Do I really need to replace my timing belt?

timing-belt-replacementYes, you should replace your timing belt, but know when and why and choose a good repair shop to perform the work.  There are many places that you can look up to see whether you vehicle has a timing belt or a timing chain.  Call your repair shop and they can look up your specific vehicle and they should be able tell you whether you have a timing belt and when it should be replaced based on mileage and/or time.

When and why should I replace my timing belt?

Unfortunately, in most cases, there are no obvious signs the timing belt is near its end of life; it can break, lose teeth or jump its timing. That’s why highly rated auto mechanics recommend replacing it every 60,000 to 105,000 miles based on the vehicle’s factory recommended maintenance schedule, your individual driving habits and conditions as well as time before the belt breaks or has a catastrophic failure.

“More vehicles have timing belts and their owners have become aware of the maintenance that a timing belt requires,” Dana Haglin, Owner of Haglin Automotive says. “Most drivers know what can happen when it breaks and what other components should be inspected and replaced when performing a routine timing belt replacement.”

How the timing belt works

timing belt

The high grade rubber that is used for a timing belt is made for superior heat and resistance as this belt is responsible for synchronizing the engine’s internal timing, endures high temperatures and is susceptible to oil contamination. It controls the rotation of the camshaft and the relationship with the crankshaft and the opening and closing of the engine’s many valves to maintain perfect harmony within the engine.

“In order for the process to take place, the valves have to open and close at exactly the correct time,” says Haglin. “The valves have to be in the correct position and in sync with the pistons and open at different times for each cylinder. It’s truly a mechanical ballet and the timing belt is the conductor.”

When the timing belt breaks, the valves, will open at the wrong time and hit the pistons and cause major engine damage leading to a much higher level of repair costing a substantial amount of money.

The cost to replace timing belts

Car on hoist

Car on hoist

The cost to replace a timing belt will depend on your vehicle, what type of engine and the different components it takes to give you an accurate estimate which makes could make the estimate difficult.  My best advice is to make sure that your mechanic has experience and knowledge about your car.  Ask that shop for a complete estimate and what parts that they recommend while replacing the timing belt.  Don’t be shocked when the price seems high as many other components may be recommended when replacing the timing belt.  Some water pumps are driven or powered by the timing belt and should be replaced at the same time.  Make sure that you have your technician inspect the rollers, tensioners, camshaft and crankshaft seals for leaks and make sure that if it has a hydraulic tensioner that you request that it be replace as well.

If you do any price inquiries around town, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples and all of the parts are of the same quality and the same work is being performed.  I would recommend OE (original equipment) parts.  Some repair shops require a cooling system flush in order to warranty out the water pump for an extended period of time.  If you trust your mechanic, stay with your mechanic and ask any and all questions that you may have.

Remember that you can ask for all of the old parts to be returned to you so you can see exactly what was replaced.  If you are interested in what it looks like while being repaired, ask for some pictures to be sent or even find out the timing of the repair and ask to stop in and see your car apart.

Have you asked yourself “how important is a timing belt replacement?”. Haglin Automotive is a Subaru specialist with years of experience replacing Subaru timing belts. We are timing belt specialists. Subaru recommends replacement at 105,000 miles.

Auto Air Conditioning Repair – 4 things you can check yourself

Why is my car blowing hot air? It worked last year, so what went wrong? Here are a few things that you can check to see if you are in need of an auto air conditioning repair.

Auto Air Conditioning Repair Checklist

Car interface sign and icons

1) Make sure the blower works on all speeds.
2) Does the air duct deliver air on all modes.  Defrost, Vent (face) and Floor.
3) Check the temperature that comes out of the vent.  It should 38-40 degrees while driving or 30 degrees below the ambient temperature outside.
4) Can you hear the air compressor engaging on and off?  If it is cycling (going on and off rapidly), most likely there is not the appropriate refrigerant to allow the compressor to work properly.

