When to replace the timing belt?


Check it out for your car

A broken timing belt causes irreparable damage, never wait too long to replace it!

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When to change a timing belt for your car? Select your brand:

What is a timing belt?

How the timing belt works

The timing belt or chain is essential for (almost) any internal combustion engine. without it, there can be no combustion occurs. This is because the timing belt ensures that the camshaft, the crankshaft and the valves are driven by this belt or chain.
The timing belt must be set to time. This means that the belt must be set to a certain position, otherwise it is not on time and the shafts and valves will not work together properly. This can cause engine damage.

The water pump, the dynamo and possibly the air conditioning are driven by the multi-wheel belt.

Material of a timing belt?

A timing belt is made of rubber reinforced with metal wires. Because the belt is flexible, and there is no metal connection, lubrication is not necessary.

When to replace the timing belt?

Depending on the make and model, the belt needs to be replaced at regular intervals. So when the timing belt of your car needs to be replaced, depends on the make and model. For most makes, the interval is between 60 and 160 thousand kilometres. In most cases the belt also has an age limit, 3, 5 or 10 years. For example Alfa Romeo For some engines (T-spark) the interval is every 3 years or 60 000 kilometres. Fortunately, with other brands the interval is not so short.

Can I see on the timing belt when it needs to be replaced?

The belt itself does not state date stated maar when the timing belt has been replaced in the garage, this will always be noted. Often, this information can be found in the service booklet or there is a sticker under the bonnet with the maintenance data. This sticker will show the mileage at the time the belt was replaced. This way you can calculate when the belt needs to be replaced. Each manufacturer uses a different mileage interval for replacing the belt. If you do not drive many kilometres, the manufacturer has set a maximum number of years for replacing the belt. When this is can be found on our website but is also often indicated in the instruction or maintenance booklet of your car. If you cannot find this information on our website or in the booklet of the car, we advise you to have the timing belt checked at a garage and if necessary replaced so you can continue driving safely.

Have you also replaced the water pump?

Most garage owners advise to replace the water pump at the same time as replacing the distribution belt. This is a good thing to do, because the water pump is often placed behind the distributor belt. So if it starts leaking and needs to be replaced, the belt must also be removed. Because the replacement costs a lot of labour, it is wise to replace the water pump at the same time as the distribution belt.

Costs of replacing the timing belt

The costs vary greatly depending on the brand, type and garage owner. The range is between EUR 250 and EUR 800. An official brand dealer is almost always more expensive than a universal garage. However, with a dealer you often have the guarantee that original parts are used. In addition, whether or not the water pump is replaced makes a difference of approximately 100.00 euros.

Timing belt or chain?

Some say that timing chains are better because they last longer. Some say timing belts are better because they are cheaper to replace and quieter. The point is that you often cannot choose whether a car you are going to buy has a timing belt or a timing chain. If you do prefer a timing chainthen you might consider the brands listed below:

  • BMW (almost all of them with timing chains)
  • Mercedes Benz (almost all of them with a timing chain)
  • Mazda (many models are equipped with a timing chain)
  • Cadillacs (all models)
  • Honda (some models are equipped with a timing chain)
  • Dacia (a number of models including the Duster and Sandero)
  • Saab (all turbo engines are fitted with a timing chain)

Want to read more about the timing chain? Then go to this page.