A timing belt or timing chain is an essential part of your engine. Occasionally, a timing belt needs replacing or adjusting. When this element of your engine is neglected and it breaks, you can damage hoses, the radiator, valve cover gaskets and just about anything else it comes in contact with. So, what is it, what does it do and what else should you know about it? Here is some helpful information from one of our ASE Certified Mechanics.
Your Timing Belt
Depending on the age, make and model of your car, you may have a timing belt or a timing chain. A timing belt is made from rubber and, hence, needs more frequent replacing than a timing chain. Its purpose is to connect the crankshaft to the camshaft to open and close the engine’s valves. In some cars it also operates the water and oil pumps. A timing chain, on the other hand, last longer but may need adjusting rather than replacing.
When Should You Replace Yours?
If you’re able to see yours, take a look at it from time to time. As rubber ages it can look cracked, dried or even shiny. If you notice anything like this talk to your ASE certified mechanic. If you’re not one inclined to look at your engine, ask your mechanic to check it starting at about 50,000 miles. As previously mentioned, this is one of those maintenance items that better done before it becomes a repair. If yours makes it to about 150,000 it should be replaced.
Don’t Replace it Yourself
Unless you have the right tools and training, this isn’t a maintenance task you should attempt. Because the belt or chain both need proper tension, you should have an ASE certified mechanic install yours. Oldsmar Automotive has ASE certified mechanics on staff who can replace yours. If you’re unsure about the safety and state of yours, come in for an inspection and, if need be, we’ll provide you with a no obligation estimate to replace yours. You can either make an appointment by calling (727) 784-3501 or simply come by 3166 Tampa Road in Oldsmar.