Most repair facilities use a UV dye that gets injected into the system so that leaks can be detected with UV glasses and a black light.  If you have had it serviced within the last year and it has dye in the system you can take it to a repair facility and have it inspected for leaks.

auto-air-conditiong-repairAll of the above items can be checked by any facility and it should be a very minimal charge.  Most facilities will perform the above performance tests for free.

If nothing major appears after these few inspections then it is time to have a certified air conditioning technician perform an A/C diagnostic.  Did you know?. that it is illegal to let refrigerant escape into the air.  A good technician will use the appropriate equipment to capture any refrigerant that is left in your system and check to see if the A/C system is holding the correct pressures.  After it passes the vacuum test, then it is safe to recharge the system.

How much should an auto air conditioning repair cost?

Hand with money and toy car

Hand with money and toy car

The 4 steps above you can do yourself or ask your preferred repair facility to inspect it for a very minimal charge if not free.  To evacuate, diagnose and recharge the system it should be around $150.00 depending on the market for the refrigerant.

If you are looking for a great place to trust to perform any of these services please call us at Haglin Automotive 303.442.8547

Free Automotive Maintenance for Families in Need

Family Service Day at Haglin Automotive

Free-Automotive-Service-for-families-in-needHaglin Automotive is excited to announce our first Family Service Day event on Saturday, May 10th from 9:00AM to 2:00PM.  Family Service Day is our way of sharing our talents with those in our community who need help.  Our car care team will be offering FREE automotive maintenance to single parent families through our nonprofit partners, Safehouse Alliance and Boulder County Circles.

Guests will receive a range of free automotive maintenance including:

  • oil changes
  • tire rotation
  • fluids top off
  • 31 point inspection

Haglin Automotive is one of five TECH-NET shops in the greater Boulder area holding Family Service Day events on May 10th. Our goal is to service 120 vehicles on May 10th.

Stop by our shop and see what Family Service Day is all about.

In addition to our Family Service Day, we will be conducting a food drive throughout the month of May to benefit our nonprofit partners, Safehouse Alliance and Boulder County Circles. Anyone who brings a non-perishable food item to our shop this month will receive a free set of wiper blades.

Free Automotive Maintenance for Families in Need

Where:  Haglin Automotive 5747 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303

Tickets: THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT – check back for future Family Service Day events.

When:  Saturday, May 10th 2014 (9am-2pm)

Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair

IMG_1310Haglin Automotive is excited to announce that we now offer Mercedes Benz Sprinter repair services! Paul is a Mercedes Benz Master certified Sprinter Technician. This allows you the quality of service you expect from a high-end automobile mechanic without the cost that is usually associated with taking your Sprinter to a Mercedes dealership. We can perform same day service in most cases. Sprinter fleet services are also available.   Google

Daylight Savings Time is March 10th – reset the clock in your car!

CarRadioIt’s “time” to reset the clocks in your car again. Get ready for more daylight! Soon you will no longer be driving to work in the dark, thanks to Daylight Savings Time which begins at 2:00am on Sunday, March 10th 2013. To ensure you are not late to work on Monday, it would be wise to set the clock ahead one hour on your vehicle’s display. If you’re in the neighborhood, feel free to stop by Haglin Automotive. We’ll reset your car’s clock for free!

Snow is here – save your wiper blades!

iStock_000022657102XSmallSnow is great for hitting the slopes, but it’s not always fun to clear the white stuff off your car before you head off to work. With snowy conditions, ice can accumulate on your windshield. And if you are in a hurry you may decide to use your windshield wipers instead of your ice scraper. Although it is much more appealing to sit inside your vehicle as it warms up instead of standing outside chipping away at your frozen windshield, do not use your wiper blades to scrape off the window! Doing so can damage the motor, bend the arms or even rip off the blades altogether. Remember, they are called windshield “wiper” blades not “scraper” blades.

If snow and ice are in the forecast, extend your wiper blades up off of the windshield, sitting straight up in the air.  When you start your car, allow the windshield to defrost before using your wipers, or get a good ice scraper and scrape away so the blades can work smoothly over the windshield.

