Approximately 65% of all cars and SUVs have a timing belt that needs to be replaced from 60K – 100K depending on factory recommendations. You can’t inspect the timing belt; you need to follow the manufacturer recommended replacement. Failure to replace it could cause the belt to break and it could lead to possible severe engine damage. At Elder Auto we have a Timing Belt Displayto help you visually understand the components of this repair which include: timing belt, water pump, rollers, tensioners, and seals.

Car manufactures have specified the replacement intervals for timing belts. In an interference engine, the pistons and valves share the same air space. Unless your timing belt breaks or skips they never touch. If this happens it can leave you stranded, so regular timing belt replacement is very important.

In the engine the timing belt syncs the crankshaft and camshaft. The camshaft opens and closes the intake and exhaust valves. These valves are in close proximity to the pistons. If the timing belt jumps on the sprocket on which it sits or the belt fails altogether, the piston and valves will interfere with each other. This type of collision will cause major internal damage and the engine will stop running.

A worn or loose timing belt may “jump time” (skipping a tooth or more on the cam gear). This results in a loss of synchronization and engine performance.

Do I need to replace the water pump with a timing belt replacement?

Timing belts are very hard to check as you cannot visually see the entire belt, only the top. Some owner’s manuals will recommend replacement between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. Replacing the timing belt can be very labor intensive as the water pump is usually replaced at the same time along with tensioners and pulleys. Even if the water pump is not leaking it is best to have it replaced at the same time, this will help save money on labor. Most timing belts come as kit so you won’t have to spend more money buying each part separately.

Is there a difference between a timing belt and timing chain?

Yes, a timing belt is made of rubber and tend to wear faster, as a result this should be thought of as a regular maintenance item. A timing chain is made up of metal. Chains can go well over 150,000 miles. Chains are not considered a maintenance item. Timing belts and timing chains are made to do the same job.

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