Timing Belt Maintenance and Replacement

Timing Belt Replacement: A Must Do

timing belt replacement

Replacing your car’s timing belt can help avoid major engine failure down the road and save you thousands in engine repair costs.

Timing belt replacement is the “must-do” auto service repair which every car owner should understand the importance of.

You need to be aware of whether your engine is classified as an “interference” or “non-interference” engine.

These two bits of information can save you from unexpected breakdown and possibly avoid thousands of dollars in car repairs.

What’s an Interference Engine?

Without getting too technical, the synchronization between the crank and cam shafts occurs with the help of the timing belt. In this process, these two parts move the valves open and closed in very close proximity to the engine pistons. This is refrred to as an “interference” engine, because if the timing belt jumps a tooth on the engine sprocket or if the belt fails altogether the valves and pistons will “interfere” with each other causing major engine failure.

Old Cars and New Cars: What’s the difference with timing belt replacement?

If you have an older vehicle, the potential repair bill will typically exceed the value of the car. Newer cars, with “non-interfernece” engines will simply lose power or will not start. While this can be better than facing huge repair costs, it is something that is best avoided with regular inspection and preemptive timing belt replacement.

Preemptive Timing Belt Replacement

The motivation for replacement of the timing belt before it fails is pretty obvious. How do you know when to replace it? Your car’s owner’s manual should indicate recommended mileage of anywhere from 50,000 to 90,000 miles. For a comprehensive list of timing belt service replacement intervals call Steens Master Lube at 541-265-6049 or you can look up your type of engine at timing belt manufacturer Gates.com website.

Some other considerations of timing belt replacement are:

  • Leaking Fluids

Is your car or truck leaking any type of fluid that might damage the belt?

  • Repair History

Do you know the repair history of car or truck? The timing belt may not have been replaced as recommended by the previous owner.

  • Labor and the Water Pump

Timing belt replacement is usually labor intensive. Since the water pump needs to be removed to replace the timing belt it is usually recommended to replace the water pump at the same time even if it is not leaking. You will save on labor and prevent a water pump replacement down the road. Also note when the water pump is replaced the timing belt will need to be replaced again.

  • Sprockets and Tensioners

Replacing sprockets and tensioners, which are part of the timing belt system, will prevent future failure. All timing belt components can be purchased as a complete parts kit and are usually less expensive than purchasing the parts individually.

  • Recommended Service Intervals

All service intervals for your vehicle should be followed as recommended in order to protect your vehicle investment. If your car or truck is in warranty it will also maintain the integrity of your warranty.

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139 NE Harney St. Newport Oregon 97365 – (541) 265-6049