Replacing your Timing Belt: Colchin’s got you Covered in Arvada, Denver and Wheat Ridge

Why is it so Important to Replace the Timing Belt before It Fails?

With automotive engines as with many aspects of daily life, timing is critical. If the timing belt fails, the engine will stop and the car will coast to a stop. You’re lucky if you only have the inconvenience of being stranded on the side of the road until the car can be towed to a repair facility to have the timing belt replaced. On the other hand, the engine might suffer severe, if not catastrophic, damage to its internal components.

This potential disaster can be avoided easily and relatively inexpensively by replacing the timing belt as suggested in your owner’s manual. Many domestic vehicles built within the last several years and the majority of imports are equipped with a timing belt. Other engines rely on a timing chain rather than a belt. You can call Colchin Automotive (303-431-5421) or refer to your owner’s manual to determine the mileage interval particular to your make and model. The typical replacement interval for timing belts is every 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

What does a Timing Belt Actually Do?

The timing belt transfers the rotation of the crankshaft to the camshaft. The rotating camshaft activates the valves, which provide air and fuel to the cylinders and expel combustion gases to the exhaust system. The valves and pistons are constantly moving up and down at very high speeds. When the pistons are down, the valves are open; when the piston is at the top of its travel, the valves are closed. Some engines don’t allow clearance between a valve at its lowest point and a piston at its highest. The timing belt, therefore, is the critical link to ensure that these components do not collide. If collision occurs, damage to the valves, pistons, cylinder head and cylinder walls can result. This can be an expensive repair!

What Else Should I Know?

When it’s time to get your timing belt replaced, consider the following:

  • There’s quite a bit of labor involved in replacing the belt.  Since your water pump is easily accessible at the same time, it makes sense to consider replacing that as well, even if it’s not currently leaking. It will save the newly installed belt if a leak occurs later and prevent you from paying the labor costs again to replace a leaking pump.
  • It’s possible to buy multiple components as a “kit” that are all part of a timing belt system.  It may save you money and avoid a later failure to consider replacing the tensioners and sprockets at the same time.
  • Be aware of any fluid leading from your vehicle. That can degrade the belt. If you see any leakage, take your vehicle in to be checked before a bigger problem occurs.

Contact Colchin Automotive at (303) 431-5421 for more information about timing belt replacement or to make an appointment. We service the Arvada, Denver and Wheat Ridge communities.


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