Letting your timing belt replacement slide can lead to very expensive engine damage. Your timing belt synchronizes the timing of your combustion process. This includes:
- The pistons moving up-and-down in the cylinder,
- The intake valves opening on-time for air and fuel,
- Closing the intake valves to allow the fuel to burn,
- And opening the exhaust valves to release the exhaust.
This entire process happens thousands of times every minute.
If the timing is off, your engine will not run, but that is your best-case scenario. The worst case is that the engine will run, but a valve opens at the wrong time and collides with the piston. The result is bent valves and maybe even more damage to the cylinder head. Repairs can run several thousand dollars.
Timing belts wear out naturally, so you want to replace a worn belt before it slips or breaks. Check your owner's manual or your service advisor to see when they recommend you replace the timing belt. If you have never replaced your timing belt and have 60,000 or more miles on the odometer, talk with your service advisor here right away to see if you are due.
On some engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt. If you drive such a vehicle, you are recommended to replace the water pump when you replace the timing belt, and vice versa since much of the same work must be done for either. We recommend changing the timing belt tensioner also.
A timing belt replacement is one of the more expensive routine maintenance items on your service schedule. However, not replacing your timing belt can lead to some of the most expensive repairs you may ever have.