Safety for Teenage Drivers

Teenagers seem to think they know everything, but they could use some guidance when it comes to winter driving.

img-6493When it does finally snow, take your teen driver out on the road – on a quiet street or in a parking lot away from other traffic – to practice driving safely in winter road conditions. Show them what it is like when the vehicle slides on an icy road and how to re-gain control if your vehicle fish tails. Practicing what to do if something goes wrong, before your child encounters these conditions, will help them be prepared if and when they are faced with icy roads or blizzard-like conditions.

It’s always a good idea to store in your vehicle the following items in case you find yourself stranded on the side of the road in the snow or if you happen to run out of gas:

  • Blanket
  • Hat and Gloves
  • Hand or Feet Warmers
  • Water
  • Spare Jacket
  • Socks and an extra pair of boots or good walking shoes

Daylight Savings Time – Reset Your Vehicle’s Clock!

cars at night with motion blur.

With the days getting shorter, there is less daylight which means we need to adjust to driving in the dark more often. Depending on your work schedule, you may now find yourself driving to work in the dark, and again on your way home. As a precaution, check that your turn signals, hazard lights, dome lights, taillights and headlights are in proper working condition. Anything that needs attention should be replaced before you head out on the road. You may find that your headlights seem dim. Over time the lenses can become hazy. Have your auto mechanic shine up the lenses so you have a stronger, clear beam of light to guide you on your way through the sleet and snow!

Daylight Savings Time is Sunday, November 4th 2012 @ 2:00am.

CarRadioIt is that time of year again and in 1 month we will be setting our clocks back 1 hour on Saturday night November 3rd before we go to sleep.  While I am excited for the extra hour I get to sleep that day, I hate that I have to reset all those clocks.  I have a lot of clocks and this can be quite a chore.  If you’re like me, the one in my car is the most complicated of all.  This year I decided it should be the responsibility of your trusted auto repair facility so,  we are going to take care of this for you!  Any time during the month of November, just bring your car by Haglin Automotive and we will be happy to reset the clock for you (Please have your vehicle owners manual with you).  It’s as simple as that.

Haglin Automotive wants to help as many people as we can and set as many vehicles’ clocks back as possible. Our goal is to set 1,000 vehicles’ clocks this November.  We need your help to do this.  If we reach our goal, We will donate $1,000 to the Food Bank of the Rockies!  Please share this with everyone you know.  We cannot do it without you.

If you have any friends that need assistance setting their vehicle clocks, please send them our way and tell them to mention you sent them.  We will be happy to assist them as well.

See you soon!

Check Out Your Tires

IMG_6407If you’ve been putting off purchasing that new set of tires, now would be the best time to get a new set of wheels! Prior to the winter months, it is imperative that you have your tires checked for any signs of wear. Worn out tires or uneven tread wear can inhibit you vehicle’s ability to adjust to snowy or icy roads. A tire inspection from your auto mechanic will confirm that your car is ready to take on winter driving conditions. Your car may not need a brand new set of tires, however there are some adjustments that will ensure your safety on the road ahead. Have your auto repair shop check tread depth, tire pressure and tire alignment. Call Haglin Automotive to schedule your check-up today!


Fall Car Care Tips

LeavesAs the leaves begin to turn, you may feel the urge to head for the mountains for a last minute glance at the beautiful scenery. Before you pile everyone into the family car, take a minute to make sure your vehicle is ready for the road ahead. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some important car care tips for fall; things to consider in terms of maintenance to ensure your safety during the winter driving conditions that lie ahead.

Prepare your Vehicle for winter driving with a Full Check-Up

We recommend that you bring your vehicle to a trusted auto mechanic for a full check-up prior to winter weather conditions on the roads setting in. This check-up should include:

  • cables and terminals
  • battery
  • air filters
  • belts and hoses
  • fluids* and windshield wipers.

*fluids include antifreeze, brake, oil, power steering, windshield washer and transmission.