Timing Belt Repair – Your vehicle’s engine is a highly complicated, intricately designed piece of machinery that needs to operate within strict specifications in order to run properly and last for hundreds of thousands of miles. But how do all of these separate moving parts stay in sync with each other while you drive around Long Beach? This is usually accomplished with a part called the timing belt.
Your vehicle’s timing belt is a ribbed belt which keeps the engine’s crankshaft and camshafts timed properly, which keeps the top half of your engine – its intake and exhaust valves – synced to the bottom half – the crankshaft. If your vehicle is 15 years old or older, it most likely runs with a timing belt. However, many manufacturers have switched to metal timing chains in newer vehicles, which are designed to last as long as your engine. The recommended maintenance schedule for timing belt replacement differs by vehicle, but a good general rule is to get your timing belt replaced every 60,000 miles or 5 years, whichever comes sooner.
Changing a timing belt is not an easy job to do in any vehicle, but difficulty can still vary significantly between vehicles. Timing belt service may cost anywhere from around $450 to several thousand dollars depending on the vehicle, but doing it wrong can result in much more severe and expensive damage, especially in an interference engine.
There are two types of engine configurations that employ timing belts: interference and non-interference. An interference engine means that the valve’s stroke and piston’s stroke occupy the same space in the cylinder at different times, so the timing belt keeps them from colliding with each other. If the timingbelt snaps, the cylinder and valves will most likely hit each other, which most commonly causes bent valves but can also result in cylinder head or camshaft damage, and possibly piston and cylinder wall damage. It is possible to get lucky and not suffer any damage from a snapped timing belt on an interference engine, but very unlikely. Most likely, the timing belt snapping on an interference engine will cause catastrophic damage. On a non-interference engine, pistons and valves never occupy the same space, so if the timing belt snaps, no valve or cylinder damage should occur, and theoretically, replacing the broken timing belt will revert your engine to normal function. Owner’s manuals usually do not list if your car’s engine is interference or non-interference, so if you want to find out you can Google it.
At Orozco’s Auto Service of Long Beach, we can let you know all about your vehicle’s timing belt and give you the best possible price for professional work. Our team of certified mechanics will work with you to determine whether your vehicle needs timing belt service and get your engine running smoothly again as quickly as possible. Feel free to call our trained technicians today at (562) 427-4256 if you suspect any problems with your vehicle’s timing belt. Orozco’s is Long Beach’s number one auto repair & service center!