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When and Why to Replace Timing Belts

Update:04-01-2017
Summary:

There are so many belts in Timing Belt Manufacturers, i […]

There are so many belts in Timing Belt Manufacturers, it is hard to keep up with them all. One of the most important belts in the engine is the timing belt. It can throw off the entire operation of the engine if there is something wrong with belt operating. It's purpose is to turn the camshafts exactly half as fast as the crankshaft. Some manufacturers have toyed with a chain instead of a belt. The chain is preferred by many owners because it never needs to be replaced. The only problem with the chain is the noise it creates. For this reason, many manufacturers opt for the belt and ask you to replace it periodically.

Someone who buys a used car sometimes don’t replace the timing belt when it is recommended, or even don’t know that he/she need to. The previous owner will have good maintenance records, but neglect to tell you the car is well past needing a timing belt. Signs of a bad belt include change in the engine's performance. This includes such things as stalls, backfires or running roughly with a lot of vibration. Squealing noises and smoke are two other obvious signs you are having a problem with a belt in your engine. It is recommended you take the car in immediately to an expert before the problem gets worse.

Focus on the information below to prevent you from unnecessary extra costs and damage to your car.

• For new cars, check the owner's manual for timing belt change intervals. Write down the mileage on the car inside the manual when you have the belt changed.

• If you purchased a used car, check under the hood for a sticker giving the mileage of the last change. If there is no sticker, have the belt changed just to be safe.

• Consult your mechanic or dealership. They can examine it and determine if there are signs of wear or damage that indicates the belt needs changing.

• Many car manufacturers and mechanics recommend changing timing belts every 60,000 to 75,000 miles. Even if your owner's manual indicates the belt does not need changing until 100,000 miles, many mechanics recommend doing it before 80,000 miles.

• Listen to your car during engine start-up and idling. If you hear a high-pitched shrieking or whirring sound, it is in trouble. Replace it immediately.

• If your car has trouble starting, or the engine takes several tries to catch and start, a damaged one is a likely cause. Have the issue checked by your auto shop immediately.

• Change your timing belt according to the recommendations of your mechanic and the car manufacturer, even if you detect no symptoms of problems. This will prevent expensive damage later.

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 would better ask a favor to a mechanic when you change the belt because you need to change it carefully.