The mileage of your vehicle is generally a good starting point when assessing whether your car needs a new timing belt. The best solution is prevention, but most of us don’t even think about it until a problem arises. If you are aware of when a problem is likely to develop, you can be on the lookout for warning signs that it’s time to think about a replacement.
Most commonly, the symptoms will arise when you try to start the car. It may also make strange noises or act up a little when running. Vehicle manufacturers usually provide specific indications about the mileage at which a timing belt replacement is needed, so that’s the best starting point. If you are already starting to suspect your car needs one, visit a car mechanic in Wollongong right away.
Look in your owner’s manual
The timing belt is fundamental to turning the cam and crankshaft in the ending. This means it is constantly subjected to exertion. In most cars, it will need to be replaced every 60,000 – 100,000 miles, depending on what is recommended in your user manual. Be sure to check your manual for the specific mileage recommendations relating to your vehicle.
The actual warning indicators that you can use to diagnose a weakened or loose timing belt are few. And there are no really obvious indicators that a worn belt is on the brink of snapping. If it happens whilst you are on a journey, you will break down and you will need assistance.
Signs the time is coming
The timing belt is essential for the safety of your vehicle, so get it checked by a mechanic if you suspect there is a problem Below are five telltale signs that something is wrong and it may be time to replace the timing belt:
1. There’s an unusual sound
The sound to look out for is a high-pitched screeching when you first start the engine, and often when idling or accelerating. The other sound is a ticking coming from within the engine – both are possible indicators of a malfunction in the timing belt.
2. Problems between 2000 – 4000 RPM
If you notice the engine starts acting up when you rev to between 2000 and 4000 ROM, it could be struggling to function normally due to a loose or worn-out timing belt. The belt could be slipping when you accelerate.
3. Unusual exhaust fumes
If you begin to notice an increase in the amount of visible fumes coming from the exhaust, this could be another warning sign. AN engine running with a malfunctioning timing belt will sometimes emit excessive exhaust fumes.
4. Failing to turn over
If you turn the ignition key and you can hear the starter motor but the engine fails to turn over, the timing belt could have caused the problem. This is particularly true if you’ve noticed any of the other warning signs as well.
5. Car suddenly stops working
This is your worst-case scenario – the car breaks down and leaves you stranded. It is dangerous if you let it get to this point, but if the belt snaps then the car will stop running. Try not to let it come to this.
If you’re unsure about your timing belt or you suspect a problem, don’t hesitate to get it checked out. If you are in or around Wollongong, contact us at (02) 4228 7949, if you want a fast quote or visit us at www.wollongongmechanical.com.au, if you want to learn more.
We service Figtree, Shoalhaven Heads, Mount Pleasant, Wollongong, Greenwell Point, Kiama, Corrimal, Warilla, Albion Park Rail, Worrigee and surrounding areas.