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Three Signs That Your Timing Belt May Need Replacement

Smoking-EngineIf you own a vehicle with a timing belt and an interference engine, you certainly need to be concerned about timing belt replacement. An interference engine is one in which the pistons and valves occupy the same space during different moments in time. If the timing belt breaks or the teeth are sheared off, one or more valves may contact the top of their corresponding piston and make your engine a very expensive boat anchor.

Here are three signs that your timing belt may need to be replaced:

1. Mileage
This is the most obvious indicator and if your vehicle is not currently on regularly scheduled service intervals, I suggest you address the issue now. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals and you will usually be covered. Some automakers recommend timing belt replacement at 60,000-miles, some recommend it at 105,000-miles, and so on. Check the owners manual or your local auto parts retailer for the specifications of your vehicle (and they can also tell you if you have an interference engine).

2. Accessory Belts are Cracked
Accessory belts are normally replaced with the timing belt, so it stands to reason that if the accessory belts (alternator, a/c, power steering, or serpentine) are cracked, then so is the timing belt. Cracks on the timing belt can result in the belt, or teeth of the belt, being sheared during acceleration.

3. Fluid Leaking From Timing Cover
Oil and coolant leaks from the timing belt cover tell us that the belt may be saturated with contaminants. A saturated timing belt is much more likely to break or slip. These conditions may result in catastrophic engine failure. Leaking water pumps, crankshaft seals, camshaft seals, and oil pump seals are likely causes of fluid leaking from the timing cover.

Learn more about vehicle repair and maintenance by visiting AA Auto Protection, your friends in the extended automotive warranty business.

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By |2017-05-28T05:20:27-04:00September 23rd, 2015|Auto Warranties|

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