Do you notice that your car is beginning to show signs […]
Do you notice that your car is beginning to show signs of wear and tear though the parts seem to be working just fine? Then one fine day, the car dies on you and your mechanic advises you to change the timing belt. With regular maintenance, this could have been avoided. So, what is a timing belt and how much would a replacement cost for the same?
There are so many belts in a car engine, it is hard to keep up with them all. One of the most important belts in the engine is the timing belt. Without this belt operating properly, it can throw off the entire operation of the engine. The timing belt is the only mechanism that keeps the camshaft and crankshaft of your vehicle in sync. Made of cogged reinforced rubber, the belt should be changed typically after every 60000 miles. This keeps the belt replacement cost low and in order.
A timing belt replacement may only take a few minutes but it may take you longer to scour through the hordes of wires and tubes before getting to the belt. You need to be very careful when changing the belt so it may be best to seek the help of a mechanic to ensure you do not mess up the car mechanisms. If the belt is loose, a tooth or even more may be skipped on the cam gear. This would reduce the engine performance of your car.
A timing belt replacement may typically cost anywhere between $250 and $750 depending on how much work is required to change the belt. Where there is a low cost of living, this replacement cost may be low due to low labour costs. Additional costs may be incurred during the process because sometimes, other types of maintenance work may be required when changing the belt.
Keep in mind when replacing timing belts, many mechanics will offer to replace your water pump. This is generally a precautionary measure. Most water pumps last the life of the car without any problems. This does not means they are exempt from malfunctioning. The reason the mechanic will offer this service is because with the belt off, replacing the pump is very simple. They are not trying to take you for a lot of money as they will not be able to charge you much for labor. A good idea here is to simply ask the mechanic what the history is on the water pump in your model car. If the water pump generally does not fail, it is a procedure you can go without.
Those with higher performance cars may want to entertain after market timing belts. These belts are made to handle a little more abuse than the average timing belt. While they cannot handle the abuse a race car driver will put on the belt, it will handle a higher revving engine better. This is because the belt is more reinforced than the average belt. You will pay more for the part, but you will be able to enjoy the knowledge that your Rubber Timing Belt is secure.