If your car has a timing belt, as many do, replacing it is considered a maintenance item. Once every 60,000 to 105,000 miles doesn’t come too often, but it’s one of those things you definitely don’t want to miss. Severe damage can result from a broken or failed timing belt if your car has an interference engine, and while that design is less prevalent these days, they are still fairly common.
Even if your vehicle’s engine won’t suffer internal damage when the timing belt breaks, you will, at a minimum, be inconvenienced. If you happen to be driving at highway speeds, the danger could be very real.
Yes, timing belt replacement is a significant expense, but part of the cost is the additional preventative measures many manufacturers include as part of a complete timing belt replacement. Most of the time, the technician will replace the water pump because it’s driven by the timing belt because the labor needed to replace a water pump by itself is virtually the same as for replacing the timing belt. It would be a shame to have a water pump failure not long after the timing belt is replaced.
Most timing belt services also include replacement of the tensioner and other wear items, adding to the cost, but lessening the chances of an expensive failure down the road.
If you like your car and plan on keeping it, replacing the timing belt is an investment and will help ensure many more miles.
What if you are not sure if your car is in good enough condition to warrant the expense? We can provide a Premium Vehicle Assessment, digitally delivered via email or to your mobile device. Not only may this help you in solving the timing belt dilemma, you’ll have a complete picture of the health of your vehicle. Knowledge is power. With your digital inspection in hand you’ll be making informed decision regarding your vehicle.
On a related note, if the vehicle is new to you and has enough miles on it to have required a timing belt change, it’s a good idea to have a technician confirm that the service has been done. Even better, if you are considering buying a vehicle, knowing whether the timing belt has been done can help you more accurately establish the value and budget for maintenance.
Given the importance of this service, our best advice is not to gamble with “when it might break.” Instead, visit us or give us a call and we’ll be happy to confirm whether you need a timing belt replacement and, if so, the appropriate interval.