What is a Timing Belt?
When it comes to timing belts, it’s all in the name. The timing belt keeps your car’s valves, pistons,
camshafts and crankshaft all rotating in sync. This belt controls when the camshaft(s) opens and
closes the intake and exhaust valves, and it controls the crankshaft, which moves the pistons up and
down inside the engine cylinders.
Does My Car Have a Timing Belt?
Timing belts are very common, especially in four-cylinder engines. That being said, there is no hard,
fast rule about which vehicles have timing belts and which ones have timing chains. Your best is to
look it up in your owner’s manual or to ask our staff for assistance.
Why Do I Need to Replace my Timing
Over time and miles, timing belts become worn, and this isn’t something you want to gamble with.
There are few, if any, warning signs before a timing belt snaps, and if it does, your car or truck
will stall immediately and come to a stop, breaking down wherever you happen to be. This means a call
to a tow truck and an unexpected auto repair bill—and this is the best-case scenario.
Service Specialists 141 W 130th Street
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Your internal engine parts collide, the engine seizes, and you’re left with a repair can easily add up
to $2,000 or more. (Watch this video to see what happens when the engine seizes)
Timing Belt - the Forgotten Belt
stresses the importance of checking and following the manufacturers recommended
replacement interval for the timing belt. Along with recommendations to replace the
"hardware" associated with the Timing Belt (Tensioner, Water Pump, and Idler
Pulleys) at the same time the Timing Belt is being replaced. To find out more
information on our Timing Belt, Timing Belt Kit, Water Pump Kit, and Timing Component
Kit, contact Auto Service Specialists of Hinckley Ohio.
When Do I
Need to Replace my Timing Belt?
Timing belts are nearly impossible to visually inspect, and they do not show signs of cracking and
wearing. The best insurance is to replace the timing belt according to your vehicle’s
factory-recommended maintenance schedule.
Manufacturers typically recommend a new timing belt at 90,000 or 105,000 miles. Your owner’s manual
will tell you what is recommended for your vehicle. You can also look up the timing belt replacement
interval online (such as at: www.MyTimingBelt.com). If you’re not sure, ask Auto Service Specialist,
and we’ll be happy to help provide the information.
Even though replacing the timing belt typically costs several hundred dollars, it pales in comparison
to the expense and inconvenience of a broken timing belt. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead for this
auto service requirement.
When is your timing belt due?
When it comes to car servicing, timing belt/cambelt replacement is without doubt the most important
serviceable component of a car’s engine. The timing belt/cambelt has an incredibly important job
controlling the camshafts in the engine and keeps it running smoothly, if left unchanged and it
breaks, it can seriously lighten your wallet.
It is important that you know the change interval of your timing belt/cambelt as going over the
manufacturers’ recommendation can lead to a slipped or snapped belt. In many cases this requires a new
engine or engine build costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
What Else Should Be Done at the Same Time?
In most cases, several other items need to be addressed at the same time as the timing belt. Even
though it adds more to the cost now, it will save you in the long run. These additional items include:
● Replacing the water pump.
● Replacing the drive belts (a.k.a. accessory or serpentine belts).
● Inspecting the timing belt tensioner.
● Inspection the timing belt idler pulley(s).
The right time to replace timing belts.
Timing belts are considered wear items and should be checked
according to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule. Most manufacturers suggest
replacing the belt between 60,000 to 105,000 miles.
your owner’s manual or ask your Service Technician about the specific schedule for your
vehicle. A broken timing belt will stop your car…instantly. It can also result in costly
engine damage and inconvenience.
Free-Running or Interference Engine?
An engine is either “interference” or “free-running” depending on
its design. If the timing belt breaks in an interference engine, an open valve may be
struck by a moving piston. This can result in serious damage and expensive repairs, and
in some cases a new engine.
A “free-running” engine design will not result in extensive engine damages should the
timing belt fail. The motorist will still have to deal with the inconvenience of being
stranded, towing expense, and the cost of timing belt replacement.
Tensioners and idlers are critical components that work hand in
hand with the timing belt.
Tensioners and idlers work together to keep the timing belt
properly tensioned. The timing belt system uses idlers and/or pulleys to either change
the direction of the belt or transmit power to a component such as a water pump or oil
Why replace tensioners and idlers?
Worn tensioners or idler pulley bearings are the leading causes of
timing belt failures. Like timing belts, tensioners and idlers wear out. They need to be
replaced before they fail.
The right time to replace tensioners and idlers.
Tensioner and idler wear is difficult to detect. Many tensioners
that look okay may be at or near the end of their service life.
some cases, the newly installed timing belt may fail after a few thousand miles if the
tensioner or idler is worn or loose.
Should timing belt driven water pumps be replaced?
You can save considerable expense by replacing your already high
mileage water pump at the same time you have the timing belt replaced. In both cases the
labor cost is a large part of the expense and the labor procedures are basically the
same. Doing everything at the same time will result in big long term cost savings. Ask
our service advisors at Auto Service Specialist of Hinckley Ohio to explain the
components involved with your particular make and model.
