The Timing Belt – Keeping your Engine in Sync


Modern car engines are highly-sophisticated pieces of engineering that have dozens of components working together to produce motion. What’s perhaps most amazing is that there’s one part that is in charge of keeping your engine in sync: the timing belt.

The force that makes your engine move your car is a series of tiny controlled explosions. A fuel injector sprays gasoline and air, a spark plug ignites the mix, and a piston is forced down a shaft because of the explosion. Afterwards, a valve opens up to release the fumes, and the cycle happens all over again, hundreds of times a minute.

Timing belts are responsible for making sure that the valves open at exactly the right time. Without it, the pistons hit the valves, breaking them and leading to a complete engine failure.

In other words, while it’s always a bad idea to wait until a part on your car breaks before you have it replaced, with a timing belt, it’s ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to have the timing belt replaced on schedule.

Which means that if your owner’s manual says that a timing belt should be replaced at 105,000 miles, you should start to think about visiting an ASE-Certified technician well before you reach 105,000 miles.

When you ask the technicians in our auto repair shop about replacing a timing belt, they’ll probably talk to you about replacing a water pump at the same time. This isn’t just to sell you something you don’t need! The water pump is usually located BEHIND the timing belt, meaning you can save time and money by replacing the water pump at the same time.

Have a question about your belt? Want to know when you should think about having your timing belt replaced?

Call us at 804-642-2440 or stop by our auto repair shop in Hayes! Our ASE-Certified Technicians are happy to help you understand your car’s needs and your options for replacing your timing belt.