One of the most critical preventative repairs you must do for your vehicle is the timing belt, which is located under the timing cover on the front of the engine. Not all vehicles have timing belts – some have timing chains, though they are usually pickup trucks and older cars. If you are not sure, you can ask one of our ASE Certified techs or counter people at the veteran-owned and-operated Maxi Auto Repair by calling one of our shops. We have three locations: 10200 Beach Blvd. (844) 297-8529, 591 Oak St. (844-644-5218), and 13700 Fario Road (844) 426-2861.
Average Timing Belt Change Interval
The interval for a timing belt replacement depends on your vehicle’s year, make and model. Most manufacturers recommend changing the timing belt at 60,000 miles. It’s never good to wait until you see any of the signs to change the timing belt, especially if your vehicle’s engine is an interference engine. If the timing belt breaks or stretches too far, it could cause the valves to hit the pistons – and no solid item can occupy the same space as another solid item. This usually results in bent valves, but it could also damage the pistons and rods.
If you notice any of the following signs, bring your vehicle to Maxi Auto Repair and Service in Jacksonville FL as soon as possible.
1. The Vehicle Does Not Start
If the vehicle turns over but does not start, you might have a timing belt issue. In most cases, the engine sounds more like a sewing machine as it tries to turn over. This is because the timing belt isn’t turning the camshaft, and the engine doesn’t have compression. Sometimes you can look into the oil filler cap while someone turns the engine over to see if the camshaft is turning.
2. Ticking Noise
In some cases, usually in vehicles with interference engines, you might hear a ticking noise coming from the engine if the timing belt is too loose, though this sound is more common when the engine is low on oil. If a loose timing belt is making the noise, the valves are tapping the top of the pistons.
3. Smoking Exhaust
The exhaust can expel smoke for many reasons, including burning oil or because condensation built up in the exhaust. However, if the smoke is dark gray, the timing could be off, which means that not all the air and fuel in the cylinders burns. If the timing belt is loose, it could cause the exhaust valves to open prematurely, which would cause smoke from the tailpipe.
4. Loss of Power
When the timing belt is loose, the engine’s timing is off, which causes a decrease in power. If the valves do not open at the right time, the burned air and fuel mixture cannot exit, which “waters down” the new air and fuel coming in for the next compression and combustion strokes. Wrong valve timing also prevents air and fuel from entering the engine at the correct time during the intake stroke.
5. The Check Engine Light Illuminates
In some cases, the check engine light could come on. The code won’t be for the timing belt but will be because one of the sensors is sensing something wrong with the air and fuel mixture or the computer senses an engine knock – even if you don’t hear it.
Contact Maxi Auto Repair and Service
If you have driven 60,000 miles and have not changed the timing belt, you should make an appointment for the timing belt replacement. If you notice signs of a bad timing belt, it is imperative that you have the timing belt checked immediately. If it breaks or is too loose, it could cause extensive engine damage. Contact Maxi Auto Repair and Service at one of our Jacksonville locations for timing belt replacement. All of the following locations have ASE Certified technicians for timing belt replacement services: