Time for a New Timing Belt?

Timing belts.  For whatever reason they are ignored – probably because they are perceived to be an expensive Kanata/Stittsville auto repair. Reality is, a timing belt replacement is not that pricey. But if you let it go to long and it breaks, the damages to your engine and components will leave you stranded and could cause damage that could have been avoided.

What happens if a your timing belt breaks?  That depends on what type of engine you have. There are two types of engines: an interference and non-interference. In an interference engine, if a timing belt breaks while driving, there is a good chance that the engine might be severely damaged. A non-interference engine will stall, if a timing belt breaks, but further damage should be limited.

So how often should your timing belt last?  It is recommended replacement of your timing belt between 60,000 to 106,000 miles (check your manual). That being said, if you are in this range you may not need a new belt.  We recommend you be proactive, get into a Kanata/Stittsville auto garage for them to look for the following signs that it is “time” for a new timing belt.

  • Wear. Just like tires, timing belts only have so much “tread” on them. If you lose that tread the timing belt can slip and eventually break.
  • Abrasion. Your Kanata/Stittsville mechanic will look for wear on the belt’s edges to see if they have been worn down to the filaments inside.
  • Cracking. Your Stittsville/Kanata mechanic will inspect both the topside and underside (rib cross-section); if your vehicle has a neoprene timing belt and there are a lot of cracks this can indicate excessive wear, which needs to be attended to ASAP
  • Elongation/stretching. Material loss can also change the effective length of the belt, moving the tensioner beyond its take-up limit. This will reduce overall tension and could cause the timing belt to slip or break.

There are countless other things to check – so don’t delay.  Don’t neglect your Kanata/Stittsville timing belt and get your car into a garage today to get it checked.

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