5 Symptoms of a Bad Timing Belt and Replacement Cost

The function of the timing belt is to rotate the crankshaft and camshaft of the engine and to make sure they’re synchronized in their rotation. This synchronization allows the cylinders to fire at the right time and keep the engine running the way it is supposed to. If the timing belt were to break or become worn out, then it would limit the functionality of the engine or cause it to not run at all. Since the timing belt in the motor is constantly subjected to harsh pressures and conditions, it is common for a car owner to have to replace the timing belt throughout the life of the car.

Top 5 Symptoms and Effects of a Bad Timing Belt

When you have a bad timing belt, there will be some obvious symptoms that will arise. Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad timing belt that you can watch out for. Once you notice them, you can bring your vehicle into the auto body shop and have the timing belt replaced.

  1. Engine Misfire – Since a bad timing belt can put a damper on the firing rate of the engine, it will likely cause the engine to misfire. This will happen if a worn-out timing belt were to slip off its pully and fall onto the camshaft drive. Then the timing of when the cylinder opens and closes would be thrown off, which would cause a misfire for sure. If it doesn’t get replaced fast, the engine will suffer irreversible damage.
  2. Rough Idling – Are you experiencing rough idling from your engine? If so, then you may be experiencing lots of jerkiness and shakiness as you’re behind the wheel. This is one of the main symptoms of a bad timing belt. If your timing belt has worn out or missing teeth, then it will likely slip out of its position and fall onto the other gears. The timing will then be off on the camshaft, resulting in the engine stalling.
  3. Broken Valves or Pistons – Whenever there is no synchronization between the rotating crankshaft and camshaft, the piston could get damaged and end up bending the valves as it comes in contact with them. The most common reason for this happening is when the timing belt totally snaps apart. The only thing you can do at this point is to install a new timing belt before the engine gets seriously damaged.
  4. Low Oil Pressure – As a timing belt starts to get excessive worn, pieces of its teeth will come loose and break off into the oil pan of the vehicle. This will cause a significant drop in the oil pressure of the engine. Once that happens, the engine won’t run anymore and then the whole motor will need to be reconstructed.
  5. Ticking Sound – The timing belt is connected to lots of pulleys and is surrounded by lots of components. If the timing belt were to get worn out, it will start to become loose and possibly make a ticking sound as it continues to wear out. The sound will remain there until the timing belt gets so worn that it breaks apart.

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The Average Replacement Cost

When you realize that it’s time to replace your timing belt, the total cost won’t be overly expensive but it will put a dent in your wallet. The total replacement cost will be between $310 and $410 on average. You can expect the parts cost to be the cheapest expense at around $60 to $90. The biggest expense will the for the labor costs since they’re usually between $200 to $300. Unless you’re good at fixing cars and replacing parts, you shouldn’t try to do the labor yourself. Hire a professional mechanic to do it for you.

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