Back to all

Good Timing: Proper Timing Belt Replacement Saves Money for Lake Orion Drivers

November 24, 2019

Knowing how their engine works can help Lake Orion drivers make informed decisions about auto care and prevent repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts.

An engine's power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top of the cylinder opens to let in fuel and air. The piston then rises, which compresses the fuel and air. At this point, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down. This downstroke transfers energy to the engine, which provides the power it needs to run. The piston rises again, and a valve opens to release the exhaust.

All of this movement is orchestrated by a timing belt. The timing belt is so named because it keeps the pistons and valves operating in synch with each other, just as a conductor keeps all of the instruments in an orchestra in time with one another. Thus, the timing belt is critical to the proper operation of your engine.

Not all vehicles in the Lake Orion area have timing belts. Some have timing chains. A timing chain is more durable and rarely breaks, but timing belts are cheaper, so many use them to save money.

Timing belts wear out and break, so part of preventive maintenance for Lake Orion drivers is to replace the timing belt on schedule.

The results of failure of a timing belt depend on the type of engine in your vehicle, but they are always inconvenient and can be very costly for Lake Orion auto owners. If your engine is a non-interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the engine simply stops running. Now that can be an incredibly inconvenient situation depending on where you are driving around Lake Orion when it breaks, but it won't cause any engine damage. On the other hand, if your vehicle has an interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the valves on your cylinders will actually fall into the path of the pistons. Then things start getting chewed up by the motion of the engine and it will cost thousands of dollars to get everything sorted out again. Compounding the problem is that there aren't any warning signs before a timing belt breaks. A visual inspection of the belt is difficult also. In some vehicles, parts of the belt may be visible, but most vehicles hide the belt under a cover.

The timing belt doesn't even have to break to cause major engine damage. If it slips, even one notch, the result could be engine damage with repair costs in the thousands of dollars.

Our only car care option is to simply replace the timing belt periodically. You can check your owner's manual to find out how often your timing belt should be replaced. Many vehicles need a replacement at 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers), but the recommended replacement mileage could be as high as 90,000 or 100,000 miles (145,000 to 160,000 kilometers). If your owner's manual recommends replacement at 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers), however, don't wait until 65,000 miles (105,000 kilometers) to get it done. Remember what you're risking.

Replacing a timing belt is not a cheap part of preventive maintenance for Lake Orion vehicle owners. The belt is usually difficult to get to and often requires removal of some of the engine accessories. The cost of the replacement, however, is a lot less than what the repairs may cost if the timing belt fails.

For more auto advice on timing belts and other engine components, you can always consult with your service advisor at Tire Warehouse Depot. When it comes to car care, ignorance is not bliss. It can end up costing you in a big way.

Tire Warehouse Depot
250 N. Lapeer Rd.
Lake Orion, Michigan 48362
248-929-0699

Need Service?

Request a Quote

More articles from Tire Warehouse Depot

A Clean Start (Battery Cleaning)

July 14, 2024

Your vehicle is loaded with electrical devices. Computerized components are everywhere, so good electrical connections are important. Those begin with your vehicle's battery, so it's important that its connections are in top shape. Ever had a flashlight that didn't work, took out the old batteri... More

Beware Dangers of Spring Driving (Seasonal Driving Tips)

July 7, 2024

Sure, winter is quickly fading in the rearview mirror, but the peril of icy roads is replaced with a whole new set of driving challenges in spring. Deer and other wildlife. You are not the only one who gets spring fever. Animals do, too, and spring is the time they start looking for mates and fo... More

Giving CV Joints the Boot! (CV Joint and Boot Replacement)

June 30, 2024

Ever wonder how your vehicles transmission is connected to your wheels? After all, when you hit a pothole or some other uneven part of a roads surface, there has to be something that can maintain the connection between the transmission and the wheel yet keep everything moving at the same speed. ... More