Timing Belt Replacement

It’s Time for a Timing Belt Replacement

The modern car engine is a work of art. It is an intricate system of moving parts and mechanisms that powers your car and allows you to travel around. One of those moving parts that is crucial to the engine process is the drive belt tensioner.

Without a functioning drive belt tensioner, a lot can go wrong. Keep on reading to learn more about the tensioner, and how to monitor and replace it when necessary.

The Timing Belt

The timing belt, also known as the timing chain (in older vehicles), or the cam belt, is a crucial component in your vehicle’s engine. The timing belt is responsible for synchronizing the actions of the camshaft and the crankshaft in order to keep your engine safely running.

More specifically, the timing belt allows the crankshaft to drive the camshaft at half the revolutions per minute as the crankshaft. Without the timing belt, the camshaft would then no longer be able to open and close the engine’s intake and exhaust valves in time with the pistons.

Unlike the other belts in your engine, the timing belt is a fiber reinforced, tooth driven belt manufactured from extremely durable nitrile plastic. That is why the timing belt lasts longer, and normally doesn’t require the same amount of maintenance or replacement.

5 Signs You Need to Replace Your Timing Belt

The timing belt is one of the more durable engine belts. However, that does not mean that it never needs to be repaired or replaced. Over time, timing belts do in fact fail. So it’s always better to replace them before that happens.

In general, we recommend getting your timing belt serviced between 75,000 and 100,000 miles.

Here are 5 sign that your timing belt needs to be replaced:

Rough Engine Idling

The teeth on the timing belt can become worn out over time. When this occurs, they can actually be torn off the timing belt completely. This results in the timing belt loosing tension and slipping away from the gears.

This will impact the engines idling and may even make the vehicle stall because the camshaft timing is no longer synchronized.


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Engine Misfire

With an old timing belt, the fire rate of the engine is no longer reliable. In some cases, the timing belt slips away from the gears and fall into the camshaft, ad the cylinders will open and close too soon.

When that happens, the engine could misfire. And without replacing the timing belt, you could permanently damage your engine.

Smoke From the Engine

Like we said above, the timing belt synchronizes the opening and closing of the engines intake and exhaust valves. If your vehicle has a worn-out timing belt, the timing of these valves will no longer be synchronized.

This means the exhaust will let air in and out at inappropriate times and as a result, extra smoke will come out of your exhaust system.

Decline of Oil Pressure

The timing belt is in charge of spinning the camshaft. If the timing belt is not operating correctly, it can skip and break off pieces of the cam shaft.

When this happens, pieces of the camshaft can fall into the oil pan, resulting in a drop of oil pressure. If this occurs, the entire engine will eventually fail altogether.

Timing Belt Replacement

Broken Pistons or Valves

When a timing belt completely fails, it can snap in half. This means that the crankshaft and camshaft are no longer synchronized.

When this occurs, the crankshaft begins to turn on its own. Once that happens, the pistons come in contact with the valves that they open. This can bend the valves or damage the pistons.

The Average Cost of Timing Belt Replacement

The average cost of timing belt replacement is anywhere from $300 to $500. The cost of the timing belt itself is pretty cheap.

The bulk of the cost comes from the labor hours involved. If the vehicle is a smaller car, the overall cost may be cheaper because these vehicles tend to be easier to work with.

However, in larger trucks or SUVs with larger engines, the process is more complicated, requires more labor hours, and is therefore more expensive.

This may sound expensive, but as it turns out, it’s much cheaper than repairing or replacing your engine after catastrophic damage as a result of not replacing your timing belt on time.