Expert Advice

What is a timing belt and what is the average cost to repair a timing belt?

A timing belt is essential in the operation of your vehicle’s engine. Preventative maintenance on the timing belt is mush less costly than waiting for it to break. If you are looking for quality auto repair in Wilmington, NC for your vehicle’s timing belt, O’Leary’s Automotive has experienced technicians that can help.

Your engine contains two types of shafts, the camshaft and the crankshaft. These shafts mange the pistons of the engines and are designed to initiate the engine cycle and transmit torque. The timing belt has grooves or teeth that control the camshaft and the crankshaft. This enables the engine valves to open and close at just the right time for smooth operation.

Some vehicles have timing belts made out of chains and gears. These types of timing belts are more durable, but they require lube to work. Many of today’s vehicles have timing belts made from a rubber compound. These types of timing belts are quieter and more energy efficient, but tend to wear out sooner.

Warning Signs a Timing Belt Replacement is Needed

Most timing belts need to be replaced every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. The timing belt operates inside the engine and because it is essential to its operation. Do not wait until the belt breaks before replacing it. If your timing belt snaps your engine will not run.

If you have a broken or worn our timing belt you may notice one or more of the following:

  • Rough idling or rumbling from the engine
  • Engine misfires
  • Smoke from the engine
  • Oil pressure decline
  • Broken valves or pistons

Timing Belt Repair & Quality Auto Repair in Wilmington, NC

If you have experienced one or more of the symptoms above it’s best to have a certified, quality auto repair specialist inspect your vehicle as soon as possible. If your timing belt is in need of replacement, you can expect that service to cost anywhere from $300 up to $500. Because the timing belt is not easily reachable on many vehicles there is a good bit of disassembly and reassembly needed to get to the belt. Economy cars with smaller engines require less labor. But larger trucks, SUV’s or luxury vehicles often require much more time.

It’s also not uncommon to replace the water pump with the timing belt. These components have a similar lifespan and the water pump is found behind the timing belt. For many owners’ it’s more economical to go ahead and replace the water pump while the engine is broken down during the timing belt replacement. If you have any questions about timing belts or auto repair, please contact us at our location nearest you. With four convenient locations, O’Leary’s has mechanics throughout the greater Wilmington area that are trained and certified auto repair specialists.