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Timing Belt Replacement

Not all cars have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Chains do not have to be replaced regularly but belts do.

Q: How do I know if I have a timing belt?

A: Look in you owner’s manual. In the maintenance schedule somewhere between 60 and 120,000 miles it will say when to replace the timing belt. Better yet, just give McNair Performance a call at 919-781-3604. We are happy to look it up for you!

Q: When should I replace my timing belt?

A: There is no way to know when the belt might fail. It is best to not exceed manufacturer’s recommendations. We recommend within 10% of the factory interval. That would be at 90,000 miles if the recommended time is 100,000 miles. The timing belt is very difficult to see in most cars. This makes it almost impossible to predict the amount of life left on it. We have seen some belts exceed the recommended replacement interval but we have also seen many belts fail prematurely.

Q: What happens when the timing belt breaks?

A: That depends. You either have an “interference engine” or you don’t. What that means is if you have an interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the valves inside the engine will come in contact with the pistons. The results are bent valves and possibly damaged pistons… major internal damage! If the engine is not an interference engine, no internal damage will occur. You either damage your engine severely or you get stranded somewhere!

Q: How do I know if I have an interference engine?

A: Manufacturers generally do not give out this information. However we have access to this type of technical information. Give us a call at 919-781-3604

Q: What is involved in timing belt replacement?

A: There are several things that are inspected and replaced as needed when replacing a timing belt. These include cam and crankshaft seals, drive belts, tensioners, pulleys and water pumps. In some cases coolant is replaced when the radiator must be removed to facilitate the job. It is usually prudent to take care of these items when they are accessible!

Often after timing belt replacement our customers say that their cars run better than they ever have. We certainly like to take credit for that but the truth is that timing belts stretch over time. That stretching causes the mechanical timing between the cam and crankshaft to change. This results in a loss of power and fuel economy. With over 30 years of experience, we are well versed in timing belt replacement on all cars. Let us make your car feel right!

What our Customers are Saying

Hello Grover,

I wanted to let you know that you nailed the alignment on my 2008 Mazda 3.  The car tracks perfectly now.  Thanks very much for taking care to get the setup just right.