Don’t Trifle with Your Timing Belt
Your timing belt is the most important maintenance item in your Kanata/Stittsville engine as it, well… keeps everything running smoothly, with the right timing to keep the engine running right.
Some Kanata/Stittsville autos don’t have a timing belt but instead use a timing chain which last longer but tend to be more expensive to replace if they every need servicing. Check your owner’s manual to see if you have a timing belt or timing chain.
Back to timing belts – you should have your Kanata/Stittsville garage inspect your timing belt whenever it is in for maintenance – but don’t leave it at that. Your owner’s manual tells you how often to change the timing belt, this is not something to take lightly. Worst case is you are replacing a Kanata/Stittsville timing belt a little early… which by the way will prevent major repair bills if the timing belt were to break.
Replace your timing belt at the manufacturer’s suggested intervals regardless of its visual condition. On many cars the timing belt is easily seen by removing the plastic timing cover on the front of the engine, usually held on by a couple of phillips head screws or clips.
Look at the outside of the belt to see if any tiny cracks are forming. The timing belt is a very strong metal-reinforced belt with rubber on the outside. The rubber should be fairly smooth, with no chunks missing or massive cracking. One or two small cracks in the outer shiny coating of the belt are ok, but if you see lots of cracking on the surface this may indicate extreme wear. Next flip the belt over slightly to inspect the teeth. You can do this at the point that’s farthest away from both pulleys. You may not be able to actually “flip” the belt, but you can sneak some looks at the underside of the belt all the way around. A single broken tooth can cause major issues.
Your best bet is to let your favorite Kanata/Stittsville garage keep a close eye on your timing belt at regular intervals.
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