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Who needs a timing belt anyway?

Portland Auto Repair | timing-belt

Who needs a timing belt anyway?

Not every vehicle is equipped with a timing belt, some vehicles have a timing chain. A timing belt engine has a timing belt that is made out of a rubber material similar to your serpentine drive belts. Timing chain engines use a metal chain rather than a rubber belt similar to a chain on a bicycle. Timing chain engines do not have a recommended replacement interval and generally will last the life of the engine or will start making a lot of noise before breaking. Timing belt engines do have a recommended replacement interval set by the manufacture generally between 90,000-105,000 mile intervals or every 8-10 year. We recently had a customers vehicle towed in for stalling while driving. The vehicle would not restart, engine cranks over but will not start and run. The customer explained that her mechanic neighbor friend replaced the timing belt over the weekend car ran beautifully all week until stalling and now won’t restart.

Fast forward to the result after taking apart the front of the engine we found that the timing belt tensioner had broke allowing the timing belt to jump teeth on the cam gears and caused internal damage to the engine. The estimate to repair the now damaged engine exceeded the value of the car and our customer decided it would be best to buy a new car. Our customer saved a couple hundred dollars having their neighbor perform the timing belt job but it ended up costing her a lot more in the end. At Bradshaw’s we follow our motto “THERE IS NO FIX LIKE THE RIGHT FIX.” When we estimate a timing belt job we include replacing the timing belt, belt tensioner, hydraulic tensioner (if equipped), water pump(if powered by the timing belt), idler pulley(s), cam seal(s), front crankshaft seal, thermostat, drive belt(s), and coolant. The little amount of added costs for the labor and parts is well worth having to do the job twice or in this case causing damage to the engine.

This is why it is important when comparing estimates from shop to shop that you are comparing apples to apples. Get an itemized estimate that shows everything that is included in the estimate. Need an estimate for your timing belt job? Contact us.

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