Is It Time to Replace a Timing Belt?
If you’re like most car owners, you’ve heard of timing belts, but do you know when to replace yours? Probably not.
Because timing belts are out of sight, they’re often ignored. Usually, people don’t replace these until they break and they’re stranded on the side of Houghton in rush hour traffic, battling the 100+ degree temperatures. If you don’t want to risk having this happen to you and your family, it might be worthwhile to check your timing belt before it breaks.
What are Timing Belts?
As the name suggests, these belts ensure all the valves and camshafts in your engine operate efficiently, opening and closing at the right time.
When your timing belts are in proper working condition, they make your engine and drive smooth. When they’re not, you could be causing more damage to your engine than you might realize.
Knowing when it’s time to replace a timing belt isn’t always easy. Here are some of the most critical signs to watch for.
Weather Worn Belts
Over time, the grip on a timing belt will wear down. When this happens, it loses traction causing it to slip out of place. This is especially likely to happen in monsoon rains and wet weather.
Excessive heat is another concern for timing belts. When the belt is exposed to extreme temperatures, it can cause the belt to wear down along the edges.
Doing a visual check (or having one of our mechanics do a visual check) of your timing belt will let you know if it’s time for it to be replaced. Look for worn out edges or poor traction to know if weather has weakened your timing belt.
Even in moderate weather, timing belts will wear out. Arizona’s dry climate can speed up the process and cause your timing belt to crack. If you see any cracks, your timing belts have been used excessively and should be replaced.
When your timing belts lose material, they’re often stretched, making the timing belt longer than it should be. This makes it hard for the belt to put tension in the right areas, which can reduce your car’s overall performance.
Timing belts are like goldilocks – you don’t want them too loose or too stiff. If your timing belt has a shiny appearance underneath, it probably doesn’t have the flexibility it needs to function properly. Try sticking your nail into the timing belt to see if it makes a small indentation. If not, it’s time to replace it.
We suggest replacing timing belts every 60,000 to 80,000 miles. Still, if you notice any of these signs, it’s important to bring your car in before your timing belt breaks.
Stop in anytime and we’ll give you a free visual inspection.