Signs it is Time to Change Your Timing Belt

When running through the list of items to attend to under the hood, the timing belt may not be the first thing that comes to mind, if at all. This issue is compounded by the fact that in most cases, there are no obvious signs that the timing belt is nearing the end of its life. In the event that your mechanic notices it is in need of replacing, you may assume that this is just an attempt to squander your hard earned money… This is a gamble not worth taking.

Your timing belt has a big job to do. This belt runs the engine camshaft. It is called a timing belt because its main job is to precisely time valve opening and closing with an up-and-down movement of the pistons. If the timing is off at all, you may (or may not) experience some slight changes in the way your car behaves. For instance, if you notice that when you’re driving you get up between 2,000 and 4,000 RPM, this could be a clear indication that something is amiss with your timing belt. It could be that it has become loose and is slipping, or it could mean that there are teeth missing in your belt.

So, how often do you really need to change your timing belt? For the most accurate information for your car’s make and model, always refer to your user’s manual. This is as close to a ‘cheat sheet’ as you will get when it comes to understanding your car’s behavior. Generally, it is recommended that you at least have your belt inspected every 60,000 – 106,000 miles. Some makes and models last significantly longer than others, which is why we encourage you to have it looked over if you’re unsure.

There is an old saying that rings true in this case: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Unfortunately, if your timing belt does break, it could cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage. In other situations, your car may not be worth fixing, which leads to a whole new issue. While the cost of replacing this part may deter you, we strongly suggest you have your trusted car care professional inspect it and give you a status update.

If you have noticed any strange behavior in your car, do not ignore it! Let us give you our ProtectCheck Inspection of your vehicle and formulate a plan to address any issues. Take a look at all of the Services we offer and give us a call at 1 (877) 79-AAMCO to schedule your appointment!