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Why Your Timing Belt Needs to Be Changed

Timing belt repair in Geneva and Batavia

If you’ve taken a look under the hood of your vehicle recently, you’ve probably noticed that many components are easy to identify – the engine, transmission, and the radiator, just to name a few. What about the timing belt? You may not immediately see it (it’s hidden, so if you do see it, that’s a problem), but this small, unassuming rubber belt is actually a critical element of a properly running car. It may not have the same complexity of your engine, but you’ll certainly notice when it isn’t working properly. Read more…

When Do I Need to Replace My Timing Belt? Rx Automotive 630.443.8500

Why Do I Need to Replace My Timing Belt?

A timing belt, also known as a cambelt, is a very important part of your car or truck’s engine that is responsible for its smooth functionality. The timing belt actually controls the camshafts in the engine which are present above the timing belts. The camshafts control the intake and exhaust valves in your engine so that there is a constant flow of air required for combustion. With the help of the timing belt, the cams can move in the right direction at the right time thereby controlling these valves.

Is It Necessary To Replace Your Timing Belt?

The timing belt of the car engine should be taut enough to control the movement of the pistons correctly. As months pass by and the vehicle is used repeatedly, the timing belt stretches out, cracks, derails or looses teeth and no longer fits tightly in the engine. This can result in a plethora of problems that can damage the engine of the car.

Potential Dangers Of Not Changing Your Timing Belt

When the timing belt is eroded, the timing is out of pace which can cause the valves to hit the pistons leading to serious engine problems. If the timing belt breaks, the pistons keep moving but the valves cease to function. In case you have a clearance engine in your car, the tear of timing belt causes your car to not function at all. This means you will have to end up calling a towing truck to get back to the home, or rather, the mechanic.

On other hand, if you have an interference engine, the resulting damage of a broken timing belt is far greater. The piston ends up hitting the valves causing bent pistons, rods or valves, or even broken ones. This is very hard to repair and costs a lot of money. Sometimes the damage is too expensive and the only way to fix is to replace the engine of the car! You might end up paying even more than the actual value of the car!

Therefore, the best way to avoid any of these engine issues is to make sure your timing belt is maintained.

When Should You Replace Your Timing Belt?

Take action before your timing belt fails and leaves you stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere! Why wait for that final moment when extensive damage can happen to your car. There is no way to know when the belt might fail but it is best to not exceed manufacturer’s recommendations. Most car manufacturers recommend within 10% of the factory interval which falls between 60,000 miles and 100,000 miles or every four years, whichever is sooner.

Some newer car models have manufacturer recommendations up to 120,000 miles! This changing time varies from one car to the other and from one engine to the other. Be sure to check your manufacturer recommended replacement intervals and get your timing belt replaced regularly and by a certified mechanic.

At Rx Auto Repair in St Charles, IL we have all of the manufacturer timing belt change recommendations for all models. If you have any questions, need to schedule an appointment, or need a quote on changing your timing belt – we are here for you.


Rx Automtoive

602 Sidwell Court
St Charles, IL 60174

(630) 443-8500

Hours of Operation

Mon – Fri: 7:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 7:00am – 2:00pm

Posted by: In: Timing Belt 26 Dec 2012 0 comments

Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine, has to do with the combustion cycle.

Your sedan engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned.

Call Rx Automotive at 630-443-8500 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our Saint Charles IL service center on 602 Sidwell Ct Unit I , 60174

It’s critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all.

The timing belt is responsible for rotating the shafts that control the valves. It’s vital and precision work. Timing belts are made of very tough flexible material. They can last a long time. But they eventually wear out and can break. The consequences can be disastrous.

In some engines, the valves actually protrude far enough into the cylinders that they could come in contact with the piston. If the timing belt breaks, the pistons will smash into the valves. Valves get bend or broken. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts will shred the cylinder head as well. Repairing this damage can cost several thousand dollars.

It’s a sad day when this happens; especially since it usually can be avoided. Manufacturers have issued recommendations for when you should replace your timing belt. For some engines, it’s at 60,000 miles. For others it’s at 90,000 miles or more. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles, or have passed it, make sure you check your owner’s manual or with your Saint Charles IL auto service advisor at Rx Automotive for when the timing belt should be replaced. Don’t let this one slip by.

Now some timing belts are visible and can be inspected. Others are hidden under a protective cover and are hard to get to. Some timing belts also drive the water pump. If you have a leaky water pump, the coolant will contaminate the timing belt and could make it fail sooner. So if you have this kind of engine, get it in to Rx Automotive for an inspection right away if you have a coolant leak.

Most people in the St Charles area with this engine design end up with a new timing belt when they replace the water pump. And when you’re having your timing belt replaced on schedule, check with your Saint Charles IL auto service advisor at Rx Automotive to see if it makes sense to install a new water pump, even if it isn’t currently having problems, since most of the labor is already being done any way for the timing belt replacement.

As a heads up; larger engines will often have metal timing chains rather than belts. The chains don’t need to be replaced like belts.

We’ve already told you how very expensive it can be to get your car running again after a timing belt fails. You also need to know that replacing the timing belt is very labor intensive and is one of the most costly maintenance services you will have. So if you will be at the point where your timing belt should be replaced in the next year or so, ask for an estimate from Rx Automotive in Saint Charles IL so you can begin to prepare for the expense.

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