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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Could your car handle these roads?
Winter across the country brings unpredictable weather and potentially hazardous road conditions. To prepare your car for any road condition in Omaha, NE, this winter, call our team of ASE-Certified auto technicians at 402-896-5800.
While we prepare for the roads in our own town, we’re also taking a moment to consider these extreme road conditions. Could your car handle these roads?
Though rain seems harmless enough, heavy storms can create frightening road conditions. Rain and fog reduce visibility, and wet roads affect traction – in fact, 30% of ran-off-the-road accidents are caused by wet roads. The risk of hydroplaning combined with reckless drivers can make rain one of the most dangerous conditions for driving.
Prepare: Check your headlights so other drivers can see you through rain, mist, or fog. Test your air conditioning, defroster, windshield wipers and washer fluid to improve your own visibility during rain storms.
Ice, especially black ice, increases your chances of an accident. Be especially careful driving over areas where ice accumulates, including bridges, overpasses, and tunnels.
Prepare: Check your brakes and tires – make sure you have enough traction to handle slick roads, and that your brakes will stop your vehicle safely.
One negative side effect of weather is dirty, muddy roads. Thick mud on slick roads impairs your vehicle’s ability to stop and even makes it difficult to steer. Non-paved country roads can be especially treacherous for vehicles after a heavy rain or melted snow.
Prepare: Check your steering and brakes. If you often drive on dirt roads, have your alignment checked periodically to avoid damage to your wheels and tires. Take it slow, and avoid especially muddy back roads when possible.
Unpredictable winter road conditions can compound traffic on already busy roads. The combination of stressful weather with road rage and impatient drivers means that winter traffic contributes to many car wrecks during this season.
Prepare: Regular inspections will keep your vehicle safely on the road, avoiding large and costly repairs and hassle after an accident on a busy road.
The holiday season is officially here! People across Omaha and the country are flooding into stores, shopping for gifts for all the special people on their lists. But what about your vehicle?
Whether you need a gift idea for a car lover on your list or want to take advantage of holiday prices, don’t leave your car out of the festivities! Explore these auto gift ideas for inspiration:
1 – USB charger
These handy devices have a wide range of uses (and only cost a few dollars!). Plug in your phone, camera, tablet, mp3 player, or any USB connected device for an on-the-go charge.
2 – Emergency Kit
If your vehicle isn’t already equipped with one, now is the perfect time to purchase or build an auto emergency kit. Put one together for your own vehicle or for a loved one to keep them safe this winter and year-round.
For the directionally challenged and map lovers on your list, consider a cell phone or GPS mount. With one of these, keep your GPS or smartphone maps in view to minimize unnecessary distractions.
This accessory attaches to your vehicles hitch mount for a variety of uses. Like a small step, you can stand on this attachment to more easily access roof storage. Certain types, like the Weather Tech Bump Step, even act as bumper protection to avoid minor accidents or parallel parking mishaps.
5 – Drop Stop
This nifty gadget helps you avoid losing spare change, chapstick, keys, and french fries down the space between the car seat and the center console.
6 – Vinyl car mat
A worthwhile upgrade for the cloth counterpart, vinyl car mats are easier to clean, last longer, and help protect your vehicle’s interior from damage from shoes, dirt and mud.
These devices are designed to increase the range of your view from your rearview mirrors to more easily spot vehicles in your blind spot. Add these mirrors to your vehicle for an extra safety boost.
8 – Sun shade
Protect your investment from harmful UV rays with a sun shade! It will also help keep your vehicle cool on hot days while keeping your dashboard and interior safe from premature wear. Find one with personality to match the recipient, and it makes a great gift.
Want an even more meaningful gift for your vehicle? Give it Bonus Maintenance – If you’ve been putting off that fluid flush or new tires, this season is the perfect time to catch up on your vehicle’s maintenance. Or give a loved one the gift of peace of mind knowing their vehicle can handle anything on the road! Stop in for an inspection or call us at 402-896-5800.
Best of luck with all your holiday shopping – we hope you find the perfect gift for all the car lovers on your list. From all of us at Auto Station, Happy Holidays!
Did you know that you officially need to replace your tires when the tread is below 2/32” thick? And did you know that the distance between the edge of a penny and the top of Lincoln’s head is exactly 2/32”?
Whether you’ve put extra miles on your tires with summer road trips or they are simply nearing the end of their life, this quick test will let you know if it is time to consider new tires.
Most tires have “wear bars” that run across the tread pattern. When these become visible, connecting patterns across your tire’s tread, they serve as a warning that your tread is getting bare. But not all tires are designed the same, and sometimes you just need an extra test to know with confidence that it is time to replace your tires.
So for a quick tread check, grab a penny! Place the penny, with Lincoln’s head down and facing you, into the tread of the tire.
If all or part of Lincoln’s head is obscured by the tread, your tires still have some life left – but if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tire.
Note: Measure each tire in multiple places – both the inside and outside edge across the tire, and on multiple points around the tire. If your alignment is off, or if you have neglected tire rotation, they may have uneven wear. This also can cause bald spots that mean you need to replace your tires prematurely.
If you don’t have a penny handy, a quarter can also do the trick! The distance between Washington’s head and the edge of a quarter is exactly 4/32” (which also happens to be the recommended thickness for tire tread if you are driving in rain, snow, or icy conditions).
Use the same method, placing the quarter with Washington’s head upside down and facing you in the tread across multiple places on your tire. Whenyou can see all of Washington’s head, you know you will need to replace your tires soon.
You may consider replacing your tires before they reach the 2/32” point. As your tread thins between 4/32” and 2/32” you may start to experience performance issues, especially in wet and slick conditions.
The good news? There are easy steps you can take to extend the life of your tires! Keep your tires properly inflated to reduce extra friction and wear. Rotate your tires regularly to ensure they wear uniformly without creating bald spots. Have an alignment performed periodically. Treat your tires with care – following these recommended maintenance tips can help them wear evenly so you get more miles out of every dollar! Stop by or schedule an appointment for a tire rotation, alignment, or inspection.