, both will eventually need to be replaced. Timing belts vary as to how often they will need to be replaced, but most will need to be replaced at either 60,000, 90,000, or 105,000 miles. A good mechanic will understand your specific vehicle and its timing belt and will inspect your timing belt for damages at the appropriate intervals.

What Happens if I Don’t Replace My Timing Belt?

timing belt graphicIdeally, your timing belt should be replaced at the first sign of wear and tear. A good mechanic will be able to spot even the most minute problems with your timing belt and will advise you to take care of these issues promptly. If you do not, you are setting yourself up for disaster, plain and simple. Replacing a timing belt is not cheap; it typically costs anywhere from 200 to 600 euro, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

Replacing the timing belt, however is much more affordable than repairing the engine damage that can be caused by a snapped timing belt. A snapped timing belt can cause damages upwards of 3000 euro or more so, as you can see, it’s much better just to take care of those replacements when they come due. While a snapped timing belt can cause costly damage to any vehicle, the repercussions are particularly severe for vehicles with interference engines. If your car has an interference engine, you certainly won’t want to take any chances with your timing belt.

Special Cases

timing belt detailed graphicAs mentioned above, most vehicles will need a timing belt replacement somewhere between 60,000 and 105,000 miles. Again, this is just a general rule and any reputable mechanic will check your timing belt very regularly. Some vehicles, however, need their timing belts replaced at different intervals. Most European cars, for example, will need their timing belts replaced somewhere between 75,000 to 80,000 miles.  If you are unsure about when your vehicle is likely to require a timing belt replacement or if you believe you may be experiencing timing belt issues before your vehicle is due for a replacement or inspection,get in touch with us for a free quote.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry. When in doubt, take your vehicle into us for a thorough inspection.

Things to Look Out For

If you are observant, you may notice signs that are indicative of a timing belt issue. If you are fortunate enough to experience one of these signs as a warning, don’t delay in taking your vehicle into us. Common signs of timing belt failure include:

  • putting out more exhaust than usual
  • engine problems
  • difficulty getting your vehicle started
  • car vibrates or shakes inexplicably.

These signs may indicate a timing belt issue or some other problem with your vehicle but, in any case, they warrant a trip to the mechanic.