A selection of informal postings aimed to help you be able to keep your car in great condition and avoid the common pot holes of motoring.
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Is it time to change the
Timing Belt on your car??
Do you know if your vehicle has a Timing Chain or a Timing Belt? Technically, a Timing Chain should last for the life of the engine (although this is not always the case!) However, If your vehicle has a Timing Belt, the manufacturer will
advise at what intervals it is due to be changed either in time and / or
mileage. I have noticed
that with some vehicles, at times there appears to be a large difference
between the amount of miles that can be covered before changing the Timing Belt
and the time intervals. For example if the advice is that the belt should be
changed every 4 years or 100,000 miles,
it can be confusing for people who only
cover a few miles a year and who may struggle to accept that the belt would
need changing after 4 years and only a few miles.It is not easy to tell if a Timing Belt needs changing
as it does not necessarily look that much different as it wears, however it is
advisable to change the Timing Belt as per the schedule, since the timing belt
is made of rubber and perishes over time. This is why there is a suggested time
as well as mileage interval. If
neglected, the Timing Belt could break at any time without warning which will
result in a catastrophic engine failure. For those cars where the water pump runs off the Timing
Belt, you need to consider whether to change the Water Pump at the same time as
the timing belt. One of the reasons for this is due to the fact that if the
Water Pump needed to be changed at a later date, the Timing Belt would have to
be changed again. In addition, whilst the Timing Belt is being changed, 80-90%
of the labour required for changing the Water Pump has already been done which
rules out having to pay twice for the labour at different times.
You should be
able to speak to a technician who can help you decide whether to change the
Water Pump in your particular vehicle. Car engines are not the same and there
may be some specific differences that need to be taken into account.You need to be aware that when the Timing Belt is
changed, it is not just the belt that needs to be changed; there are also
Tensioners and Guide Pulleys (Please check which items are needed specific to
your vehicle). When quoting, we at Lakeside Garage always give a price for a
Timing Belt kit which includes the extra items required. We also quote for the
Water Pump at the same time so that our customers can decide for themselves. Remember too that even though replacing the Timing Belt
is not cheap, the other alternative would be to have to pay for a new engine
which does not even bear thinking about!It is good practice when ringing around to get prices,
to make sure that the service advisor is completely clear with you about what
you are actually being quoted for as it is possible that you will only be given
a price just to change the Timing Belt and nothing else. You will also need to
ask exactly what parts are being used as these will alsoimpact on the price you pay.
Remember cheap parts are
unlikely to be warrantied and do not pay in the long run!!
I have tried to give an overall idea in this blog, but if you would like any more specific technical
information please do contact us on 01784 482158or via our website at www.lakesidegarageservices.co.uk
and one of our technicians will be happy to speak to you!