Timing Belt / Cam Belt

Why and when should you replace your vehicle’s timing belt?

  • Timing Belts are used instead of timing chains, because they are quieter, more economical and lighter. Many of the late model vehicles, multi-cam Japanese and European vehicles will have a timing belt.

  • Timing belts eventually wear out. They need to be replaced before they break! Most manufacturers recommend they be replaced every 100,000 kms or 5 years, (which ever occurs first). We recommend the manufacturers’ specifications should be followed. Your timing belt’s life can be shortened dramatically by increased temperature, abrasives, chemical contamination, such as leaking oil seals, worn tensioner and idler pulley bearings, water pump bearings and water pump seal. The abovementioned parts also need to be considered for replacement, when the timing belt is replaced.

  • Timing belt breaks and the car stops. The Best Case Scenario... If your car has a “free running” engine, besides the inconvenience, you should just need a new timing belt installed. The Worst Case Scenario... If your car has an “interference engine”, it may have suffered internal damage. In addition to the inconvenience, the cost of the tow truck and timing belt replacement, you may be faced with a very expensive repairs. If the timing belt breaks in an interference engine, the control of the valve position in relation to the piston will be lost and this can result in severe damage.

  • Costs The cost of replacing a timing belt varies from vehicle to vehicle, BUT that cost is significantly cheaper than repairing or replacing an engine. The following should be considered when purchasing a vehicle that has a timing belt:
    1. When is the timing belt due for replacement?
    2. What are the costs of replacing the timing belt?
    3. If there is no service history on the timing belt, then the timing belt should be considered for replacement.