Don’t Let the Clock Stop on Your Timing Belt!

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When you buy a new (or used) car, look over the maintenance schedule so you can have some idea of what preventative work the vehicle is going to need over time. One very important reason to pay attention to this schedule is to make sure you replace the timing belt before it wears out. Depending on the vehicle and how well it’s been cared for, you may need a new belt at 70,000 miles, but the average is around 90,000. Just to be safe, you should start having it inspected at 60,000 miles.

Your Mechanic Can Spot a Faulty Timing Belt Before There’s a Problem

One problem with timing belts is that it’s difficult to notice damage unless you are a trained mechanic. Unlike many other engine problems, you probably won’t notice anything “off” until the belt fails and your car comes to a sudden stop wherever you are. Besides the fact that an engine stopping suddenly can be a serious accident hazard, timing belt failure will result in potentially catastrophic damage to the engine.

Why Your Mechanic Should Check Your Timing Belt

Interference engines allow small, sporty cars to get a maximum amount of power using a minimum amount of space. The timing belt makes this possible by ensuring that the vehicle’s valves, pistons, and other moving parts are precisely synchronized. Because there is no extra space, if these parts start moving independently, very bad things happen. When the timing fails, the valves and pistons will start to collide. The heads of your valves will probably be bent, but cam shaft or cylinder head /wall damage is also possible. The only way to repair these problems is to replace major components of the engine, which is tremendously costly. Because of this, damage from timing belt failure will often result in the vehicle being “totalled.”

In our extreme Utah climate, it is extra important to stay on track with preventative maintenance–and even err on the caution of the manufacturer’s recommendations. Other engine problems–like a leaking water pump–can potentially damage your timing belt too, so don’t put off repairs. Make sure to have the belt visually inspected when you change the oil or do other maintenance.

Let Alex’s Autohaus Check Your Timing Belt

Replacing a timing belt is not cheap–but the damage is worse. When we replace the timing belt, we will also change out the tensioners and water pump to ensure it runs smoothly for the next 75+ thousand miles. With our trusted experience and quality parts, you’ll get your money’s worth and be back on the road in no time.

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