It’s all about timing!
When people tell horror stories about costly car repair jobs, more times than not, it involves a timing belt. Why is that? It is likely due to the significance your timing belt plays in running your entire engine. If it breaks, it takes down a whole slew of other parts with it leaving you with a nasty bill.
What is a timing belt?
The timing belt is just that: a big belt. Simply put, this (essentially) over-sized rubber band keeps the top half of your engine in sync with the bottom half. If it breaks or becomes loose, it has the ability to collide with other essential pieces such as valves and pistons, causing your engine to stop working.
So how do you know when to replace your timing belt? There’s no yellow or red indicator for it. The best place to check is in your owner’s manual. The frequency may vary from vehicle to vehicle, but overall it’s determined by mileage.
So what if it’s time to change the belt?
Let’s say you read your manual and you realize you’re probably due to replace your timing belt soon. Before you start stressing out about replacement costs, take a peek under the hood. Look for signs of wear or cracking just like you would with your tires. If you hear a slapping sound, chances are it’s just loose. Either way, take it in to your mechanic for a more definite diagnosis.
No one wants to be caught off guard with this kind of a doozy. Take a little time and get acquainted with this area of your vehicle. You will not only save yourself some money, but you’ll also earn a little peace of mind.
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