Replacing Your Timing Belt Before it REALLY Costs You : K.C. Martin Auto Repair Blog
K.C. Martin Auto Repair Blog
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Replacing Your Timing Belt Before it REALLY Costs You

by KC Martin Automotive on 11/01/16

If you are looking to keep your car on the road and save money long-term you will want to stay up to date on the manufacturer recommended maintenance repairs and inspections. Staying on top of the small repairs and replacements will keep your car running and help you avoid any unnecessary, major, or costly breakdowns. You will want to follow your manual to ensure that your car stays healthy. This includes getting the recommended regular oil changes, tune-ups and even timing belt replacement.

When you bring your car to a repair shop like KC Martin, eventually the mechanic will recommend changing your timing belt out. Why would you want to get your timing belt replaced if it has not yet broken? Your timing belt is a vital part of your engine and can shut down your whole vehicle when it breaks--so waiting until it breaks is really not an option. Your timing belt breaking can cause a safety issue as well as can cause expensive damage to your pistons, water pump or valves. Your timing belt is responsible for coordinating the engine’s functions. It not only is responsible for the opening and closing of the engine valves but controls the crankshaft and camshaft. It is essential that your timing belt works properly so that your car runs correctly.

How do you know when to replace the timing belt? One of the most critical maintenance choices is when to replace the timing belt. Getting a new timing belt before it breaks can save you thousands of dollars but it is difficult to know exactly when to get it replaced and many drivers tend to ignore their timing belt until it wears out.

There are no certain signs or symptoms from your car that your timing belt is about to break. A mechanic can visually inspect the wear. If there is some visual wear and if it's reasonably close to the recommended due time, you'll just want to have it done. Generally, you will want to get it replaced every 60-100 thousand miles, but check your owner’s manual for your car’s specific recommendation. Make sure to keep track when it is changed out, so you'll know for the next time as well (if you keep your car that long).

When you look to get your timing belt replaced keep in mind that it can be a complicated job, because of where the timing belt is located and may require special tools. Without specific experience it is not timely or wise to replace it yourself, so you'll want to choose an experienced, professional auto service job to do the replacement. 

Also while you are having the timing belt replaced, think about having some other maintenance completed for your car. Generally it is recommended to also replace the water pump, tensioner and idler pulleys during the timing belt replacement, since you will already paying for the labor of opening the engine. The funny thing here is that you may not trust a mechanic that wants to bring up this other work, but it's actually the MOST TRUSTWORTHY thing to do in this case. Getting the water pump replaced at the same time, for instance, is a HUGE money-saver.

No matter if you need a small maintenance repair or your car needs a complete overhaul, KC Martin is here to partner with you to get your car properly fixed. If you have additional questions regarding your timing belt or any other system in your car give us a call.

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