Timing Belt: Better Safe than Sorry !

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Caught before timing belt broke !

When someone mentions the word “timing belt,” many may not know its function in a car but we all know that if it breaks, it can lead to a rather large out-of-pocket expenditure.  Proper education and taking a pro-active approach can save your engine and ultimately the fate of your wallet. 

A timing belt is a belt with teeth that connects the crankshaft on an engine to the camshaft.  The timing belt synchronizes the camshaft to the crankshaft, thereby allowing the engine valves to open and close at the correct time in relation to the position of the pistons.  A timing belt must be properly installed with the correct amount of tension in order to function properly.  If the belt is loose, it can skip a tooth but the camshaft will keep on turning.  The engine will immediately lose power and timing.  When a timing belt breaks or snaps, pistons hit and valves bend….depending on the extent of internal engine damage, the repair will be quite costly. 

It is extremely important to replace your vehicle’s timing belt at the manufacturer’s recommended interval, even if the belt looks somewhat wholesome upon removal.  Sometimes you may get a warning sign including a screeching from the engine or a check engine light but use your manufacturer’s recommendation as the most important guide.  There is no way to determine when a timing belt will fail, but age of the belt and number of engine revolutions do play a part in the breakdown of the belt.  When replacing the timing belt on a Volkswagen or Audi, we recommend replacing the water pump, front seals, thermostat, coolant temp sensor and coolant as well.  A little extra money spent will go very far with your vehicle.  Consult your owner’s manual for your particular vehicle’s recommended internals for timing belt replacement as well as other important scheduled maintenance items.   Call Das Autohaus at 520-8523 to schedule an appointment and keep your vehicle in proper working condition.