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Why it’s important to change your car’s timing belt

Posted by on September 22, 2011

It may seem like a small thing but your car’s timing belt actually has an important job to do and if it isn’t changed in time and breaks, the result could be a lot of damage to your entire car engine (a check from a car servicing specialist would be advisable – someone like the chaps at Very often there is no warning that your timing belt is going to break. One day everything is fine, the next your car’s engine cuts out or won’t start. And while a timing belt may be inexpensive to replace, it is the damage to the rest of your engine that makes a broken timing belt expensive.

What does your timing belt do?

The timing belt is a crucial element in keeping your camshaft and crankshaft in sync. Your crankshaft is responsible for converting energy from your engine’s pistons, which move up and down, into the energy that will turn the wheels of your car while the camshaft regulates the opening and closing of the engine’s valves, allowing air and gas to come in and out of the engine. Without the timing belt, these pistons and valves would collide. When the belt breaks the result is no compression on the two cylinders and so there is significant damage to the valves. Valve replacement is costly and you will need to also have your car towed as it is impossible to drive a car with a broken timing belt.

Most car manufactures will give a recommended mileage on which you should replace the belt. This is usually around 60,000 miles or every four years, although this number varies according to the make of your car. Always check your car manual for this information and make a note in your calendar now for when your timing belt replacement is due. It could save you a large amount of money and hassle.