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.
Winter roads are slick in Omaha, and across Nebraska. As you drive along snowy, icy roads this winter, use extra caution to remain in control of your vehicle to avoid slides and skids.
At Auto Station, we’ve seen many of our customers’ vehicles suffer damage from sliding into a curb on slick winter roads. Even though this seems like a small mistake, hitting a curb can have major impacts on your car. Don’t ignore it! Stop by our auto shop to have an inspection before small damage causes big problems. Call us at 402-896-5800 to schedule an appointment.
Potential issues from hitting a curb:
- Hitting a curb even going as slow as 5-10 mph can have a major impact on the performance of your tires. Tire wear damage is possible in as little as 200 miles after a curb impact.
- Tie Rods are the connection between your steering system and the wheels. Any damage to the tie rods can severely inhibit your ability to steer, especially important when roads are slick.
- The control arms allow up and down movement of the suspension while holding the knuckles, spindles, and axles firmly onto the car. Jarring from hitting a curb can cause extreme damage to the control arms and suspension of your vehicle.
- A steering knuckle contains the wheel hub or spindle and attaches to the suspension components. It is variously called a steering knuckle, spindle, upright or hub, as well. Damage to steering knuckles also impacts suspension and steering your vehicle.
- Tires and Wheels can be damaged as well. If you suspect tire damage, have it inspected immediately to avoid costly problems.
What should you do?
If you hit a curb, call us at 402-896-5800 to schedule an inspection as soon as possible. Our certified technicians will make sure your vehicle can keep you safely on the road, without risking extensive damage and costly future repairs.
An alignment check is a small expense, but can save your vehicle many miles and dollars from costly issues. If an adjustment is needed, this inspection can save many miles on your tires, and help you get more miles out of every dollar if other issues are found (by catching and fixing small problems before they lead to extensive damage and costly repairs). But more importantly, a check will provide peace of mind that you and your family will stay safe while driving, especially as it gets really cold in Nebraska.
Don’t ignore the fact that you just hit a curb! Call today to have your vehicle inspected.
Stay safe and warm this week (and all winter) in Omaha. To prepare your vehicle for cold weather, stop by Auto Station for an inspection: 402-896-5800.
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!