What’s a timing belt? It’s nothing more than the heart of your engine. When it stops, your whole engine stops. And fixing it? Well, that’s open-heart surgery.
You can’t “take a look” at your timing belt. You can’t just open the hood, pull out your flashlight and check the condition (like you can other belts).
You need to break the chest plate.
We’d start with an MRI, but unfortunately we don’t have those for cars yet. So we have to go in, remove bolts, covers and parts—perform surgery—just to even see it.
A timing belt replacement is the greatest preventive maintenance procedure we perform. It’s removing that cystic growth from your thyroid. It’s not cancerous—yet. And better safe than sorry.
Manufacturers and mechanics recommend a timing belt replacement at around 60,000-100,000 miles (unless your vehicle has a timing chain, in which case it doesn't get replaced). Doctors recommend a routine colonoscopy after age 50. Same thing.
If your timing belt breaks, it can kill your engine.
Unless you’re lucky and can be resuscitated in time (AKA unless the break occurs under conditions which lead to minimal engine damage).
Though, it is safe to say that at the very least, a broken timing belt will put you in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation. Have you ever had to emergency pull over on the highway?! No thank you. And there's no need to go there!
The wise thing to do is to prevent it.
First thing: check your owner’s manual and past service records to see when and if your timing belt has been replaced. Next, plan to get it replaced at 60,000-100,000 miles.
Timing belt replacement cost
This is where most people get really worried. Why?
- It can cost over $1,000 for a timing belt replacement
- It's shocking because it comes unexpected or unknown
If you understand the costs involved in maintaining your vehicle, you’ll be less fearful come repair time. Part of the cost of a quality timing belt replacement includes replacing the water pump, cam and crank seals and all the timing belt pulleys. These components surround the timing belt and require an exorbitant amount of labor to get to. Replacing them at the same time as your timing belt saves you money down the road because they will fail before your new timing belt does and will likely cause a premature timing belt failure. So, this is why it is our standard to include these components in our timing belt replacement procedure. We have your best interest in mind.
We want you to know about your vehicle so you can be a more responsible and confident driver. There’s no need to fear the cost of your timing belt replacement or of it breaking down. Knowledge is power. And understanding eliminates fear.
And of course, we'll fix and maintain it for you.
The best thing you can do
Put away ~$.20/mile for your vehicle maintenance and repair. That’s about how much it costs to keep your vehicle running over time.
Be smart, be prepared, and be ready.
We can help. And we're close by! Come see us or schedule an appointment today to chat more about the health of your vehicle. And get an idea for cost of repairs here.