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How Often Do You Need to Change a Timing Belt?

Taking care of your vehicle requires more than just the occasional tune up or oil change. You should always be aware of the way your vehicle runs so you can pick up on when something is going wrong. A timing belt is an important component of your engine that keeps everything running smoothly. If you don’t know what a timing belt is or how often it should be changed, then this article will help.

 

What is a Timing Belt?

A timing belt is a part of your engine that helps keep all of the moving parts in sync. It can also be used to power different pumps, like the water, oil, and injection pumps. The timing belt looks like a rubber belt that has a row of hard teeth that move through the cogwheels in the camshafts and the crankshaft.

The timing belt makes sure that movement between the camshafts and the crankshaft is smooth and that the engine intake and exhaust valves are opening and closing with the pistons. If these parts of the engine aren’t working properly together, then the vehicle won’t run the right way.

 

timing belt

 

Timing Belts and Timing Chains

If your vehicle is of an older make, you may have a timing chain rather than a belt. The main difference is that the chain is made of metal, not rubber. The belts became a more popular option in the 1960s because they are lighter and quieter than the metal chain. However, even modern vehicles may use the timing chain, so always check on the make and model of your vehicle so you know what component is in use.

 

How Often Do You Need to Change a Timing Belt?

Different makes and models of vehicles will have different recommendations for when the timing belt should be changed. However, the typical recommendation is between every 60,000 – 100,000 miles. Your owner’s manual should tell you what the manufacturer suggests for your specific type of vehicle.

The reason timing belts need to be changed comes down to the material they are made of. Rubber will slowly wear out over time, which can cause the entire timing belt band to snap. This can lead to major problems with your engine. When the parts within aren’t working together, then they can run out of sync and damage the engine itself. Common damage includes:

 

  • Total engine failure
  • Broken and bent valves
  • Piston and cylinder wall damage
  • Camshaft damage
  • Cylinder head damage

 

All of these types of damage can cause thousands of dollars and take weeks to repair. By following the manufacturer’s recommendations and making sure that you replace the timing belt when necessary, you can avoid these problems and keep your vehicle running for many more miles.

 

A timing belt is an important component of your engine that keeps everything running smoothly. If you don’t know what a timing belt is or how often it should be changed, then this article will help.

Car mechanic replacing timing belt at camshaft of modern engine

 

How to Tell When Your Timing Belt Needs Changing

Outside of the manufacturer’s recommendations, there are a few other signs that might indicate that your timing belt is wearing down and needs to be replaced. These signs might include:

 

  • The Check Engine Light coming on
  • Oil leakage
  • Decreasing engine power
  • Vibrating and shaking when driving
  • Ticking coming from the engine
  • Squealing noises from the belt
  • Trouble starting your vehicle

 

Replace Your Timing Belt at Mac’s Automotive Service and Radiator Repair

At Mac’s Automotive Service and Radiator Repair, we understand that keeping your vehicle in the best condition is your goal. That’s why we have a team of dedicated technicians who can help with everything from basic oil changes to advanced repairs like timing belt changes. We know what is recommended for a wide range of vehicles and can take a look at your engine to test the quality of your timing belt as it is. To get your timing belt looked at, or to get any other issue looked at, contact us or schedule an appointment online today.

 

 

Mac's Radiator is the best mechanic to help you with all of your mechanic needs!  Let Macs help you - we are located in 6 convenient locations, for when you need us close to home, or when you're on the road.


 

 

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Portland, OR      (503) 777-4706
Beaverton, OR  (503) 646-2943
Bend, OR            (541) 382-6963
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Eugene, OR        (541) 344-0253
Salem, OR          (503) 364-7129

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