Timing belt engines all have a specific life expectancy on the timing belt. Usually, this recommended mileage is between 80,000 miles and may go as high as 105,000 miles. All models using a timing belt recommend changing the timing belt at the manufacturers recommended time interval. Failure to change the timing belt could lead to engine damage on interference engines and possibly a need to replace the entire engine. No matter which type of timing belt engine you have, a broken timing belt will cause the engine to not run therefore; leaving the driver stranded and broke down.
When making the decision to bring in a car, van or utility vehicle for a timing belt, take note that there are other things to consider replacing. Front engine seals like the crankshaft seal, intermediate shaft seal, camshaft seal(s) and or an oil pump seal should also be replaced at the same time. Timing belt tensioner pulleys, dampner or timing belt idler pulley(s) may also need replacement at the same time. The water pump should be replaced if the timing belt needs to be removed to replace it. Drive belts like v-belts, serpentine belts and or stretch belts may also be considered for replacement if there are visible signs of cracking.
Not all auto repair shops will recommend performing these services all at the same time. An auto repair shop stands to make more money by not telling you to do all these services at the same time. Reason being is that if you pay labor to install the timing belt, then, the water pump fails in 4 months, you have to pay the same labor all over again costing you more out of pocket expense for your car repairs. At this point, you have already spent more money than performing the job right the first time. Now imagine that the front seal starts leaking in 4 more months. That’s right; you would have to pay labor for the 3rd time to perform the repairs.
Being in the auto repair business, this is seen many times and customers seem to not be happy about paying over and over for something that should have been done right the first time. Some dealerships, auto repair shops and tire shops that perform auto repairs may be guilty of not up-selling the timing belt job leaving customers with dissatisfied auto repairs. Know that when getting a timing belt, water pump and front seal job all at the same time, you should not have to worry about doing repairs in the front of the engine until the next recommended timing belt change is due. Be smart and get your timing belt job performed right the first time to avoid having to get senseless preventive repairs.