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A timing belt is responsible for maintaining the precision that is crucial for
your engine's effective functioning. It is a toothed drive belt and, in case it
fails, your engine will not be able to run. Although an engine timing belt is
manufactured using durable compounds, it does wear out over time and
needs to be replaced after completing a certain mileage, before it breaks.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if your timing belt is worn out, and in
most cases, there are no obvious signs to hint that it is nearing expiry; it is
likely to just break without any prior warning. That's why most automobile
manufacturers recommend replacing one's timing belt every 95,000–
160,000 km. Moreover, always check your owner's manual for the
manufacturer's suggested service life and replacement schedule of your
It's not safe to drive with a timing belt issue. In case a worn-out timing belt
snaps while a car is in motion, perhaps on a highway, it creates the risk of
complete loss of engine power while surrounded by fast-moving vehicles.
Replacement of a timing belt is one of the more expensive and intensive
services your vehicle goes through, second only to the non-service task of
replacing its engine – which is exactly what you would be required to do in
the future if you don't replace your timing belt when recommended!
In most cases, the timing belt drives the water pump. For this reason, most
manufacturers and mechanics recommend that you replace both
simultaneously. That's because the water pump is usually the same age
as the timing belt and wears out around the same time, typically.
The labour cost difference to replace both these units together is virtually
non-existent for most vehicles because, quite often, one has to remove the
timing belt to reach the water pump! The cost of replacing most water
pumps is minimal when compared to having to pay for all that labour
again, in addition to the cost of a water pump, in the not-so-distant future
when it blows out! That's why we believe that it would be deceptive not to
warn you about this issue and quote you the actual total cost to repair both
the timing belt and the water pump, along with the small ancillary parts, at
the same time.
Not all cars have a timing belt. Several newer models use a timing chain
instead of a belt. A timing chain can last as long as the engine itself and
doesn't need to be replaced unless there is a particular problem with it.
It looks like a chain on a bicycle, and as you might expect, it's noisier than
a belt. Nevertheless, typically, timing chains do have an approximate
lifespan, after which they are likely to break. And, if it happens, they
usually cause a lot more damage than a broken belt. A broken chain most
likely results in damage that leads to a complete engine transplant, which
is far less expensive than the repairing costs you would have to bear
Maintenance is vital. If your vehicle manufacturer recommends replacing
the timing belt or chain at regular intervals, please do so. Letting this pass
is very risky and, depending on the age of your vehicle, could result in
repairs that would cost you much greater than the car's actual value itself.
If you've never replaced your timing belt and have 95,000 or more
kilometres on the odometer, or if your timing belt/chain is experiencing
issues, please feel free to contact us online or call us at (905) 381-9285.
Our specialists are always prepared to offer assistance as soon as you need it.