Timing Belt & Chain Services
Replacing your vehicle’s timing belt is an essential part of maintenance. With a timing belt failure comes an expensive repair bill – and preventive maintenance is all about some cheap assurance to save some money in the long run. To understand why it is worth replacing, here is a little more about it:
What is a timing belt?
Your timing belt keeps all of your engine’s internal parts moving in sync. The timing belt, on some applications, can also power other accessories like the water or oil pump.
The timing belt is a rubber belt with hard teeth; they lock into the cogs on the cams and crankshaft and synchronize their movement. Without everything in sync, your vehicle will not run correctly.
If the valves do not open at the proper time, your engine can receive too much air or fuel, and begin to run poorly and feel down on power. If these internal components also become out of sync, they can collide with each other and cause damages ending with a pricey repair bill.
What is a timing chain?
Depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer, or manufacturing date, it may have a timing chain rather than a timing belt. The function is the same and the timing chain will also require attention at some point in your vehicles life.
Timing chains have a longer lifespan due to the fact that they are a stronger material, are housed inside the engine and receive lubrication, but you should always check your maintenance schedule to be sure.
Some manufactures claim that timing chains are lifetime parts; however the chain will expand over time allowing additional movement. If the chain skips a tooth your vehicle can loose timing and end up costing you a healthy repair bill.
When do I replace the timing belt/chain?
Now that you know how important the timing belt (or chain in some cases) is to your engine’s well being, you need to know when to replace it. It is crucial to perform this service on time before any stretching or wear occurs to the belt, causing your engine to lose time. While the recommended mileage is usually between 60-100k, you can always check with your manufacturer, or us, to see when your vehicle is due!
As mentioned above, not replacing the belt at the recommended time could result in severe engine damage: broken or bent valves, cylinder head or camshaft damage, and piston and cylinder wall damage. This service is not one to miss!
While no warning light lets you know when to replace your timing belt until it is too late, some signs are common indicators of a failing timing belt:
- Decreased engine power
- Squealing or rubbing noises
- A check engine light
- Vibrating or shaking
- Prominent ticking noises coming from your engine
If you are experiencing some of the above, your vehicle may require some serious repairs, and while some jobs make for great weekend projects, this one is surely best left to the professionals. Before replacing the timing belt, a technician should confirm that is what is causing the issue, as some other parts can share common symptoms at the end of their lifespan.
During your timing belt service is a great time to get your vehicle’s accessories replaced as well. One includes your water pump, which shares a similar lifespan as your vehicle’s timing belt – which makes it easily accessible when you are in for service!