How Often Should You Service Your Car’s Timing Belt?

exposed internal elements of a vehicle's engine

As you can imagine, it's essential to keep an eye on your timing belt because if it breaks or snaps, your car will not run properly and could even break down on the road. Don’t get to the point of breakdown.

The Santa Rosa team at GreenTech Automotive specializes in timing belt services and has put together some using information about the timing belt in your vehicle.

What Are Timing Belts?

Timing belts are a type of rubber belt that connects the crankshaft to the camshaft of your vehicle's engine. The crankshaft drives the piston, and the camshaft controls when fuel is introduced into the cylinder.

The primary job of this belt is to synchronize the movement and rotation between these two parts, so they work together accurately. It also regulates valve timing, ensuring valves open and close with each cycle of the piston to let air and fuel into the combustion chamber. Without a timing belt, your engine won't work!

Does My Vehicle Need a New Timing Belt?

If your car is due for a timing belt service, you mustn't wait. The signs of a worn-out timing belt are easy to miss and can lead to severe engine damage if ignored. An automobile that needs a new timing belt will often produce a high-pitched squeaking or rattling noise from the engine. It's always best to replace the water pump when you replace your timing belt since they're both located close together. In case your water pump fails after you get a new timing belt, the repair costs will almost double.

If you are unsure whether your car needs its timing belt replaced, contact our qualified timing belt service expert in Santa Rosa who can inspect it for you.

What Happens If My Car's Timing Belt Breaks?

If your vehicle's timing belt fails while you are driving, the pistons can strike the valves in your engine, causing extensive damage. This can result in costly repairs and sometimes the replacement of your entire engine and vehicle's critical components.

 For this reason, you should get your car's timing belt replaced according to manufacturer recommendations or as soon as possible. Doing so can help you save thousands of dollars in future repairs and avoid any problems down the road.

How Often Should You Replace the Timing Belt?

You have to replace your timing belt at regular intervals or else it might cause your engine to stall unexpectedly while driving. Most manufacturers will have a recommended time and distance for when the timing belt should be replaced. The recommended replacement interval for most vehicles with a timing belt is between 60,000 and 100,000 miles (96,560 to 160,930 km).

If you have an interference engine, you should replace it every 60,000 miles or 60 months (whichever comes first). If your vehicle has a non-interference engine, you can go up to 100,000 miles before replacing it.

Bonus Point:

If you drive more than 50 miles daily or frequently tow heavy loads on foothill roads or through inclement weather, replace your timing belt before 100,000 miles.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Timing Belt?

As a vehicle timing belt specialist in Santa Rosa, we see a lot of bad belts come into our shop. If you’re not sure if your timing belt is beginning to go, here are some of our top recognized signs that your timing belt is going bad.

  • Your vehicle starts to squeak or make a loud sound when you fire it up or pick up the pace
  • There are visible signs of degradation and cracks on the belt itself
  • There's an unusual vibration when starting or accelerating’
  • Your car has high mileage and over 100,000 miles on it, and you haven't replaced its timing belt yet
  • There's a leak in one of the seals, the oil pan, or front cover gaskets
  • The check engine light comes on unexpectedly, indicating your vehicle is low on gas

If you notice any of the above-mentioned warning signs it is time to bring your vehicle to a professional.

If you are looking for a trusted timing belt servicer in Santa Rosa, give GreenTech Automotive a call today. Our team of professional timing belt specialists will have your vehicle running safely on the road in no time. With their years of experience and expertise, our team will help you replace, and maintain your timing belt so that it will last for the years to come. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at (707)545-7076.