Every vehicle relies on either a timing belt or a timing chain to control the valves of its engine, and every vehicle will need to have its timing belt or chain replaced at one point or another. How often your vehicle’s timing belt will need to be replaced is dependent upon several factors, such as the amount of wear and tear you put on your car, the make and model of your vehicle, your vehicle’s age, and more. The only way to know for sure if you need a timing belt replacement is to have your car inspected by an experienced mechanic.
As a general rule of thumb, however, most vehicles will need a timing belt replacement somewhere between 60,000 to 105,000 miles. Any reputable mechanic will understand different vehicles and their unique needs as they relate to timing belt replacement and will use this knowledge to get your vehicle on a good inspection schedule. With that said, however, if you start to experience the signs of a timing belt issue in between inspections, don’t hesitate to get your vehicle to a mechanic. The sooner you can take care of timing belt issues, the less costly they are likely to be.
While timing belt replacements will vary from one car to the next, they generally run anywhere from $500 to $600 dollars. While that price might sound steep, you should know that a snapped timing valve can wreak serious damage on your vehicle’s engine, particularly if you have an interference engine. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, a snapped timing belt could cost you anywhere from $3000 to $6000 to repair. Obviously, it’s better just to shell out that $500 or so and get the problem fixed immediately than it is to wait and be in for a much more costly job.
If you know you have a timing belt issue and are unable to pay for a replacement right away, don’t drive your car until you can get the replacement done. Timing belt issues really are that serious. In fact, if you can’t afford to do anything else to your vehicle, replace the timing belt. Really, the only thing more important that your timing belt is your brakes, and that’s only because you have to be able to stop your vehicle at will. In terms of safety, brakes may be more important, but in terms of preventing expensive damage to your vehicle, nothing is more vital than replacing the timing belt when necessary.
While some timing belt issues may alert you to their existence by presenting signs or symptoms, others may go unnoticed until your timing belt finally snaps or slips out of place. Don’t count on noticing issues with your timing belt and being able to bring your vehicle in in time. The only surefire way to catch timing belt issues and to replace your belt before those issues can become serious is to regularly visit a mechanic and to have your vehicle checked at the appropriate, recommended intervals.