SANTA ROSA − One of the most important auto maintenance services is having your engine’s timing belt replaced. This critical component controls the rotation of the camshafts, synchronizing the sequence of valves opening and closing with the up-and-down movement of the pistons. When a timing belt breaks, this sequence is thrown off, which can result in damage to the valves (which are hit by the pistons when they cease to move) and a catastrophic engine failure.
To avoid an expensive repair, you should have your vehicle’s timing belt preemptively replaced. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend timing belt replacement every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, but you should check your owner’s manual to see the specific recommendations for your car.
When having your timing belt replaced, it’s a good idea to have the other timing system components replaced as well, including the tensioner and the water pump. If one of these components fails down the road, it can ruin the previous timing belt job and result in another costly repair. Since your engine needs to be disassembled to replace the belt, it’s far more cost-effective to replace the other components at this time than to open up the engine again later.