What is a Timing Belt’s Function?

If you’ve been told your car needs a new timing belt, you probably have a few questions, like “what is a timing belt?” and “how much is a timing belt?”

Also known as cambelts, timing belts are vital contributors to the proper functioning of internal combustion engines. Timing belts coordinate the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft, which must work in tandem in order for the valves and pistons to function as intended. The valves ensure a proper intake of air and fuel, as well as exhaust gas, so they may then push the pistons down, allowing for the ignition of fuel in the combustion chamber. The service center at Hendrick Chevrolet Cary can ensure you have a strong timing belt so you don’t run into issues on the road.

How Much is a Timing Belt?

When a timing belt breaks, it’s not the only repair item that may be incurred. A broken timing belt means the values cannot open and close when they need to, which can cause them to strike the pistons. If the valves, pistons, and water pump are all damaged, it can easily drive a service bill up to $2,000+.

If you’re preemptive about replacing your timing belt before it can break and cause such extensive damage, Raleigh drivers are looking at an average of $500 – $1,000 for a new timing belt and the labor to install it.

Check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual to find out how often you should replace the timing belt. Every 60,000 to 100,000 miles is the recommendation put out by most automakers.

Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Timing Belt

The majority of Apex drivers’ cars will use a rubber belt or a timing chain. Thankfully, it’s pretty apparent when the belt is on its way out. If you’re approaching the 60,000-mile mark, be on the lookout for these warning signs:

  • The engine struggles to turn over
  • You experience engine troubles at 2,000 – 4,000 RPM
  • The engine is misfiring, causing a loud popping noise
  • The engine is audibly ‘ticking’
  • Oil leaking at the front of the motor
  • You’re noticing an excess of smoke and fumes (compared to what’s normal for your car)

Timing Belts vs. Timing Chains: Are They the Same?

Timing belts and timing chains serve the same purpose, but they’re composed of different material and are located in different areas.

  • Timing chains are made of metal, while a tough reinforced rubber is used for timing belts.
  • Being constructed from a more pliable material, belts produce less noise and are visible on the engine’s exterior. The timing chain is an interior engine part, lubricated by the engine oil.

Get a Timing Belt Replacement in Cary, NC

If you suspect your car needs a new timing belt, schedule an appointment at Hendrick Chevrolet Cary’s service center. Our technicians will inspect your car’s belt and provide an expert recommendation as to when you should replace it. We offer competitive pricing on all service and maintenance, as well as rotating parts and service specials to make your repairs more budget-friendly.