Timing Belt Replacement – Do I Have To?

The timing belt plays a key role in the operation of your vehicle. It delivers power to and regulates the timing of the pistons and valves to make sure an efficient combustion process takes place within the cylinders. Some vehicles use a timing chain in lieu of a timing belt, but neither should be mistaken for the serpentine, which looks similar but its function is completely different. 


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the condition of your vehicle’s timing belt, call AG Automotive and schedule an appointment with our team of expert automotive technicians today!


What is a timing belt?


Concealed by a cover that attaches to the engine block, the timing belt is a thick-rubber belt that takes the power generated by the starter turns the flywheel and transfers to the Crankshaft and then to the camshafts  engine and transfers it to the crankshaft  and to the camshafts, which in turn sets the cylinder valves in motion. 


The timing aspect of the belt comes from its function to synchronize the movements between the opening and closing of the valves, with the up-and-down motion of the pistons.  


The difference between a timing belt and a serpentine belt:


It is easy to confuse the serpentine belt with the timing belt, as they are both thick-rubber belts that spin around the outside of the engine, but they serve vastly different functions. An easy way to tell the two belts apart is you can see the serpentine belt as soon as you lift the hood up, whereas the timing belt is hidden by a cover that would have to be taken off in order to be inspected. 


The timing belt makes sure that the camshaft and crankshaft stay in sync. The serpentine belt on the other hand transfers power from the engine to other various engine accessories, e.g., the alternator, A/C compressor, air/oil/ power steering pump and water pumps. However, some water pumps are timing belt driven.


When should you schedule a timing belt replacement service?


On average, timing belts can last up to 80,000 miles or more without needing to be replaced. Timing belt should be replaced about every five years to avoid damage to the engine if the belt should break. As always, you should refer to your owners operating manual and follow the service intervals recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. If your manual doesn’t specifically state when you should replace the timing belt, it is best to check for wear every 15,000 miles. 


The timing belt is located and concealed by a cover that attaches to the engine block. In order to inspect it for wear and damage that may accumulate over time, you have to take off the cover. This is an easy way to check the condition of the timing belt yourself. 


Here are some common warning signs attributed to a failing timing belt:

  • Excessive visible wear or damage to the belt
  • Hear a ticking noise while the engine is running
  • The engine won’t turn over while attempting to start the vehicle
  • Inconsistent RPMs  


Schedule a timing belt replacement service with our expert mechanics at AG Automotive today!


If you have noticed that your vehicle is making a ticking noise, the RPMs are not consistent or fluctuating up and down, puddles of oil have formed underneath your engine, or can see visible wear or damage to the timing belt itself, Ag Automotive will have you back on the road in no time after we identify that your vehicle needs a timing belt replacement service. Our expert technicians have the tools and knowledge to replace your timing belt quickly and efficiently.


We want the job to be done right the first time, so we ensure your timing belt is working properly and exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications after our service is complete. We offer our customers a full service inspection and service of their timing belt system so they can get back out on the road and drive with confidence knowing their vehicle was serviced by the best. 


We offer our customers a full-service timing belt replacement which includes:


  1. Remove and replace timing belt
  2. Replace water pump if timing belt driven (Billed separately)
  3. Replace timing belt idlers and tensioner (If applicable)
  4. Crank engine by hand and recheck timing & belt tension
  5. Install timing belt sticker on front clip or timing belt cover
  6. Set injection pump timing (If applicable)
  7. Clean and test drive
  8. Recheck timing and for computer codes (If applicable)
  9. Quality Check


Don’t Second-Guess the Condition of Your Vehicle

Many auto owners struggle to know if the right work was done the right way on their car. As a courtesy, we provide digital vehicle inspections and photos so you can quickly and easily see what our experienced, professional technicians are seeing. Overall, we go the extra mile to help you make informed decisions on the repair and maintenance plan of your vehicle, so you can drive with confidence every time you get behind the wheel.