My friend had a broken timing belt and it was very expensive to repair his engine. What can I do to avoid a broken timing belt?
Express Car Care Answer:
Well, a broken timing belt can lead to one of the most expensive engine repairs Denver drivers will ever face. The good news is that replacing your timing belt on its recommended schedule can help avoid those problems. Here’s a brief overview of what the timing belt does: Air is drawn into the cylinder of the engine through the intake valves. After the air and fuel mixture is burned, it’s pushed out through the exhaust valves. The timing belt, which is driven by the engine, turns the camshafts, that control when the intake and exhaust valves open and close. It is the opening and closing of the valves that takes place at exactly the right time for the engine to run properly.
Beyond that, on some vehicle engines, the valves actually extend into the combustion chamber far enough that they can be hit by the piston as it moves up and down in the cylinder. When everything is timed just right – no problem. When the timing is off, the piston will slam into the valves and cause big damage for drivers.
The timing belt makes sure everything is timed just right. However, the belt does have a useful life. Beyond that it can brake or slip – and that’s when the damage can be done. If your vehicle has a timing belt (some have metal timing chains) it will have a recommended interval for replacing it. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or with your Express Car Care service adviser to make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced…there is a lot at stake.
Getting to the timing belt requires a lot of labor, so service costs are higher, but it is certainly less than repairing a damaged engine. If your timing belt drives your water pump, change them both at the same time to save labor costs. Ask your Express Car Care service adviser when your timing belt should be changed and get an estimate for what it will cost, so you can budget for this service.