Did You Know…

…The timing belt is what drives your camshaft. Your camshaft is what drives your valves open and closed and it is connected to the crankshaft VIA the timing belt. The timing belt is made of a similar material to your fan/alternator belt, but it has teeth, or cogs build onto it.

If a cog were to break off, or several cogs, then that would throw your timing off causing a very rough idle, and poor performance. If more were to break off or the timing belt broke all together, the resulting damage to your engine would be very expensive. This would cause the pistons to come in contact with your valves, and you would have to rebuild the engine completely.

The Timing Belt, sometimes called a cambelt is an integral part of your engine.  It keeps the valves opening and closing at the right time.  If they open at the wrong time, major engine damage may occur.  It’s better to replace the timing belt when the manufacturer recommends it, rather than waiting for it to break and leave you stranded.  Most timing belt failures give very little if any warning.  Our customers often say “I was just driving along and the engine stopped”  If your car has an interference motor, the pistons will hit the valves.

Late in 2011 we realized that many of our customers cars needed the timing belt replaced during routine maintenance.  We developed our timing belt service to deliver the same value as our Clutch & Brake service.  We use only the best components with the best warranties.

*1995-1997 VW Jetta 2.0 Other models price may vary

Question & Answers About Timing Belts

What Is The Timing Belt?

The Timing Belt, sometimes called a Cam belt, is an integral part of your engine. The timing belt keeps the valves opening and closing at the right time. If these valves open at the wrong time, major engine damage may occur. It’s better to replace the timing belt when the manufacturer recommends it, rather than waiting for it to break and leave you stranded. Most timing belt failures give very little if any warning. Our customers often say, “I was just driving along and the engine stopped.” If your car has an interference motor, the pistons will hit the valves which can lead to significant damage.

Why Do I Need To Change The Timing Belt?

As the name indicates, a timing belt controls the timing of a car’s engine. As such, it is critically important that the timing belt remains tight. A tensioner helps to maintain tightness in the timing belt, but over time and with mileage, a timing belt can stretch out. When this occurs, problems arise within engine.

Bad timing may cause the valves to hit the pistons, which can lead to serious engine problems. These problems range from bent pistons, rods or valves, and none of them are easy or cheap to repair. Sometimes the only way to fix this damage is by replacing the entire engine. The best way to avoid these issues is for you to stay on top of your timing belt repair and maintenance schedule.

Why Do I Want A Technician To Install My Timing Belt?

Timing belt repair is generally not a job for amateur mechanics. The belts are generally inaccessible without removing quite a few other parts and accessories from the car, like the distributor, alternator and possibly the water pump.

The replacement timing belts must match the old ones exactly, which may require a time-consuming custom order. Once the timing belt itself has been replaced, the professional mechanic must synchronize the camshaft and the crankshaft with special tools and procedures. Timing belt repair can take several hours, and the vehicle will have to be towed into the shop. Timing belts should be changed at different times, depending upon the make and model of your car. Generally speaking, most cars need to have their timing belts changed between 60,000 and 120,000 miles.

The important thing, however, is that timing belts are indeed changed when they are supposed to be changed. It is important for you to have a technician that you can trust who will tell you timing belt repair is necessary. Because timing belt repair is one of the more costly maintenance items, most people prefer not to have it done unnecessarily or too preemptively.

What Else Should I Be Thinking About Related To Timing Belt Repair?

It is not unusual for a technician to suggest replacing the water pump, cam and crank seals at the same time as the timing belt repair, even if there is no obvious wear or damage in those parts. It is not a requirement to take this advice, but it usually will pay off in the long run. Almost all of the labor required to replace a water pump and seals has already been accomplished during the timing belt repair.

On some car models, the water pump is powered by the timing belt. If the water pump or seals should fail later on, the mechanic would have to go through all of those preliminary steps again. If the water pump is driven by the timing belt, a seized water pump may strip the teeth from the timing belt.

A timing belt may only have to be replaced once in a car’s lifetime, so it is a huge value to replace the water pump, seals and any associated parts at the same time you have the timing belt replaced.

Timing Belt
Diagnostic Tool

Below are the Top 5 Symptoms of a bad timing belt tensioner. If you notice any of these, then it is likely time to replace your timing belt tensioner at once.

Check Engine Light

If the timing belt is loose because of a bad tensioner, then the timing of the valves will be off.

This means problems in the engine, which will then result in the check engine light illuminating on the dashboard.

Knocking Sounds

When the timing belt gets loose, it will start to knock around and hit the timing cover and the other parts inside of it.

If it does not exactly sound like knocking, then it might be more of a slapping sound instead.

Engine Fails To Turn Over

The camshaft and crankshaft cannot synchronize when you have a loose timing belt caused by a bad tensioner. Because of this, you won’t be able to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the chamber. You may hear the motor after you turn the key in the ignition but you won’t be able to turn the engine over.

Grinding Sounds

If the timing belt doesn’t have a firm grip on the pulleys, then it will cause the pulleys themselves to make grinding or rattling noises. This will definitely happen if the pulley bearing goes bad.

Engine Misfires

If the valves of the cylinder open or close too prematurely, then it will result in an engine misfire. This will happen if the timing belt is not able to rotate the camshaft and crankshaft at the same time.

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