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SA-Car timing belt

When To Get a Timing Belt Replacement for Your Car

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Have you been hearing strange noises coming from your car’s engine? Or perhaps you have noticed a drop in performance for your vehicle? If so, you might want to consider a timing belt replacement. This belt is one of the many reasons that your engine can operate effectively, and any damage to it will disrupt your vehicle’s proper functioning. So, let’s analyze this belt more to help you decide if you need to get yours serviced or replaced!

What Is a Timing Belt

SA-Timing belt closeup

The timing belt in your car helps keep certain components within your engine synchronized and coordinated. These components, the camshaft and crankshaft, work in tandem to handle the opening and closing of the engine’s valves along with the up and down motion of the pistons within your engine.

Without the timing belt, your engine will not be able to function correctly, if at all. This is why, if there is an issue with your timing belt, getting it fixed should be a top priority, such that a damaged timing belt can potentially cause severe engine damage.

5 Signs You Need a Replacement

SA-Timing belt blue gears

A damaged or improperly-installed timing belt can result in several vehicle damage symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at five of the most prevalent symptoms that indicate you need to obtain a timing belt replacement or repair. Noticing any of these signs will help you determine when to replace the timing belt in your car.

1. Ticking Sound from Engine

Ticking sounds emanating from your engine is a common signal of issues with your vehicle’s timing belt. When an engine makes this noise, it could indicate that the car timing belt is too tight or too loose. This sound can also be a sign that your timing belt is close to breaking.

2. Engine Misfires or Performs Poorly

An engine that runs roughly or frequently misfires may have its performance impacted due to a worn-out or damaged timing belt. The misfires typically result from a damaged belt causing your engine’s timing to be misaligned, and certain valves may open or close at the wrong time. The drop in performance can be attributed to a disruption in your engine’s combustion cycle, similarly resulting from timing belt issues.

If left unattended, a worn-out timing belt can lead to serious damage to the valves and pistons in your vehicle. In some cases, the damage may become so extensive that this may render your engine irreparable.

3. Timing Belt Cover Leaks

Your timing belt cover is designed to protect the belt from dirt, oil, and other debris. If the timing belt is damaged, the seals of the cover can likewise fail and allow oil to seep out. Any cracks or holes in the cover may also cause your timing belt to get dirtied over time, further contributing to a shorter life expectancy of your timing belt.

4. Engine Not Starting

If your engine completely fails to start or has increased difficulty starting, then this could point to issues with your timing belt. If it is your timing belt, it is likely that it either slipped or is broken.

Although a slipped timing belt may seem straightforward to fix, it can prove to be a difficult task. Once it has slipped, the timing of your engine is no longer correctly aligned, and fixing it will be challenging without the proper training and tools.

5. Reduced Engine Power

A noticeable reduction in the power of your engine can indicate that your timing belt is damaged. This can negatively impact your acceleration and the overall performance of your vehicle, and a timing belt replacement may be needed to restore your engine’s original power.

Timing Belt Replacement Frequency

SA-Toy car timing belt

How long do timing belts last, and how would you know when to replace yours? Generally speaking, the life span of a timing belt can vary on certain factors such as the model of the car and the type of engine inside of it. As a general rule of thumb, you should change timing belts every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, or every 5 to 7 years. Your car owner’s manual may also provide more specific information regarding when you should swap out belts.

Many other outside factors can affect the life of your car timing belt as well, such as climate, driving conditions, and the maintenance history of your vehicle. This is why it is advised to inspect it regularly so that you know when to replace the timing belt in your car.

Key Takeaway

The health of your engine’s timing belt is paramount to your vehicle’s optimal functioning, as it plays a critical role in monitoring your engine’s timing to ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently. Without this belt, your engine’s crankshaft and camshaft will fail to synchronize and the pistons and values of your engine will become seriously damaged.

Paying heed to the warning signs that may indicate an issue or wear and tear in your timing belt is important in guaranteeing the well-being of your engine. These warning signs may include aspects such as ticking sounds or engine misfires, and disregarding these warnings can potentially lead to severely damaging your engine. Consequently, you will need to undergo expensive repairs if the damage is already done.

In the case your timing belt is damaged, it is advised to immediately have your car inspected and serviced for timing belt repairs. The process of repairing a timing belt can take anywhere from 3 to 8 hours, and, in the end, you will save a considerable amount of money getting repairs on your timing belt rather than waiting for it to wreak havoc on your engine.

Looking to get your timing belt repaired? Come take your vehicle down to Saul’s Autotek!

Procrastinating on repairing or replacing your timing belt can have severe consequences, including engine failure that can be costly to fix or even irreparable. Don’t wait before it’s too late to get your belt fixed! If you require Wheat Bridge timing belt repairs, our mechanics will be ready to assist you and get your timing belt back in working order!

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About the Author

Picture of Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman has been helping the residents of the Centennial State with their automotive needs for over ten years now. He finished his Associate Degree in Physics at the Community College of Denver. Saul is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and a board member of the Young Executives Network. He undergoes constant educational training through GMC, MOPAR, Ford, Snap-On, Borg-Warner, and Ozark Automotive, with an emphasis on diagnosis, repair, and improvement.

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