Timing belts are essential components of your car’s engine that ensure the smooth operation of the valves and pistons. They are made from a hardy reinforced rubber but they aren’t indestructible. Over time, they wear out and may break or jump leading to engine failure and costly repairs. A jumped belt will cause awful engine performance, but a snapped belt will destroy your engine. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about replacing timing belts.
What are the signs of timing belts going out?
Timing belts may give off several warning signs when they are going bad. Some of these include:
- A ticking noise coming from the engine
- A drop in oil pressure
- Difficulty starting the engine
- The engine misfires
- The car vibrates or shakes while driving and feels rough or bouncy
- The check engine light comes on
If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to have your car checked by a member of our team.
How much does it cost to replace a timing belt?
The cost of replacing a timing belt varies depending on the make and model of your car and the mechanic’s labour cost. On average, you can expect to pay from £250 for replacing a timing belt but the price varies massively. Some timing belts are really easy to access whereas some are deep within the engine bay which increases the cost of the labour. It’s important to note that the cost of replacing a timing belt is significantly less than the cost of repairing a damaged engine resulting from a broken timing belt.
How often should timing belts be changed?
The recommended interval for replacing a timing belt varies depending on the car manufacturer and model. As a general rule, most car manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt around every 60,000 or every 5 years, whichever comes first. However, it is essential to check your car’s manual for the recommended interval for your specific car. Alternatively, you can give our teams a call and we’ll be able to find out when this is due for you.
What happens when your timing belt goes bad?
When a timing belt goes wrong, it may snap or become loose, causing the engine’s valves and pistons to collide, leading to severe damage. In some cases, the engine may stop functioning altogether. The repairs for a damaged engine resulting from a broken timing belt can be costly, ranging from £1,000 to £3,000, depending on the extent of the damage. It’s worth noting that this is to be expected at some point as they are not designed to last forever. These belts come under incredible strain during engine loads so it’s important to know when yours is due.
What is the lifespan of timing belts?
The lifespan of a timing belt varies depending on the car manufacturer and model. As mentioned earlier, most manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt every 50,000 miles or every 5 years. However, the timing belt’s lifespan can be affected by several factors, such as driving conditions and maintenance.
Do timing belts break without warning?
Timing belts don’t tend to break without giving any warning signs first. As discussed earlier, there are several warning signs of a timing belt going out. If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to have your car checked by our team before the timing belt breaks and causes extensive engine damage.
Can you still drive a car with a broken timing belt?
No, you cannot drive a car with a broken timing belt. If the timing belt breaks while driving, the engine may stop functioning altogether. Additionally, driving with a broken timing belt can cause severe damage to the engine, resulting in costly repairs. If you believe your timing belt has gone, the best thing to do is to get your vehicle recovered to one of our garages for repair.
How long does it take to change timing belts?
The time it takes to replace a timing belt varies depending on the car’s make and model. On average, it takes between 4 to 6 hours to replace a timing belt. However, some cars may require more time as there may be more parts that need to be removed to gain access.
If you are looking to have your timing belt replaced, we can provide a free, no-obligation estimate so you can see the costings. Just get in touch with your team and we’ll be happy to help you.