While servicing your car can be stressful and dry out your wallet, being aware of certain issues can actually save you money. Getting your timing belt replaced can cost you a lot, but it’s better to replace it sooner rather than later. This is because if the timing belt is used for too long without being replaced, it can deteriorate and break, which can damage the engine and cost a hefty amount.
In this article, we’re going to cover:
- All you need to know about timing belts
- When to replace your timing belt
- Why you need to replace your timing belt
- How much it will cost to replace a timing belt
Photo by Parvez AzarQaderi on Unsplash.
What is a timing belt?
A timing belt is a belt that plays the role of rotating and synchronising the crankshaft and camshaft, to allow the engine’s valves to open and close at the right times during the air intake and exhaust strokes. Sometimes cars have a timing chain instead of a belt. This option is becoming more popular as timing chains are found to be more durable than belts, which are made of rubber.
Timing belt or timing chain?
A timing belt is typically a ribbed rubber belt, while a timing chain is a metal roller chain (similar to a bike chain). Both have their strong suits, as belts are quieter and less expensive to make, while chains are more heavy-duty and last longer.
How much does it cost to replace a timing belt?
It typically costs between $500 to $900 to replace a timing belt, but it may be more if your timing belt is broken. It can cost more than $2,000 to replace a broken timing belt, almost definitely more if it damaged the water pump, valves or pistons. Besides the engine, replacing the timing belt can be the most expensive service your vehicle will need.
This really enhances the importance of replacing your timing belt, which is recommended to be replaced every 100,000 to 160,000 kilometres, or if the car is over 10 years old. However, it really depends on the make, model and engine your car has, as each has different requirements.
Waiting too long means the belt may stretch and deteriorate, which risks damaging the engine, which will cost far more than replacing it before it breaks.
What are the signs of a bad timing belt?
How do you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced (besides kilometres and time)?
If you notice any of these, you may need to replace your timing belt:
- Oil leak near the motor
- Exhaust problems
- Ticking noise coming from the engine
- Your engine won’t turn over
- Your revs start acting up
(Above information from SCR Performance).
How long does it take to fix a timing belt?
While all vehicles are different, it takes on average 3 to 8 hours to fix a timing belt. This is not a quick fix, as mechanics will have to strip the entire engine, check each part, change the timing belt, set the valve timing and test it all.
Think you may need to replace your timing belt? You can find your local mechanic on Localsearch.com.au.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not replace professional advice. Neither Localsearch nor the author are responsible for any misuse of any information within this article. For advice specific to your vehicle, please speak to your local mechanic.