Timing Belt Needs Changing Sir? the dreaded words from your mechanic?

Change your  Timing Belt it’s imperative?

When our customers are having a service to their car, there are certain things that we will report to them when their cars service is complete. What we do which is what most garages do

timing belt

This Ford Fiesta cylinder head was badly damaged because the timing belt broke when the car engine was running.

nowadays, is to take a contact number of the person who’s car it is having a service. Before mobile phones this would have been more difficult to do, but now most of our customers have some sort of mobile phone or other.

The things we report on are such things as tyres or worn steering parts, these can be changed later on in the day if the customer is contacted and we will have time to carry out the repairs. One important thing though is the Timing or cam belt. The Timing Belt Kits come in two types ,the chain type, which as the word say’s is very similar to a motor bike chain and a rubber looking belt, that looks very similar to a fan belt or the belt that drives your washing machine or spin dryer.

This is made out of very strong material similar to the materials that tyres are made from. The importance of the timing belt cannot be overstressed. If the belt breaks in use then the engine can be damaged beyond repair. When we carry out a service we always check in the Autodata online manual, for the exact time for the belt to be changed. Sometimes it will state a Timing Belt Intervals and other times it may state a time period, but usually it will be between 60000miles and 100000 miles when the new belt should be fitted.

This is also important to know if you buy a second hand car. I have known customers who have had a car for a couple of months and their timing belt has snapped leaving them with a

timing belt

Timing Belt showing fitment on the pulleys

blown up engine and no redress from the person that they bought the Old Cars from, so if you buy a second hand car you must only buy one with a history record and the knowledge of the timing belt, otherwise you could be caught out with a huge repair bill, always ask about the timing belt?

A simple explanation of what this important part does is as follows; the timing belt is used to turn the camshaft at exactly half the speed of the crankshaft. Your camshaft controls the opening and closing of the valves in time to the pistons going up and down the engines cylinders. The camshaft belt runs on pulleys at the end of each important part and very often also drives the water pump. Should the belt break; then all these other parts simply smash into each, other causing major damage to the car’s engine.

The timing belt is spinning at tremendous speed and generates much heat,

so the belt is subject to many pressures and eventually starts to break up and cracking starts to appear, once again very similar to tyres. Perhaps you can see now why it is so important to change the belt at the correct time, we also recommend that you change the water pump at the same time. The water pump runs on a bearing and the bearings tend to wear out at the same time. If the water pump is not changed and goes at a later date then the garage will have all the same work to carry out all over again.

Many different companies makes of timing belt but we prefer to use Unipart belts, because as a Unipart Car Care Centre, our customers are covered under a warranty should anything go wrong with the part or the fitting of your new belt. You will be covered across the whole of the mainland UK, under the terms of the warranty a great protection to have.

So to finalise if your garage warns you that the timing belt is due for a change well get it done as soon as you can afford to, before the thing breaks and causes much more damage to the car and to your wallet or purse.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger

timing belt

Damaged caused by a broken timing belt

days, before starting my first business. I now own a garage and MOT testing centre, here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.