TIMING BELTS, WATER PUMPS & AUXILLIARY BELT REPAIRS
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All parts supplied and fitted come with a minimum 12 month manufacturer warranty.
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What is a timing belt?
A timing belt is the ribbed belt that is placed in a specific configuration along one side of your engine to keep the crank and camshafts timed properly. Essentially, it keeps the top half of the engine (cylinder head, valves) in sync with the bottom half (crankcase, pistons).
Does My Car Have A Timing Belt?
If you have an older car from the 90s and below, odds are you have a timing belt. Some new car manufacturers, such as Audi, still use timing belts in their engine designs, but for longevity, many manufacturers have switched to metal timing chains that in theory last for the life of the engine. My advice would be to refer to your owner’s manual and look up the maintenance schedule. If you don’t have one, Google it. If you don’t see a timing belt service listed, you have a timing chain.
When Should I Change My Timing Belt?
Manufacturers employ various schedules and measures for timing belt replacement, but the rule of thumb is 60,000 miles, or 5 years, whichever comes first.
Is My Engine Safe If My Timing Belt Snaps?
Well, that depends. There are two types of engine timing configurations: interference, and non-interference.
An interference type engine means that the valve’s stroke and piston’s stroke take up the same space in the cylinder, so the timing belt essentially keeps them from smashing into each other, since they do it at different times. If the timing belt snaps, they run into each other, causing bent valves (most common), cylinder head or camshaft damage, and possibly piston and cylinder wall damage. While it is possible that no damage could occur from a snapped belt on an interference engine, such a case is unlikely.
In a non-interference engine, the pistons and valves don’t occupy the same space, so if the timing belt snaps, no valve or cylinder damage occurs. You just pop a new belt on, and the engine should theoretically drive normally.
“Your car’s water pump is out of sight, but don’t keep it out of mind.”
The water pump receives little attention tucked away out of sight under your car’s timing belt cover. But without a water pump, your car would overheat and you’d be left shopping around for a new engine.
The water pump plays an important role in your car’s cooling system and continually pumps coolant and water into the engine. Operated by the drive belt, blades on the pump allow coolant to flow into the engine.
Although water pumps are built to last, they sometimes break down and require replacement.
How to know when to replace the water pump
* A coolant leak near the timing belt often signals an issue with the water pump.
* Overheating – or a sudden change in the temperature gauge – can also signal a problem.
* Bearing play – You can check by pulling back and forth on the water pump pulley. If there’s any play – or you can move the water pump back and forth – it could mean the shaft and bearings are loose.
How to replace a water pump
Replacing a water pump isn’t a DIY job.
However, mechanics often replace water pumps before they fail.
A new water pump is recommended while simultaneously making other labour-intensive repairs, such as swapping out the timing belt.
A water pump should last 60,000 to 90,000 miles, about the same amount of time as a timing belt.
Many water pumps are located behind the timing cover, and it makes sense to replace the water pump when you have the timing cover off and are already carrying out engine or timing repairs.
You do not have to replace the water pump when you do a timing belt, but it’s certainly advised.