TIMING BELT FAQs—WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW?

It’s safe to assume most people know the bare minimum about their vehicles. In general, we learn what we need to know and/or what interests us. For the team here at Preferred Automotive, we seek to educate the residents of Rockville, MD, with what you need to know so you feel confident when you mechanical services are needed.

Let’s focus on answering some Frequently Asked Questions regarding your vehicle’s timing belt!

What is the timing belt, anyway?
Probably a good place to begin—what is it? The timing belt is a rubber belt located behind the drive belts in the engine compartment. The job of your vehicle’s Rockville timing belt service is to keep the crankshaft in sync with the aux shaft and camshaft(s) and ensure the proper operation and timing of the engine valves.

What symptoms mean I may need to replace my timing belt?
There are two common indicators:

– Abnormal squeaking
– The car won’t start (if timing belt breaks)

How often should the timing belt be replaced?
This isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. For each manufacturer, it will vary. Some say 36,000 miles, while others say 30,000. We say it is best to allow yourself a buffer between maintenance periods. In all actuality, most timing belts will last longer than 36,000 miles, but… replace it before you HAVE to, right?

What if I bought my car used and I don’t know when the timing belt was last replaced?
Simple: bring your car into the experts at Preferred Automotive, and we will do our best to assess the “age” of your timing belt. Most likely, as a precaution, we will advise you to get is replaced ASAP so you do have a timeframe to follow and so you avoid an unexpected issue. From there, you can “run your clock.”

Does my vehicle have a timing belt or timing chain?
This depends on the vehicle. For example, a Toyota Tundra manufactured between the years of 2000-2004 = belt. But, a Toyota Tundra manufactured between the years of 2005-2014 = chain.

Don’t timing belts break all the time?
Well… they aren’t meant to last forever! So, if your timing belt breaks it will cause your engine to quit, ASAP. Replacement before this occurs is important.

How is a timing belt replacement done?
There are a series of steps we will take to ensure your timing belt is replaced properly for miles and years of safe driving:

– Remove accessories as needed in order to gain access to the engine timing cover
– Remove the engine timing cover and inspect the timing belt and pulleys for parts needed
– Remove and replace the timing belt, pulleys, tensioners, and water pump
– Reinstall the timing cover and all removed parts
– Check the engine operability by starting the engine—check for proper timing and potential cooling leaks (to be addressed, if found)

We learn what we need to know and we depend on the experts for the rest! Bring your vehicle to Preferred Automotive and allow us the opportunity to earn your business with excellent, honest workmanship. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Preferred Automotive | 12356 Wilkins Ave | Rockville, MD 20852 | 301-881-8530

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