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How Much Does a Timing Belt Replacement Cost?
The timing belt is a critical component in the modern-day motor vehicle. It is designed to keep the camshaft and crankshaft timing in check to allow the engine to run at maximum efficiency.
Timing belts wear out over time, and are required to be replaced at certain manufacturer intervals, along with the timing belt tensioner and idler pulleys the belt runs on.
Failure to do so can lead to expensive and often irreparable engine damage.
The average timing belt replacement cost starts around the $500 mark, and can increase to over $1000, depending on the vehicle and engine type.
Timing Belt Replacement
What is a Timing Belt?
Timing belts are made up of a composite rubber construction with nylon reinforced cords to provide a longer belt life.
It is usually located behind a protective plastic cover on the front of the engine.
The timing belt controls the synchronisation of the camshaft/s and crankshaft inside the engine, allowing the engine valves to open and close at the correct time while the engine is running.
The timing belt tensioner applies the correct pressure to the belt so it does not slip, and the idler pulleys keep the belt in correct alignment and allow for changes in direction around other components, such as the water pump, which may also be driven by the timing belt.
Common Timing Belt Symptoms
- Abnormal squeaking/ rattling noise from engine bay
- Burning smell from engine
How is a Timing Belt Replacement Carried Out?
If the timing belt requires replacing, our mechanics will:
- Remove accessories to gain access to the timing belt covers
- Remove and clean the covers, remove the timing belt, tensioner and idler pulleys
- Inspect and replace the water pump (if required)
- Replace the timing belt, tensioner and idler pulleys
- Reinstall all removed components
- Run engine to ensure correct operation, and top up and bleed the cooling system, as required
Tips to Remember
- On some engines, the water pump runs off the timing belt – therefore, it is a good idea to have this inspected and replaced when the timing belt is off the engine, having them replaced at the same time can save on labour costs further down the track, and will ensure everything is in good working order
- Some vehicles are equipped with a timing chain, these vehicles do not require any form of replacement unless an issue is present
Why is Replacing the Timing Belt Important?
The timing belt controls the synchronisation between the crankshaft and camshaft/s.
If it is not replaced at the manufacturer's specified recommendations, it can slip, stretch or break – causing major engine damage, and may leave you stranded with a massive repair bill
Even if you are not travelling the recommended distance, the timing belt, tensioner and idlers still need to be changed when recommended by the manufacturer, as the rubber and other components can become brittle and cause premature failure.
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