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Auto Station, Auto Repair & Service, Omaha, NE
iATN - International Automotive Technicians' Network

Changing your timing belt is NOT optional – but waiting until it breaks to address any issues is. And that is a risk you shouldn’t take.

Most manufacturers recommend changing the timing belt at a specific mileage, usually between 90 and 105 thousand miles. But you should NOT wait until the last possible minute to have your timing belt replaced. Replacing it early can save you thousands of dollars.

If your vehicle is due for a timing belt replacement, or to find out what your manufacturer recommends, call our experts at 402-896-5800.

Timing Belt ReplacementWith the timing belt, it’s not if it will fail – it’s WHEN. This rubber belt is critical to your vehicle’s performance – and the operation of the auto engine.

The timing belt is a rubber belt with teeth, which travels on pulleys through the engine in your vehicle. The teeth on the belt catch on gears, like on the water pump to regulate the coolant entering the engine.

There are two common reasons that your timing belt would fail:

  1. Age & Miles – As your vehicle travels more miles, the rubber teeth on the timing belt wear down. If worn to the point that the timing belt can no longer grip the gears, it will slip and cause the pistons and valves to pump out of sync. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt between 90 and 105 thousand miles.
  2. Water Pump Seizure – If the water pump in your vehicle seizes, the gear will stop turning and the force will break the timing belt. This is often caused by cooling system failure. If the coolant hasn’t been flushed regularly, your vehicle is at risk of cooling system and water pump failure.

If your vehicle has an interference engine, a broken timing belt could mean thousands of dollars in damage. (The average cost to replace an engine after a blown timing belt can run from $3,000 to $10,000 and higher depending on the vehicle.)

In interference engines, pistons (the large cylinders in the illustration below) move up and down. Above these pistons, there are smaller valves that simultaneously pump up and down. The timing belt controls the operation of both these elements, ensuring that they move in sync so the valves and pistons never meet.

Timing Belt Pistons Valves Interference Engine

When the timing belt slips or breaks in an interference engine, the pistons and valves become out of sync – the pistons continue to pump, forcefully hitting (and almost always breaking) the valves.

What should have been routine maintenance, replacing the timing belt in your vehicle, has now become a costly engine repair – replacing the timing belt early can save you THOUSANDS of dollars.

To find out if your vehicle needs a new timing belt or schedule your next appointment, call us at 402-896-5800.

Even in non-interference engines, a broken timing belt can immediately shut off your vehicles engine, leaving you and your family stranded on the side of the road with a vehicle that can no longer run. By putting off timing belt replacement to save some money now, you’re risking the safety of your family and vehicle – and risking extensive damage that will cost much more.

In this video, the Monday Morning Mechanic reviews the importance of Changing your timing belt EARLY to save BIG BUCKS!

“Changing your timing belt isn’t optional, but waiting until it breaks before you do can cost you thousands. While you’re having it changed, though, you can have several other items addressed at the same time, which can save you a ton of money for labor. While your shop is under the hood replacing the timing belt, have them change the water pump, and the tensioners, and you’ll save a lot in the long run.”

If your vehicle is due for a timing belt replacement, don’t delay! Give our auto repair experts a call at 402-896-5800 to schedule your service, replace your timing belt, and save yourself from the danger and inconvenience of extensive damage and costly repairs.

Vehicles today are built with components designed for longevity and durability. This has made vehicle maintenance at an Omaha Auto Repair like Auto Station a relatively painless process, if you stay on top of it. A group of often overlooked components are the coolant and heater hoses. These pieces of rubber are subjected to a constant flow of hot coolant inside, and extreme temperatures outside as well.
The Car Care Council of America holds annual inspection clinics where they examine vehicles and educate customers about what is really going on under the hood of their car. They have found that of the vehicles needing repairs, about 1/3 of them needed hoses replaced.
So how does one know when to replace them? Do you wait until it breaks? Or do you change it before you even know something is wrong? Well, the latter is the best route to go for a few reasons.
First, many people will look under the hood and see that the outside of the hoses look alright, but it is what’s happening inside that should be of a higher concern.
Hoses deteriorate from the inside out. The next time you have your hoses replaced, ask the ASE-Certified technician at your Omaha Auto Repair shop to show you the old hoses so you can get an idea of what is happening to the inside of it.
Second, if you wait until the point that the hose bursts, you risk incurring a much higher repair bill (plus the towing bill) than if you had performed the repair as a preventative service. And not only will the bill be higher, but you will most certainly be inconvenienced much more since you’ll have to deal with the tow truck and also with being without your car while it’s getting fixed.
So should you find yourself questioning whether or not to replace your hoses, find an Omaha Auto Repair shop like Auto Station that you can trust and have them inspect your car and see what their opinion is. You can also consult your owner’s manual to see when the manufacturer recommends you change them.