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They say timing is everything, and when it comes to timing belts this saying is particularly true. Since the cost to repair the damage caused by a timing belt failure can be quite high, it is very important that you have your timing belt replaced at recommended intervals. Generally this is between 50,000 to 70,000 miles, but some models can go as high as 105,000 mile intervals. We recommend you become familiar with and check your owner’s manual and know when to have this important maintenance work performed. If you have any questions regarding the timing belt service and any other routine maintenance needs, contact the technicians at Fixcarnow in West Los Angeles.
The job of the timing belt is to turn the camshaft at half the speed of the crankshaft. This is how the valves open and close. There are two different types of engines that use timing belts: ‘interference engines and ‘non-interference engines.’ The difference between the two types of engines is the distance between the valves and the pistons. Since the job of the timing belt must be so precise, on an interference engine the failure of the timing belt can be catastrophic as the piston can hit an open valve and ruin pistons and valves. The damage to a non-interference engine will not be so severe, but either way if the belt fails, the engine will shut down immediately.
Since timing belts fail without warning, your only protection is to change the belt at the recommended intervals. Timing belt replacement is generally not an inexpensive job but it is far less costly than repairing whatever engine damage that will occur with a timing belt failure. Replacement of the timing belt must be done properly and at a repair shop with qualified personnel. The valve and piston movements must be perfectly synchronized. The tension of the belt itself is important as well. If it is too loose, it will not work properly, and if it is too tight it will cause unnecessary engine strain.
Causes of timing belt failure and wear include contact with too much oil in the engine, stripped gear teeth and breakdown of belt fiber. If you are lucky enough to have any warning that the failure may soon occur, it could sound like a knocking in the front of the engine.
Fixcarnow recommends that when you replace the timing belt you also have the water pump replaced. There is good reason behind this logic as nearly all of the labor to change the water pump is done when replacing the timing belt. Since many water pumps will fail, you would pay for the same labor again for what may be an eventuality. The technicians at Fixcarnow are familiar with all makes and models of cars and can advise you as to the needs of your particular model.