Timing Belt Replacement - Procrastination is NOT an optionby Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair on 08/20/13
Your car's timing belt doesn't look much different from a giant rubber band, but it's oddly vital to the operation of your engine, and thus your vehicle. The timing belt wears over time. It gets thinner, it starts to get rough on the edges, and even small cracks can appear, but you'll want to replace it LONG before it looks like it might fail or break.
Your car's manual will have a recommended replacement mileage, or window. Most cars need a timing belt replacement every 50,000 to 90,000 miles. The smart driver will just get it changed on this schedule without trying to check for visible wear or funny sounds. Why? Because unlike some parts of your vehicle, if your timing belt breaks, you car is not only dead in it's tracks, but you will likely have to replace your entire engine. That's a cost of $2,000-$5,000 depending on the engine! Replacing the timing belt costs FAR LESS, and most of the cost is simply the labor intensive disassembly of parts of the car to gain access to the belt.
If you're not sure how long it's been since your last timing belt replacement, a reputable shop like ours at Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair will gladly inspect the belt and let you know if we are seeing any signs of wear, or age. It's going to be worth your money to err on the side of caution. If you have a mechanic you trust, you shouldn't hesitate if they recommend this repair----it's not one that you can take a change with.
The good news is that we not only replace the belt, but the tensioners, seals, and sprockets that are all part of the belts functionality. This will give you even more assurance for the next 50K-90K miles! We handle hundreds of these per year at our Bellevue Auto Repair shop. You can be confident that we have more than enough experience in doing these jobs correctly, and more efficently than most, which can save you money!
One last bit of advice: Whether you have your Timing Belt Replacement performed at our Bellevue shop, our Woodinville Auto Repair shop, or any other Bellevue Mechanic, you should ask about having your water pump replaced at the same time as your timing belt. Even if it is not leaking at all, it's worth doing NOW while the your mechanic already has access to the area. It will usually only add the cost of the part and a small amount of labor to the job. A good mechanic will recommend that you do this, but just in case they don't, you can simply inquire about this cost-saving measure.
Feel free to have your car in to Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair for your next oil change or servicing, where we will inspect your belt and many other areas of your car as a free part of the service!