A Comprehensive Guide on How to Replace Your Timing Belt

Cars need a periodic checkup and maintenance service to avoid embarrassing instances and inconveniences. Timing belt problems are a source of trouble to many motorists because of their untimely occurrences. When a motor stops suddenly with a thump as the car is in motion, and an effort to restart it fails indicates an issue with the timing belt. On the brighter side, you can personally solve this issue through guidance. It is recommendable to ensure the timing on the engine is accurately set to avoid collision of valves and pistons, which occurrence would cause serious damage to the engine. Before embarking on changing your broken timing belt ensure the valve is in the right order.

timing beltThe first step in replacing your timing belt is buying a new one. Before making, the purchases do a background check on your car model, year model and type and size of the engine. Models tend to vary as years accumulate. Once convinced, you can visit an auto-spare or timing belt dealer make the purchase. If the new timing belt does not have a replacement, gaskets, and gasket adhesives make a point of buying them.

The fitting step requires a lot of attention. Before disconnecting the negative battery cable, you can record codes of various radio station channels to ease the resetting after repair. Take away the alternator belt. However, this will depend on your car model. Some have Serpentine belt that require removal to access the belt. Ensure the nuts are loosened and slightly push the alternator. You should also remove power steering and air conditioning compressor.

Some models contain a distributor cap that requires removal. An engineer repair manual can guide you through this procedure. Some models may require you to interfere with the retaining clips and remove screws. Make sure the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley aligns with the 0° mark on the timing scale of the engine. The distributor rotor needs to be appropriately aligned with the index mark on the distributor housing. You can achieve this step by rotating the engine in a full turn. Find if the removal of the harmonic balancer pulley is necessary. Note, upon removal an extra seal will be required to reinstall it as well as a pulley and gear removal alignment tools.

crankshaftDepending on the model get rid of bolts and remove the timing cover off the engine. Your Service manual can offer significant assistance in the correct alignment criteria for your vehicle. Oil/water leaks require repair before installation of a new belt. Check around camshaft, crankshaft, water pump by-pass hose and water pump for any leakage.

Following the manual, carefully loosen the mounting bolt with a cam holding tool. Retain the tensioner in a loose position. Replace the tensioner pulley if you notice the damage. The easiest way to check for damage is to twist the tension pulley and listen for a bang or presence of irregular wear on the ends of the old belt.

To this point, you are ready to install your new timing belt. Get rid of the old belt by slipping it off the sprockets. The engine manual will guide you on how to place your new timing belt.

Challenges of personally fixing the timing belt

Following the manual can be a difficult task since they are specifically written for professional mechanics.

Special tools needed to reach the timing belt are difficult to access.

Before getting the correct model of the timing belt for your car, you might buy several of them.

The shop manual is expensive.

A slight mistake during removal or installation of the timing belt can cause expensive damage to your engine.

The timing belt is prone to wear hence require changing for every 60,000 to 90,000 miles hence are tedious.

car maintenance Advantages of having a shop fix the timing belt for you

There is always a guarantee: If it fails to perform within a specified period, a new one is installed.

Quality service is assured since a highly trained and qualified mechanic fixes the belt.
You save time and do other activities.

Other problems that you may ignore when fixing it yourself will be noticed and repaired.

The shops can be quick in acquiring the spare parts.

Disadvantages of having a shop fix your timing belt

It is relatively expensive.

Sometimes due to a large number of clients, your car can stay for some time before it is attended.

In most cases its best to contact Street Automotive Mesa AZ for immediate assistance.