Timing is Everything!

Timing Belt

Timing is Everything!

Let’s address a very important maintenance item for everyone in Hamilton ON – timing belt replacement. It’s important because letting this one slide can lead to very expensive engine damage.

Your timing belt choreographs the timing of your combustion process. Your pistons travel up and down in the cylinder. Intake valves open at the right time to let in air and fuel, they close at the right time to allow the fuel to burn and then the exhaust valves open at the right time to let out the exhaust.

All this happens thousands of times a minute and it’s your timing belt that makes sure the valves are opening and closing at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run. And that’s the best case.

The worst case is that a valve is opening at the wrong time and collides with the piston. The result is bent valves and maybe even more damage to the cylinder head. Repairs can run several thousand dollars.

On some engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt as opposed to the serpentine belt. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to replace the water pump when you’re replacing the timing belt, and vice versa since much of the same work has to be done for either. The same is true for the timing belt tensioner, it should be inspected and possibly replaced.

Now, replacing a timing belt is one of the more expensive routine maintenance items on your service schedule. But not replacing your timing belt can lead to some of the most expensive repairs you’re likely to ever have.

Timing belts just wear out naturally so you want to replace a worn belt before it slips or breaks. Check your owner’s manual or with your service advisor at Putney’s Brake and Alignment Service in Hamilton ON to see when they recommend you replace the timing belt. If you’ve never replaced your timing belt and have 95,000 or more kilometers on the odometer, talk with your Hamilton service advisor at Putney’s Brake and Alignment Service right away to see if you’re due.

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One thought on “Timing is Everything!

  1. Paul Crossman
    July 31, 2018
    Reply

    Well, a broken timing belt can lead to one of the most expensive engine repairs Hamilton drivers will ever face. The good news is that replacing your timing belt on its recommended schedule can help avoid those problems. Here’s a brief overview of what the timing belt does:Air is drawn into the cylinder of the engine through the intake valves. After the air and fuel mixture is burned, it’s pushed out through the exhaust valves. The timing belt, which is driven by the engine, turns the camshafts which control when the intake and exhaust valves open and close. It is important that the opening and closing of the valves take place at exactly the right time for the engine to run properly.

    Beyond that, on some vehicle engines, the valves actually extend into the combustion chamber far enough that they can be hit by the piston as it moves up and down in the cylinder. When everything is timed just right – no problem. When the timing is off, the piston will slam into the valves and cause big damage for Hamilton drivers.

    The timing belt makes sure everything is timed just right. However, the belt does have a useful life. Beyond that it can break or slip – and that’s when the damage can be done. If your vehicle has a timing belt (some have metal timing chains) it will have a recommended interval for replacing it. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or speak with a service advisor at Putney’s Brake and Alignment Service to make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced: there is a lot at stake.

    Now, getting to the timing belt requires a lot of labor so it is service item, but it is certainly less than repairing a damaged engine. If your timing belt drives your water pump, change them both at the same time to save labor costs down the road. Ask your Putney’s Brake and Alignment Service service advisor when you timing belt should be changed and get an estimate for what it will cost so you can budget for this service.

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