Last updated on December 12th, 2022 at 04:26 pm
Indeed, there is something most people don’t mess around with; and that is the timing belt, although a broken timing belt means bad news.
What then is the timing belt? The timing belt is typically high tensile sturdy material such as neoprene and mold polyurethane with metric pitches. It is interesting to know that the model of a vehicle determines either the use of a timing belt or chain. So, both have the same function, but the timing belt is mainly preferred because it is a quieter and lighter material.
In most vehicles with high-temperature or oil leaky engine, the timing belt feels unsafe and deteriorate its lifespan. In the same vein, the deterioration or wear of the timing belt affects the mechanism of the entire engine.
Then it is necessary to change the timing belt, even though most manufacturers have employed a new skill to make the timing belt have its teeth curved to last longer.
Relax as this post will explore the following; is it worth it to replace the timing belt, why is a timing belt change expensive, how much does it cost to replace the timing chain on a Ford F 150, and what are the signs of a timing belt going wrong, how many years does a timing belt last, is there any warning before the timing belt breaks, can a timing belt last for 200,000 miles, how long does it take to change a timing belt, and much more.
Is it worth it to replace the timing belt?
The simple answer is yes; it is worth replacing or changing the timing belt, especially when detecting a problem. The value of replacing your vehicle’s timing belt is steadfast in preventing significant damage to your engine when the belt is bad. Furthermore, if a failed timing belt creates contact between the pistons and the valves, there is a need to rebuild or replace the costly engine.
Why is a timing belt change so expensive?
Simply put, the timing belt itself is not expensive. But the process is costly, and the cost of time and labor make it expensive. Cleaning the timing belt requires disassembling the engine and setting the timing and machine back in position. In so doing this requires significant time and effort by a certified mechanic.
How much does it cost to replace the timing chain on a Ford F 150?
The cost of replacing the timing chain of a Ford F 150 is $1300 on average, but expect to spend somewhere between$1,100 to $1,500. Howbeit, the labor cost is included and higher than the cost of the timing belt itself. Note that the F-150‘s chain will not affect the proper working of the engine and will not trigger the Check Engine Warning Light but it may cause a ratting or whirring sound in the machine. Though, it is necessary to replace the timing chain of a Ford F 150 if you notice these.
- The lagging engine performance – is due to improper synchronization between the crankshaft and the camshaft, causing the vehicle to hesitate due to incomplete combustion.
- The whirring or Ratting Sound comes from a damaged timing chain.
What are the signs of a timing belt going bad?
The signs of a timing belt going bad are as follows;
- Overheating Engine- Here, the vehicle’s temperature rises above normal.
- Ticking noise from the engine
- Leakage of oil
- Check Engine Management Light on
- Misfiring Engine
- Power decrease in the Engine
- Rubbering or Squealing noise from the timing belt
- Vibrating of the Engine during Acceleration
- Difficulty in starting the Engine
- Exhaust Challenges- more gases would be expelled, unlike the normal.
How many years does a timing belt last?
The time at which the timing belt lasts significantly depends on your manufacturer’s schedule you might read, including other relevant information at your disposal.
So far, the lifespan of a timing belt is 7 to 10 years, or between 60,000 to 105,000 miles. Nevertheless, the manufacturer’s manual is easy to comprehend.
Still, what is more, the manufacturers left something unsaid: the beauty of the timing belt ought to keep the tension constant to prevent loss of power or, worse yet, it keeps the pressure from jumping time and running the engine.
The idler pulley also helps keep the tension constant as the age and stretch of the belt. Like any equipment, a timing belt will deteriorate.
Is there any warning before the timing belt breaks?
Yes, there are warning signs before the timing belt breaks, and they could be; high RPM engine issues, high-pressure oil leakage, and ticking noise. Note that sometimes, the timing belt snaps without any warning. You should be more observant!
Can a timing belt last 200 000 miles?
No, a timing belt can last for 60,000 to 105,000 miles. Some auto manufacturers recommend regular maintenance at specific mileage or time; it is always helpful to adhere to that.
These manufacturers stressed testing the timing belts and stated the optimal performance level and categorical level. Hence, pushing your timing belt to its limit or beyond will cause the timing belt to snap.
Eventually, when this happens, you will run an interference engine, whereas your crankshaft will continue to move even though the camshaft has stopped.
How long does it take to change a timing belt?
Changing the timing belt is a professional-level repair. It requires an experienced mechanic, and due to the intricacy involved in this process, a typical replacement of the timing belt of any vehicle will usually take 4 to 6 hours to accomplish. The above time might change because of your car and your mechanic. Relax and expect the replacement to be quiet but in a while.
