As a proud car owner, you'll know that repairs and replacements of broken parts can be expensive and it's usually better to replace parts before they break. Most components in your car will let you know when they're wearing out and need replacing — when the water pump is wearing out, for example, you may notice leaks and noises which warn you to have a mechanic carry out an inspection. The timing belt, however, doesn't always cause any noticeable symptoms until it actually breaks. It's important to have your timing belt replaced regularly to avoid the risk of it breaking while on the road.
What Is a Timing Belt?
The timing belt is one of the most important belts in your vehicle. If the name hasn't given it away, it's responsible for making sure that the timings of the movements of engine components are synchronized. You could think of it as a conductor, keeping the orchestra of engine parts in time and together.
It has teeth like a bike chain that interlock with the crankshaft and camshafts, controlling their rotation to ensure they always operate in unison. In turn, the timing belt controls the opening and closing of engine valves in co-ordination with piston movements to let the right amount of air in and gasoline out.
Without this control, there could be a loss of pressure in the combustion chamber or there may be too much air flowing into it, causing power loss or poor combustion. When the movements of engine parts are out of sync, they could also cause expensive damage by colliding with each other.
When Should I Replace My Timing Belt?
Most car manufacturers recommend changing your car's timing belt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. You should be able to find this information in your owner's manual or by asking your local mechanic.
It may be tempting to try and save money by putting off a timing belt replacement until it breaks. This runs dangerous risks. A broken timing belt is likely to cause other problems and even more expensive damage, such as broken or bent valves and damage to the cylinders, camshafts and pistons. Replacing your timing belt regularly, according to your manufacturer's recommendation, will save you more money in the long-term while ensuring your car is still safe to drive
If you need a timing belt replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today!