Do I need to replace my timing belt?

The timing belt is a critical component of your engine. If it fails, so will your engine and it will shut your car down. This can be a frightening experience, especially if you’re traveling on an interstate. It can also happen when your car is not running and you suddenly discover the car won’t start.

There are often few warning signs that your timing belt needs replacement. If you don’t replace the belt or chain as part of your regular car maintenance regimen, you may end up with a large towing and repair bill down the road.

The timing belt or chain typically should be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles to prevent costly engine repairs. Consult your owner’s manual to find out your car manufacturer’s recommendation.

When the belt malfunctions, it often takes other parts with it. When the belt fails, it may bend the valves within the engine’s cylinder head. You’ll also need to replace the water pump and other parts, including tensioners and pulleys involved in the timing belt system.
How the timing belt or chain works

The timing belt synchronizes the engine’s critical functions, controlling the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft. It also opens and closes the valves within the engine that allows the gas and air in and out, causing ignition of the fuel within the combustion chamber.
The timing belt is key to the operation of your engine, which is the heart of your vehicle.
Factors to consider when deciding to replace your timing belt
While your owner’s manual will be able to provide you with a general mileage of when your timing belt should be replaced, there are other factors to consider if you think you should replace the belt:

Is your vehicle leaking fluid? Engine leaks can further degrade the integrity of your timing belt and you may need to get your vehicle in to not only replace the timing belt as soon as possible, but also fix the leak.

Staying on top of the preventive maintenance of your vehicle will save you money. Consider the replacement of your timing belt an investment in your vehicle.
Escondido Auto Tech prides itself on providing the best full service auto repairs or preventive maintenance within our service area. To schedule an appointment, call (760) 745-4454 or visit us online at