Timing Belt Replacement
If you're vehicle has more than 70,000 miles on it, there's a hidden danger you should know about. It's a fairly small part that's wearing out, and if it breaks before you replace it, it could destroy your engine. We're talking about the timing belt.
It's a sad but common tale: someone's driving down the road, and the belt snaps. The car stalls and won't restart. A tow truck hauls the car to the auto repair shop, and the driver discovers it will cost $2000 or more to rebuild the engine. It's common because it happens to a lot of people; it's sad because it's so preventable.
What does the timing belt do?
It's a small, toothed belt that connects the camshaft to the crankshaft, regulating the timing of the valves. It's durable and takes a lot of abuse, but it won't last forever. If it breaks, the pistons immediately begin slapping against the open valves, damaging the engine and racking up huge repair costs.
When should the belt be replaced?
Replacing the timing belt is part of regular auto maintenance, and should be performed between 70,000-110,000 miles. The cost to replace the belt depends on the type of car you're driving, but the average rate is a few hundred dollars. However, as we've already pointed out, the cost of letting it break can run in the thousands.
Signs the timing belt may be failing
The timing belt can fail without any prior symptoms, so if you're within the mileage window, you should go ahead and have it replaced regardless. That being said, sometimes your car will give you a bit of warning that the belt is wearing out. You should take the car to a qualified auto repair shop if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty starting the car. This can occur for a number of reasons, but often it's because the ignition timing is off.
- Visible exhaust. If your car starts pouring out thick smoke from the tailpipe, the fuel isn't burning properly – possibly due to the valves not opening or closing in time.
- Odd vibrations with the engine. When the timing belt is stretched or is missing teeth, it can throw off the engine's natural rhythm, causing the vehicle to vibrate or shake.
- Leaky, hot-running engine. These are not direct symptoms of a bad timing belt, but if the car runs hotter than it should or is leaking fluids, it can cause undue wear on the belt and possibly cause it to fail prematurely.
Don't be one of the thousands who have to have their engines rebuilt over one small part. Replace the timing belt in time, and save yourself thousands in auto repair costs. In Mountain View and Palo Alto, The Car Doctor combines expert auto repair with stellar customer service at affordable rates, with online special offers that can save you even more. For a free quote on timing belt replacement and other repairs or maintenance, they can be reached at (650) 492-6853 .
The Car Doctor Blog
Written and Published By MORBiZ
Easy Ways to Keep More Gas Money in Your Pocket
Basic Maintenance Tasks to Reduce the Risk of Major Engine Trouble
Common Causes of No-Start We Can Fix at Our Palo Alto Auto Shop
Signs of Alternator Trouble that Mean You Should Visit Our Palo Alto Auto Shop
Signs of Engine Trouble that You Need to Know
Must-Know Signs of a Suspension Problem
Is there a problem with my car's cooling system?
What are common check engine light triggers?
Going on a road trip? Complete these maintenance tasks before you leave
Experienced Mechanic in Palo Alto, CA
Brake Failure: 7 Warning Signs
Why Is It Important to Always Follow Your Oil Change Schedule?
8 Easy Ways to Improve Fuel-Efficiency
How Come My Car Won't Start? Here Are 6 Possibilities
Top 7 Signs of Alternator Trouble
Common Signs of Serious Engine Trouble
Bad Driving Habits that Can Destroy Your Transmission
When to Suspect a Suspension Problem
Important Benefits of a Coolant Flush
7 Reasons the Check Engine Light Illuminates
Always Keep Current with these 6 Important Auto Maintenance Tasks
6 Warning Signs of Cooling System Failure
Recognizing Brake Trouble
6 Symptoms of a Transmission Problem
Expert Auto Repair in Palo Alto, CA
Stay Up to Date on these 6 Important Fluid Flushes
7 Ways to Boost MPGs
6 Signs that You Could Need Alternator Replacement
6 Problems that Can Prevent a Car from Starting
Top Signs of Suspension Trouble
Why is the Check Engine Light On?
Does This Mean it is Time for Auto Repair?
Great Traits of a Professional Auto Repair Shop in Palo Alto
The Sounds of Car Trouble
Top Signs of Big Trouble Under the Hood
The Best Ways to Maintain a Safe Car
Why does my vehicle need oil changes every 3,000 miles?
Is it Time for a Tune Up?
The Importance of Fleet Vehicle Maintenance
Is Your Car Up to Date with These Auto Maintenance Services?
Is it Time for Drive Belt Replacement?
What is Cooling System Service?
What Triggers the Check Engine Light?
Schedule Brake Repair as Part of Routine Auto Maintenance
Why Does My Car Need Scheduled Auto Maintenance?
Restore MPGs with Routine Auto Maintenance
Top Qualities of a Dealership Alternative
Could Your Vehicle Benefit from a Wheel Alignment
How to Tell if it is Time for Transmission Service
Is Time for Major Engine Repair?
What is a Fluid Flush?
Keeping Up with Scheduled Auto Services
What is Factory Auto Maintenance?
3 DIY Auto Maintenance Tips
Top 5 Reasons Your Car Won't Start
Creating of a Fleet Vehicle Preventative Maintenance Plan
Does this mean I need brake repair?
5 Times you Need to Visit an Auto Repair Shop
Are You Keeping Up with Oil Changes?
6 Tips for Raising Your Miles Per Gallon
Finding Top Notch Auto Repair Services
How do I know if I Need Suspension Repair?
Easy Tips to Extend the Life of Your Car
What is Scheduled Auto Maintenance?
How Important is Tire Pressure?
5 Signs of a Failing Ignition
3 Signs it is Time for Clutch Repair
Does my car need new tires? Here's how to tell!
What is Leaking from my Car?
The Major Benefits of Quality Replacement Auto Parts
Top 7 Auto Electric Problems
How can an Auto Repair Shop become a NAPA AutoCare Center?
5 Transmission Troubles that Require Repair
5 signs it's time to make an appointment for brake repair
What Causes a Car Battery to Die?
Hard Starting: Does my car need a new starter motor?
Does my Car need an Engine Rebuild?
Fuel Delivery Failure: Common Fuel System Repairs
How to find a great auto repair shop in Palo Alto
Common Reasons the AC isn't Cold
Pee-Yew! The Smells of Car Repair
Why do Vehicles have so Many Computers?
What Does Colored Exhaust Smoke Mean?
Does My Car Need an Alignment?
Bad Vibes: 3 Shakey Signs Your Car Needs Auto Repair
5 Signs of Alternator Failure
3 Symptoms of an Exhaust Leak
Why Does My Car Smell Funny?
Help! My Car Won't Start
3 Signs it's Time for Exhaust Repair
Why is My Car Loud?
4 Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Comes On
How to Save Gas and Money this Summer
Time For Brake Replacement? 6 Ways to Tell
6 Signs Your Car Needs Suspension Repair
Timing Belt Replacement
Understanding 30/60/90K Maintenance
4 Signs You Need Brake Service or Brake Repair
How Important are Regular Oil Changes?
Six Signs of Transmission Trouble
Preparing for Winter Driving