Timing Belt - Is It Time To Change It?

March 29th, 2016

Let's address a maintenance item for everyone  – timing belt replacement. It's important because letting this one slide can lead to engine damage.

Your timing belt is what makes all the moving parts inside the engine open and close at the precise 

time needed in order for your engine to run smoothly and efficiently.

The worst case for  drivers is that a valve is opening at the wrong time and collides with the piston. The result is bent valves and maybe even more damage to the cylinder head. Repairs can run several thousand dollars or damage the engine beyond repair.

Now, timing belts just wear out naturally so you want to replace a worn belt before it slips or breaks. Check your owner's manual or with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Kirkwood Auto Center in Wilmington, DE to see when they recommend you replace the timing belt. If you've never replaced your timing belt and have had your vehicle for a while, talk with your service advisor at Kirkwood Auto Center right away to see if you're due.

On some engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt as opposed to the serpentine belt. If that's the case, it's a good idea to replace the water pump when you're replacing the timing belt, and vice versa since much of the same work has to be done for either. The same is true for the timing belt tensioner – it should be inspected and possibly replaced.

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