Timing Belt- Preventive maintenance item

Not every vehicle has a timing belt, some have a timing chain.  So the first thing you need to do is find out whether you have one and if you do when does it need to be changed?  The attitude “if it’s not broke don’t fix it”, isn’t a good attitude to have with this.  A timing belt isn’t something that can be checked since it is located quite far into the engine.

This is a fairly expensive job, ranging from $500 and up, but if it were to break, the costs would likely be in the thousands.  When you take your vehicle in to have the timing belt replaced the shop will probably suggest changing the water pump at the same time since it is located in the same place on many engines.

There are two types of engines.  1.  Interference style and 2. Non-interference.  If you have an interference style engine (ask the shop) and the timing belt were to break the valves would hit the pistons and this is where it can become quite costly to repair.  If you have a non-interference style engine the vehicle would just stop.





I was giving a clinic at a shop and a guy had his Volkswagen Jetta towed in.  Turns out the timing belt broke and it was going to cost $4,000 dollars to fix his car.  He had just lost his job the week before so he ended up towing his car back home.




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