What is a Timing Belt and When Should It be Replaced?

Minit-Tune & Brake| Friday, February 09, 2018

Your vehicle relies on numerous components to run, and one that you might have forgotten about was the timing belt.

Timing belts are critical components in vehicle engines, and without them, engine performance would fail. Therefore, when you bring your vehicle in for auto repair and you are told you need a new one, it is not something you should ignore.

Timing Belt

To fully embrace the importance of your timing belt, you must know how it works, its primary function, and what happens to your vehicle without it.

What is the Timing Belt?

Timing belts are rubber belts used with combustible engines, so most gas-running engines have these. This component helps control the camshaft rotations and crankshaft openings and closings of the engine valves. This allows for proper air and gas exchange, which then enables the fuel to ignite inside the combustion chamber. During the explosion that happens inside the combustion chamber, valves push downward.

This entire rotation is what keeps your engine running. When the timing belt is worn or breaks, these valves open at the wrong time and cause damage to the lower pistons, ultimately harming your engine.

How Do You Know it is Time to Replace a Timing Belt?

Sadly, your timing belt does not give off easy to detect signs it needs replacement like other components do. Instead, it just breaks, and you will find that your vehicle is not running as it should. That is why your mechanic recommends you replace it anywhere from 50,000 to 150,000  kilometres, following the guidelines of your owner’s manual.

Timing belt issues are commonly ignored because they are not something you include in your oil check. However, when you bring your vehicle in for auto repair or servicing, your technician inspects the timing belt to ensure it is strong enough to run until your next checkup.

Is the Cost Worth It?

When you are faced with a hefty replacement bill for your timing belt, you might assume that it is not worth it to replace until it breaks. However, when that timing belt breaks and the permanent damage is done to your engine, you are looking at a costlier repair, if not an entire car replacement. Therefore, most mechanics would agree that replacing it as part of your preventative maintenance tasks is better than waiting and hoping it does not snap while you are on the highway.

Worried About a Timing Belt? Bring Your Vehicle in for Auto Repair Today

Your timing belt could save you from thousands of dollars in repair or the experience of replacing a broken vehicle. The team at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres can help you with your routine maintenance and repairs. When you come in for a usual vehicle service appointment, our technicians look at the timing belt for any potential replacements. Furthermore, we can help replace your belt before bigger damage is done.

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