Timing Belts Wear Out.
Some automobile engines with over head camshafts have timing belts. Over time, these rubber belts get old, crack, and eventually break. See the video to the right for what happens when a timing belt fails.
All auto manufacturers make recommendations for when a vehicle's timing belt should be changed based up on the mileage driven. This is part of any car's or truck's regular maintenance throughout its life and you can find the recommendation in your owner's manual.
Here in our office, we have a guide that will tell you three things:
- If an engine has a timing belt or a chain belt.
- If it is an interference engine (described below).
- If it is water pump driven.
The good news is modern engines can last 300,000 miles with proper maintenance. Unfortunately a timing belt repair can be a doozy of a maintenance cost because if it breaks your auto's engine can suffer a catastrophic failure costing you a lot of money.
There is a lot of technical information on the subject, but a quick explanation is that today's 4 and 6 cylinders have more horse power than v-8 engine from 20 years ago. Designers of engines accomplished this through better PCMs (computers) and tighter tolerances in cylinders. The cylinders higher compression creates more horse power. Rubber timing belts are also lighter than a steel timing chain.
The timing belt keeps the pistons and valves moving in a tight dance where they almost, but don't, touch each other.
The problem arises when the timing belt breaks. It's then that the pistons "kiss the" valves and they get bent.
The end result of this failure is that your $300-$900 timing belt job just turned into a $1400-$2600 engine job.
Some engines, but not many, are not interference designs and will not bend valves.
Educate yourself and save money.
Call us at Rick Stroud Auto in Pinellas County, FL at 727-547-1911. We're in Kenneth City which is right between St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park.
Or use our Estimate page to contact us.