Save money by asking for a timing system replacement.
When you replace your timing belt have your tensioner, idler and
water pump changed at the same time because the additional cost is insignificant
compared to the cost of accessing the timing belt. Your service technician can do it
right the first time because he doesn’t have to re-do all the labor again to replace the
tensioner, idler and water pump. Your new timing belt will be protected from damage
caused by failure of these parts.
Ask your service technician to note
recommended Timing System replacement date
System may fail sooner, or last longer, depending on a
variety of factors, including operating temperatures, load, engine rpm and
other environmental factors. Smaller engine compartments create excessive
heat and put more stress on belts and components.
Change your Timing Belt at the
Manufacturers recommended interval.
Cylinder head, valve train and piston damage due to lack of
timing drive system maintenance (see images on right).
Why Choose Express Tire for Your Timing Belt
When your vehicle is due for a new timing belt, Auto Service
Specialist offers everything you’re looking for and more:
● Competence: Our certified ASE-Master Automotive Technicians are among the best
of the best. They are an amazing powerhouse of skill who expertly manage every auto
repair or diagnostic challenge we send their way.
● Peace of Mind: We stand behind all of our repairs ask us about our warranty.
● Time Savings: We offer free loaner cars and a free shuttle service.
● Accuracy: The final bill will never be more than what we quoted you.
Timing belt replacement: Avoid a breakdown in Northeast Ohio
For many of us, replacing our vehicle’s timing belt isn’t a top-of-mind activity. But
knowing when this critical engine part needs to be replaced can save you hundreds of
dollars and a sudden, aggravating breakdown.
When it comes to timing belts, it’s all in the name. The timing belt keeps your car’s
valves, pistons, camshafts and crankshaft all rotating in sync. This belt controls when
the camshaft(s) opens and closes the intake and exhaust valves, and it controls the
crankshaft, which moves the pistons up and down inside the engine cylinders.
Over time and miles, timing belts become worn and they need to be replaced as part of
your vehicle’s preventive maintenance schedule. This is not something you want to gamble
There are few, if any, warning signs before a timing belt snaps, and if it does, your
car will stall immediately and come to a stop wherever you happen to be. This means a
call to a tow truck and an unexpected auto repair bill—and this is the best-case
Worst case: Your engine pistons and valves collide, leaving you with internal engine
damage, anything from bent valves to a broken piston. In some cases, the valves can snap
and damage the cylinder head as well. Often, the full extent of the damage isn’t even
known until your technician disassembles the top part of the engine, removing the valve
cover(s) and sometimes the cylinder head. This spells a repair that can easily hit the
$2,000 and up range.
So when do you replace your timing belt? Manufacturers typically recommend a new timing
belt at 90,000 or 105,000 miles. Your owner’s manual will tell you what is recommended
for your vehicle. If you’re not sure, ask us and we’ll be happy to help provide the
It’s also important to note that, unlike serpentine or accessory belts, timing belts are
nearly impossible to visually inspect. They do not show signs of cracking and wearing
the same way accessory belts do, and they’re usually buried under a number of plastic
engine shields and other components. The best insurance is to replace the timing belt
according to your vehicle’s factory-recommended maintenance schedule.
When replacing your timing belt, it’s also smart money to replace the water pump at the
same time. A water pump’s normal life span may not be much more than 100,000 miles, and
the water pump is usually located behind or beside the timing belt. In those cases, it
doesn’t cost that much more to replace the water pump when you’re already removing all
the components required to access and replace the timing belt. If you replace the timing
belt at 90,000 miles, you do not want to essentially do the same repair again in 10k or
20k — this time to replace the water pump. It’s much easier on the wallet to do both at
once. The same is true for the timing belt tensioner – it should be inspected for wear
and replaced if needed.
Can you hear the dollar signs adding up as you read this? Even though replacing the
timing belt at the specified mileage typically costs several hundred dollars, it pales
in comparison to the expense and inconvenience of a broken timing belt. Do yourself a
favor and plan ahead for this auto service requirement. And if you have questions or
need to buy some time, talk to us. We’re here to help!
Schedule an appointment now.
Auto Service Specialist
is a family owned and operated auto repair facility located in the northwest corner of Hinckley Ohio
near the Intersection of W. 130th and Boston Road. Bordering Strongsville, North Royalton and
Brunswick OH. Auto Service Specialists has been providing the highest quality automotive maintenance
and repair to Medina and Cuyahoga counties from this location since 1996. While we do specialize in
Honda and Acura service, we also service all makes and models, foreign and domestic for cars and light
Local Car and Truck Repair Service for Brunswick
Ohio, Hinckley, Strongsville & North Royalton OH.
Auto Service Specialists
141 W 130th St., HINCKLEY, OH 44233
Phone: (330) 220-4441