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Family Owned: 30+ Years, Same Location and Ownership.

Nationwide Service Warranty.

Gainesville's first AAA Approved Auto Repair.

We timing belt services, as needed, for all import and domestic vehicles Call today to see if your vehicle requires a timing belt service and the interval at which it may be due. Import: Acura Audi BMW Honda Infiniti Jaguar Land Rover Lexus Mazda Mini Mercedes Benz Nissan Porsche Toyota Saab Subaru Volkswagen Volvo. Domestic: Buick Cadillac Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge Ford Jeep GMC Lincoln.

                                  

Timing Belt Services

What is a timing belt?

A timing belt rotates the camshafts on your engine. The camshaft(s) opens and closes the intake and exhaust valves. The intake valves to allow the air/fuel mixture into your engine for combustion. The exhaust vales allow the combustions waste product (exhaust) to be purged from the cylinder after the air/fuel mixture has been burned.

Many of the more popular car makes like the Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Acura, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi have timing belts. Check your owner's handbook to see if your car has a timing belt and if so when it is due for a replacement, or call us. We can tell you. If you are lucky enough to have one of the handful of models that use a timing chain you will not have to worry about this service. The price for a timing belt service can be a bit of a shocker to some people. Whether or not a vehicle has a timing belt or a timing chain is something one may want to consider when buying a new car.

When is my car due for a timing belt change? For most cars it is 60,000 miles or 4-5 years, whichever comes first. On some vehicles the maintenance mileage interval is as low as 30,000 miles and some are over 100,000 miles. Check your owner's handbook, or call us. We can tell you. 

Why the time period or miles? Because belts are are made of a rubber material similar to the hoses in your cooling system. This rubber material will deteriorate over time. This is especially prevalent in our hot, humid climate (Have you noticed how the old rubber bands in your desk rot over time?). Over the years we have seen a number of vehicles that, though well below the recommended mile interval listed to replace the timing belt, the belt had broken because it was several years old. 

Did you recently buy a pre-owned car? The timing belt job can be costly and it is not uncommon owners to sell their vehicle to avoid having to pay for this service. Most of the time there is no way to tell the work has been done by looking at the engine. When buying a used vehicle see if the seller can provide any record of the timing belt having been changed. If you bought the vehicle without a service history, it may be safest to have a timing belt change as soon as possible. 

What happens if my timing belt breaks? 

Interference engine vs. non-interference engine.

If timing the belt breaks on any type of engine, your engine will quit without warning- period. Pull safely over to the side of the road and call for help. Depending on whether your engine is an "interference" or "non-interference-  free-running engine" you may or may not experience major engine damage.

 

What happens on a "non-interference or free-running" engine?

If the timing belt breaks on a free-running engine the engine stops, and your greatest additional expense may be a towing fee to get your car to the shop. Aside from the unexpected inconvenience, and the tow bill, your bill will probably not be much different than if you just took it to the shop and had it replaced. No mechanical damage occurs and the installation of a new belt is basically you need to get you on your way.

What happens on a "interference" engine?

If the timing belt breaks on an interference engine, major engine damage usually does occur. It most commonly involves open valves being struck by pistons as the engine continues to turn to a stop after the belt breaks. The camshaft stops opening and closing the valves and the ones that happen to be open get struck by the pistons in their cylinder. Sometimes just the valves are bent. Sometimes a piston may be damaged, or worse. The bottom line is an otherwise needless expensive repair that could have been avoided had the belt been changed at the recommended time or service interval. In extreme cases, a complete replacement engine may be required.

Is there anything else I should ask about when replacing my timing belt at the normal service interval?

The cost of a timing belt service varies depending on the type car and other items you may want taken car of at the same time. When having your timing belt replaced it is a good idea service the following:

  • Timing belt tensioner. You may want to consider replacing your timing belt tensioner when doing the timing belt job. There are a few different types of tensioners. There are hydraulic tensioners, spring loaded tensioners and mechanical tensioners. Like the belt they can wear out, too. If the timing belt tensioner fails you will probably experience the same damage as if the belt broke. The tensioners job is to keep the teeth of the belt firmly seated into the teeth on the gears it drives. If the tensioner gets weak or fails, the belt can "jump time," which may also cause the pistons to hit the valves.

  • Serpentine or engine drive belts. You may want to have your serpentine or engine v- belts that drive the engine accessories (alternator, power steering, air conditioner compressor, etc.) replaced because they have to come off anyway to get to the timing belt. So generally there is usually no extra labor in replacing them. You may also want to consider replacing the serpentine belt tensioner, if so equipped. Often, particularly with an older tensioner, when the tension is released to take the belts off the engine and then re-tensioned after re-installing the belts an older tensioner may fail a short time later. 

 

  • Front engine seals. You may want to have your front engine oil seals replaced, as equipped. This may include cam seals, crankshaft seal, intermediate shaft seal, and countershaft seals. This is because if you don't, the original seals may not make it through the life cycle of the new belt. If they begin to leak the timing belt has to come off again to replace them. Usually this is before it's time to replace the new belt. In which case, the job has to be done all over again. High engine temperatures cause these seals to become hard and brittle allowing them to leak. When this happens engine oil will saturate the timing belt causing it to break.

  • Replace your water pump. You may want to have your water pump replaced. Once the timing belt is off, for most cars, the water pump takes very little additional time to replace. Usually, the greatest part of the additional expense is in the part itself! If the pump is not replaced and fails, as with one of the front engine seals, the whole job has to be done over again to gain access to the pump.

 

  • Service your cooling system. If you decide to do the water pump, you may want to consider replacing the engine coolant (also called anti-freeze) at that time. When taking off the water pump, the cooling system has to be drained. So, it's a good idea to replace the coolant at that time. You may also want to consider a new thermostat and cooling system hoses, particularly on an older car.

 

Our timing belt services can come with a 2-Year/24,000 mile local warranty and a 12 month/12,000 mile nationwide warranty.

We look forward to talking to you soon! 

Schedule online now   , or call us at 352-378-7830 to schedule for your timing belt service. Shop hours are 8-5 Monday through Friday.