Engine timing belt

How to know when your car needs a timing belt replacement

The timing belt on your car is a very important part of keeping your engine running safely and efficiently. Find more about out what it is, what it does and when to replace it.

What is a timing belt?

To understand what the timing belt does, you need to know the essentials of how your engine works. Petrol, diesel and hybrid cars all have combustion engines. This means there’s a controlled explosion which generates the power to move your car.

This controlled explosion requires very precise timing. And this is what the timing belt does. It makes sure the the combustion explosion happens exactly when it should.

What happens when the timing belt gets worn

Like any component in your car, the timing belt can wear out.

When the belt gets worn it can either slip or break. Given the important role it has in keeping the engine firing at precisely the right time, this has the potential for catastrophic engine damage.

A failure can occur without warning. This is exactly what happened to one of our customers this week on the motorway. At 70mph. In the outside lane. On a stretch of road without a hard should.

There was an instant loss of power creating what could have been, but very fortunately wasn’t, a dangerous road traffic incident.

As you can imagine, this was a very hairy experience for the driver and the passengers.

When should you have it changed

Every car manufacturer recommends at length of time or mileage when the timing belt should be replaced.

Because of their location, they are very difficult to inspect so they’re not included in a regular service. It is the owner’s responsibility to know when their timing belt should be changed.

Check your manual and maintenance history to see when the belt in your vehicle was last changed. There is no warning light to let you know when it is wearing out. So you really must take the initiative.

If you are in any doubt as to the age or condition of your timing belt, get it changed. It’s much cheaper than a whole new engine.

Some manufacturers are now positioning the belt inside the engine. This means it’s impossible for a mechanic to inspect. If your car has an internal timing belt it is absolutely imperative to follow the manufacturer’s replacement schedule.

Book in for a replacement

If your, car needs a belt replacement or you think it might be due, give us a call on 0116 3190 118 or mobile 07850 881 911. You can also get in touch via our contact form.

Feel free to drop in to our friendly garage if you’re in the area. You can find us on Shaftsbury Road, Leicester, LE3 0QN.

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