Thursday, March 31, 2016

Timing Belts and Chains

A timing belt or chain does exactly what it sounds like it would; it keeps things in time in the engine.  It coordinates the pistons coming up and the valves going down.  The valves need to close before the pistons come up, to prevent major engine damage.  Over time with the heat and the cold and just regular wear and tear, the timing belt will become cracked, stressed, or even break.  A timing chain will become loose and could also possibly break.  It's important to replace the timing belt before it breaks, because of the damage that could incur with a broken belt.  Plus, the cost of the repair will increase substantially without proper replacement.

It's not easy to tell if a timing belt needs to be replaced just by looking at it.  It's hard to get to the timing belt because it's behind the serpentine belt and a protective cover.  Also, when a timing belt is replaced, the water pump, tensioner, and pulleys should also be replaced.

Generally timing belts should be replaced between 60,000 and 90,000 miles.  If you do not have record of when the timing belt was last replaced, we strongly encourage you to have the timing belt checked and possibly replaced.  You'd rather have a timing belt in good condition, rather than be stranded and stuck with costly repairs.

The great news is Jake's Auto is very proficient at replacing timing belts.  We want to be sure that your car is maintained and safe for you to drive.  Please feel free to call us if you have any questions regarding your timing belt.

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