When Do I Need Timing Belt Replacement?

timing-beltThe timing belt on your European car is very important. A broken timing belt can do much more than just stop your car. If your automobile has what is known as an interference engine, a snapped timing belt could lead to major piston or valve damage and a much more costly repair. For example a BMW 325i or 525 both have an interference engine and there are many other American and Japanese cars that also have this type of configuration.

The timing belt, or timing chain as some vehicles have, is a turning belt that synchronizes the camshaft and crankshaft movements. This ensures proper opening and closing of valves during the combustion and exhaust strokes. It may also drive your water pump. When it breaks, your engine will stop and require a tow. The pertinent question is how do you know when to replace your timing belt to prevent this damage?

Warning Signs that the Timing Belt is Wearing Out

There are three signs that you may need a timing belt change.

  • A loud whining or whirring noise when you start the engine
  • Look at the belt and if there are signs of wear or oil spots you could be ready for a new belt
  • Difficulty starting the car may indicate one of many problems including a worn out belt ready to break.

The timing belt can be changed by a mechanic. You should find a well-rated specialty shop if you own a German or British made automobile. For instance some vehicles need other parts replaced when changing the timing belt. Some do-it-yourselfers and even experienced mechanics may forget these parts when trying to save money on the job.

You can have your belt checked when you have your oil changed or when you get a tune-up. If you have purchased a used car this should definitely be done by a mechanic – especially if you don’t know when or if the belt has ever been replaced.

Trust your foreign auto repair in Mukilteo to the Star-certified professionals at Classic Motorsports. We specialize in German and British automobiles and serve Snohomish County with the best parts available while keeping our repair prices lower than those charged at the dealership.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

BMW Timing Belt Replacement in Mukilteo, WA