They say timing is everything, and when it comes to timing belts this saying is particularly true. Since the cost to repair the damage caused by a timing belt failure can be quite high, it is very important that you have your timing belt replaced at recommended intervals.
Generally this is between 100,000 kms to 120,000 kms, but some models can go as high as 150,000 km intervals. We recommend you become familiar with and check your owner’s manual and know when to have this important maintenance work performed. If you have any questions regarding the timing belt service and any other routine maintenance needs, contact the experts at Dales Auto Service!
Some considerations relative to timing belt replacement are:
- Is the vehicle leaking any type of fluid that might degrade the belt, if so disregard the suggested replacement interval and replace the belt ASAP as well as repair the leak;
- Do you know the repair history of the vehicle if it is not verifiable err on the side of safety and replace the belt;
- Timing belt replacement can be labor intensive. Since the water pump is usually accessed in the same operation you might consider replacing the pump at the same time even if it doesn’t leak. You will save on labor and possibly prevent a pump replacement later on that will also necessitate the belt to be replaced again;
- To avoid subsequent failure consider replacing sprockets and tensioners that are part of the timing belt system. All components are sometimes sold as a kit and can be less expensive than purchasing them individually.
The timing chain keeps internal engine components in sync with each other by causing valves to open and close at the proper time. It is durable and generally needs no maintenance. However, timing chain failure can result in serious internal engine damage.
In order to maintain the mechanical integrity the engine needs to operate, engine components must be in precise synchronization. If the timing chain is loose or improperly adjusted, it may “jump time” (skipping a tooth or more, usually on the cam gear). This results in a loss of synchronization and engine performance.
Do I have to replace my timing chain as often as a timing belt?
The answer is NO
Due to their inherent long life, timing chains usually have no specific replacement or maintenance intervals. Abnormal engine noise originating at the front of the engine (a rattle or rumble, associated with engine speed) is a good indicator of a failing timing chain.
Timing chain faults can cause poor engine performance with or without Check Engine Light illumination. Some engines cannot tolerate any deviation in precise valve control. Any timing chain problem—a loose, noisy, or broken timing chain—can have disastrous consequences. Repairs can range from simple timing chain replacement to major engine repairs for damaged pistons and bent valves.