What happens if a timing belt breaks while driving?
If the timing belt breaks while the car is driving, the engine will stop running, although it might still crank over, and this could cause severe damage to the internal components such as; the cylinder wall, valves, and pistons since this breaking happens quickly, the harm will be instantaneous too.
Hence, it is paramount to observe your engine with a caring heart to ensure it is functioning efficiently, visit the Auto Repair Workshop at intervals, or see your certified mechanic.
I will always recall a simple saying: Preventing damage is cheaper than replacing a damaged part!
Can I replace the timing belt myself?
No, you shouldn’t; no matter how much money you intend to save by doing it yourself is less than the high cost of replacing or rebuilding the engine if something goes wrong unless you are a certified technician with much experience.
The timing belt replacement isn’t that difficult, but ensuring the engine and other parts are in perfect timing after you or the certified mechanic have replaced the strap makes this job a professional-level repair.
For this reason, this is one of the top 10 jobs you should source for a certified technician!
Do you need to change the water pump when changing the timing belt?
Yes, it should be changed when changing the timing belt. The idler pulley, tensioner, and water pump should be changed when replacing the timing belt.
In most cases, the timing belt drives the water pump, so it is imperative to replace it. On the other hand, most car models don’t have a replacement schedule for the water pump; the change should be like the timing belt.
But wait, there’s more!
I highly recommend you to your manufacturer’s manual for proper instructions for changing your timing belt and water pump, or you could approach your technician to review your car’s maintenance needs.
Also, note some common signs of a bad water pump;
- High coolant leaks
- High squealing noise
- The water pump’s axle lose
- Damage to head gasket due to an overheated engine
- White smoke from the radiator
- Unstable engine temperature
Therefore, replacing your water pump before it breaks is crucial!
Is replacing a timing belt a big job?
Have you ever been in an unlucky position because of a timing belt problem? You would answer me; Yes, it is a big job, and that’s my answer, though it requires high professionalism and labor.
Most times, replacing the timing belt first requires removing some parts. For example, drive belts, pulleys, or even hoses could block access to the timing belt; hence you ought to remove them.
In the same vein, some engines might even require the removal of thermos fans and radiator, and on some cars, either will remove the vehicle’s front, or the engine is lowered for you or your certified mechanic to do the needful. You can certainly testify that disassembling and assembling isn’t a pretty simple job!
Which is better, the timing belt or chain?
Both are wonderful. To this effect, the timing chain is more robust than a belt. Still, the belt is quieter operation noise, the chain lasts longer than a belt, and is a bit more costly than belts, but belts work fine in cars.
Chains can stretch over time and cause ‘jumping’ of gear, whereas belts can wear out and slip (belts also have a higher risk of snapping), there is no performance or fuel gain between the two, and the failure of both can be catastrophic to the engine.
Whatever timing system your vehicle uses, perform regular checking and servicing to monitor the health of your timing belt or timing chain!
How much does it cost to replace the timing belt and water pump?
The cost of replacing the timing belt is between $400 to $1,500 for both the parts and labor. At the same time, a water pump is between $400 to $800 for both parts and labor. In essence, the costs highly depend on the vehicle model.
The timing belt has functioned tremendously in rotating some components in an engine, so any damage caused by not replacing the timing belt when it needs to be changed is never worth it.
Therefore, I recommend replacing the timing belt; it will never hurt to take it to a mechanic, especially if you are experiencing any issues such as; misfiring, oil leaks, drop in performance, squealing noise, and overheated engine.
In the same vein, a mechanic should be able to tell you if the worn-out timing belt is due to change after taking a look at the engine. Remember that manufacturers have made recommendations that greatly benefit you, not just a way for you to buy more parts.
It would help if you didn’t let routine checks and maintenance go too long. Otherwise, you might end up paying more money in the long run.
Do kindly like and share this informative article with others! related: Can A Bad Belt Tensioner Cause Rough Idle?
Uchenna is a Radiographer and Auto parts mechanic who recently got his automotive diploma as an auto repair technician, and since then, has worked on fixing various car problems.
Working as just a radiographer, Uchenna didn’t just get all the fulfillment he desired, because he truly loved doing things tilted toward cars. As a kid, he would take apart his toy cars to see how they worked and would spend hours tinkering with his bike.
So, in 2017 he made the tough decision to become an auto mechanic. He threw himself into his studies and now loves every aspect of what he does.
He gets to work with his hands, solving problems and bringing cars back to life, and sharing his knowledge and easy quick-fix guide online are all part of what makes him feel fulfilled.