As more car owners opt to keep their vehicles longer and customers tighten their purse strings during this unpredictable season, it is becoming increasingly important to keep up with regular maintenance, including replacing the timing belt.
A timing belt is an essential component of an internal combustion engine. The timing belt is a rubber belt that syncs up the crankshaft and camshaft rotation, which ensures your engine and valves operate correctly. The camshaft operates the valves in your engine to facilitate the movement of air and gas. The crankshaft moves the pistons up and down to help power the engine. The timing belt keeps your engine’s valves moving safely and your engine running. Failing to maintain your timing belt can lead to larger problems and even more costly engine repairs.
Most car manufacturers advise replacing your timing belt every 100,000 miles, although older vehicles may need to replace timing belts every 60,000 miles.
Signs You Need a New Timing Belt
If you are nearing the 100,000-mile mark on your odometer, it’s important to stay alert for signs you may need a new timing belt. Here are a few indicators that you need to bring your car into your nearest Milex Complete Auto Care for a timing belt replacement.
- Engine misfires or you hear a ticking noise. If your engine is making unusual noises, don’t put off bringing it to a mechanic. Many drivers hear a ticking noise coming from their engine as their timing belt wears out. Strange engine noises can indicate your timing belt needs replacing, or they can be a sign of another problem.
- Oil leak. If you notice an oil leak coming from the front of the motor, that’s a sign of a problem. If your timing belt is wearing out or the cover is cracked, oil may leak out.
- Rough idling. If the teeth on the timing belt wear out or are brittle, the belt will slip away from the gears, and your engine can stall. The first sign of this type of wear can be rough idling.
- The engine won’t turn over. If the timing belt is already broken, the engine won’t turn over, even if the motor engages. If this happens, it’s time to get it towed to a mechanic.
How Much is a New Timing Belt?
While many car owners may balk at making a high-cost maintenance repair, getting a timing belt fixed before it breaks can save you money in the long run. The old adage, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” really doesn’t apply to cars. While it depends on the type of car you drive, it costs approximately $500 to $1,000 for a mechanic to replace the timing belt before it breaks. The part costs about $50 but reaching it takes time and skill. If you wait to make the fix after the timing belt wears out, the fix will cost you at least $2,000 and you may have further engine damage that needs repairing.
The cost of new vehicles is on the rise, and many Americans are making the decision to keep their cars longer to avoid high car payments. In the United States, the average car payment for a new vehicle is $563, according to Lending Tree, an online lending marketplace. While it is fun to get behind the wheel of a new vehicle, it’s not always the most economical choice. With regular maintenance, an older vehicle can be a reliable option that will save your family money.
Milex Complete Auto Care is your neighborhood resource for most maintenance and repairs. They specialize in offering honest, affordable, comprehensive auto repair and preventative maintenance services. Conducting regular maintenance will ensure your car gets the best gas mileage and runs efficiently, and it will help your vehicle retain its resale value when you do decide it’s time for an upgrade.
Milex Complete Auto Care can help make sure you complete regular maintenance and help keep your car’s engine in superior condition. Click here to find a Milex Complete Auto Carelocation near you.