“When should I get a timing belt replacement?” Although it is not always possible to prevent timing belt failure before it occurs, understanding signs of wear can help you replace your timing belt proactively. Preventative repair is almost always less expensive than reactive repair, because a broken timing belt can cause further damage to valves, pistons, or other engine components. That’s why most manufacturers recommend you replace your vehicle’s timing belt replace every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. (You can refer to your owner’s manual to see what is recommended for your specific model.)
Your vehicle’s timing belt synchronizes action between the camshaft and crankshaft, as well as the opening and closing of the engine valves to let air and gasoline in and out. Basically, the timing belt coordinates the engine’s functions, causing fuel to ignite in the combustion chamber. A properly functioning timing belt is absolutely critical. In fact, a failed timing belt could leave you stranded. In most cases, there is no indication that a timing belt is wearing down. Oftentimes, it just breaks.
Do You Need a Timing Belt Replacement?
At Mission Auto Repair we know engines. Which means we also know timing belts. We’ll get your vehicle checked out and back on the road, and guarantee that any repairs we made are safe and reliable–our 12/12 Service Guarantee gives you peace of mind as all repair services are guaranteed for a minimum of 12 months or 12,000 miles.
Signs of Timing Belt Wear
1. Material Loss
Rubber timing belt wear resembles tire wear. Over time, the belt loses traction as material wears down. Less traction results in timing belt slippage. Often, the effects of material loss are especially pronounced when pulling a heavy load such as a trailer or operating in wet weather conditions.
2. Belt Abrasion
Belt abrasion occurs along the edge of the belt for a variety of reasons, including pulley misalignment, extreme weather conditions, or bearing failure. When the filaments along the edges of the pulley belt are exposed due to wear, replace your timing belt immediately.
Cracking along the pulley belt can occur on the top or bottom, especially in neoprene timing belts. Of course, excessive cracking along the timing belt indicates excessive wear and likely failure. Cracks are an excellent warning sign of timing belt failure and should be taken seriously.
To check for glazing, observe the underside of the timing belt. A glossy appearance indicates that the belt is not providing adequate flexibility. As an additional check, try to put an indent on the belt itself with your finger. If the indent does not leave a mark, replace your timing belt.
Material loss, resulting from demanding usage conditions, can begin to build up, causing excessive noise and vibration. If you notice either of these physical responses, it may be time to replace your timing belt. Additionally, you may check accessory break pulleys for similar build up.
Misalignment is the result of tensioner failure. Thankfully, tensioner failure is often easy to notice, accompanied by loud noises, excessive heating, and vibrating. In this circumstance, you should take immediate action to repair your vehicle.
7. High-Pitched Sounds
A few of the aforementioned symptoms of timing belt wear include loud, abnormal engine sounds, but this one is a classic. In addition to those mentioned above, pay attention to high-pitched screeching when you first start the car, when you’re idling, or when you’re accelerating. Listen for ticking as well, seeming to come from directly inside the engine. These noises could indicate timing belt malfunction.
8. Engine Stops Running
Worst case scenario, the engine stops running or fails to start. This could be caused by a failed timing belt or timing component. Often, this causes major internal engine damage that can be costly to repair.
Getting a Timing Belt Replacement
As mentioned, proactive timing belt repair is more cost-effective than reactive replacement. If you are looking to have your car’s timing belt replaced in Winchester, VA, you can depend on our service professionals at Mission Auto Repair. We offer a state-of-the-art service facility and the latest equipment and parts to get the job done. Feel free to take a look at our current service specials and schedule an appointment today!