Brown's Alignment Auto Repair

TIming Belt

Timing Belts

“Out of sight out of mind” and “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Either of these philosophies can be very costly when dealing with a Timing Belt.

The timing belt on your vehicle is not visible as are the drive belts. However it is rubber and will deteriorate over time. In most cases there will be no symptom or advance warning from a worn timing belt. That’s why vehicle manufacturers recommend timing belts be replaced at specific mileage intervals. The typical range is from 60,000 to 110000 miles. The mileage for your car can be located in your automobile’s owners manual maintenance schedule.

So what happens when a timing belt fails or breaks? It always mean trouble, however the particular engine design can determine if the car just shuts down while driving or whether you are also likely to also have an expensive engine repair as well. Engines can generally be classified as “Free Running” or “Interference” as illustrated below:Timing Belt, water pump, toyota, lexus, honda, acura, subaru

If the timing belt breaks on a “Free Running” engine the owner will most likely “only” have the cost and inconvenience of a tow and a timing belt replacement. Although over the years we have had some non-interference engines come in with internal engine damage (bent valves) as a result of the timing belt braking. On the other hand, for the owner of a vehicle with an “interference “ engine it will likely be more complicated. With this engine design when the timing belt breaks the piston can contact an open valve causing damage to either the valve and or the piston.

Here at Brown’s Alignment Brake and Auto Repair we can replace the timing belt on most vehicles and do timing belt jobs regularly.  Most timing belt jobs can be done in one day. We also recommend changing the water pump and oil seals (camshaft & crankshaft oil seal) when replacing the timing belt. These extra items are located under the timing belt cover. Replacing these is optional but if done with the timing belt you save a lot of money  in overlapping labor. The idea is that the water pump and seals will not last until it is time to do the timing belt again with out leaking.

We always recommend using only OE/dealer timing belts as they are more dependable and have less noise issues. As for the other parts you can save money using premium aftermarket parts. Although we can get OE / dealer parts for any vehicle if the customer prefers.

Click for larger images!

Timing belt water pump browns alignment timing belt broken