Timing belts are probably one of the most discussed and […]
Timing belts are probably one of the most discussed and cussed of all automotive components. Everyone has his own theory of replacement interval and usage. This article will try to bring a little sense to this area.
Your timing belt is made of rubber and reinforced with fiberglass. After continuous use over tens of thousands of miles, it suffers wear and tear. The rubber begins to degrade from heat stress, age, and the breakdown of the various chemicals used to manufacture it. It eventually loses its integrity, which can cause it to snap or slip a notch. Both circumstances can lead to extensive engine damage.
The type of engines that use a TB are called interference and non-interference assemblies. While the belt should be replaced periodically in both types, it is the former that poses the biggest - and potentially, the most expensive - problem. If the timing belt breaks or slips on an interference engine, the pistons can slam into the intake and exhaust valves. The valves will bend while the pistons break. While replacing the snapped or slipped TB can be relatively expensive, the cost of fixing the valves and pistons is even higher.
Failing unexpectedly is a problem the timing belts have. They're difficult to check. That's the reason you should follow the recommended interval in your owner's manual.
Timing Belt Replacement Interval
• The manufactures recommended interval for replacement is usually adequate if you read the whole recommendation. There is usually a little footnote that states that if your driving conditions exceed certain levels such as temperature and humidity, then your timing belt must be replaced more frequently.
• In our area,(Eastern Washington Desert) this is about 60,000 for most manufactures and the this is the suggested interval from most of the automotive industry.
• Special events that might cause you to need to replace your timing belt even if the 60,000 mile interval is not up.
• If your timing belt becomes saturated with oil or other petroleum products it should be inspected and probably replace.
• Any misalignment of a timing belt requires it to be replaced and the condition causing the misalignment corrected.
• Worn edges on the belt or nicks in the belt.
Because the belt is made from rubber, it is prone to stretching and breaking due to too much heat. As heat penetrates to the belt, it stretches and deteriorates causing the teeth of the belt to wear out. If there are no teeth to secure the belt, a collision of car parts is made possible. You should have a regular check-up or inspection by a certified mechanic to avoid this happening. Prevention is better than the cure as this would lessen the cost of car repair and maintenance.
Furthermore, preventing the belt from breaking can't be done, a replacement remains as the only solution. It is recommended that the car's timing belt is replaced every 50,000 to 70,000 miles. This is, however, dependent on the car's replacement intervals for timing belts. This auto repair service usually costs between $250 and $750. Your expenses will vary according to the condition of the belt's damage.
For saving costs, most drivers resort to replacing the belt on their own. Although it is a difficult task, it is not impossible to do. Experience and knowledge are, nevertheless, essential to have a successful replacement. It should be remembered that once the replacement is done incorrectly, your engine will not run. To avoid this, asking advice and recommendations from certified mechanics is a good measure. Researching is also logical to ensure more understanding regarding the replacement of Timing Belt Company.