We realize that car maintenance is not the most enthralling subject on the web. But when it comes to critical components of your vehicle like the timing belt, knowing the right information couldn’t be more important. It’s called the timing belt because it maintains the correct timing of the pistons in your engine as they rise and fall to allow air and gas to enter and escape during combustion.
So What Happens When it Breaks?
First off, if your timing belt breaks, you’ll be stranded. The timing belt is essential to the engine producing horsepower. If it breaks at speed, your engine is going to lock up. By that we mean the valves and pistons in your engine might collide, causing expensive and possibly irreversible damage.
What happens after that depends completely on how well you handle stress.
Great, so When Should I Change it?
Err, well – we wish there was a better answer for this. Truth be told, there’s no way to know exactly when your timing belt is going to break. Most manufacturers have a mileage they recommend for each vehicle (which should be in your driver’s manual) but generally they suggest it be changed every 60,000 – 100,000 miles.
We would recommend erring on the side of caution, and changing closer to 60,000 than 100,000.
Why Should I?
In case you’ve skipped ahead, you should change it to save yourself a major headache and a lot of money. It’s a matter of when it breaks, not if. The cost of replacing the timing belt is a drop in the bucket compared to what you’ll pay for a new engine, or a new car. Do future-you a favor when the time comes.
Should I Also Replace the Water Pump?
Have your mechanic look at the water pump – if it’s in need of replacing then go ahead, but it’s not always necessary. They do wear down over time, but changing them at the same time you change the timing belt is generally just recommended maintenance – not a rule.
Is the Timing Right?
Need a new timing belt and/or water pump? Come visit Leith Chrysler Jeep’s service center and we’ll have our expert technicians make the swap. No one knows Jeep’s like our team, so you can always leave us your car with confidence.