Time for a Timing Belt?

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Often easily ignored, your vehicle’s timing belt is an integral part of the working of some overhead valve engines.  Although changing a timing belt is not an inexpensive repair, it is significantly less expensive than repairing the resulting damage should that timing belt slip or break.  The timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft(s), controlling the opening and closing of the engine’s intake and exhaust valves.   As the belt ages, it will stretch and crack.  If it breaks, damage can occur on some engine’s head, pistons, and/or valves.  When comparing prices for a timing belt replacement, be sure and ask what is included in a timing belt Replacement at your auto shop.  During this service, it is advisable to also replace the water pump and drive belts.  Have them also check the idler pulleys, tensioner, and seals, so that you are not charged extra labor to access these areas at a later date.   Since there are no warning signs that your timing belt is becoming worn and brittle, take a moment and consult your Owner’s Manual for recommended mileages at which your vehicle timing belt should be replaced.  This generally will be between 60,000 to 110,000 miles.  You may also ask your Service Advisor or Technician for the recommendations for your particular vehicle.  Having a trustworthy ASE technicianservice your car is strong insurance against being stranded on the side of the road with possible catastrophic engine damage!

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