Timing Belts Are Part of General Maintenance

Dear Car Guys...
I recently took my car to the shop for a 60,000 mile service. The mechanic mentioned that it would be wise to change my timing belt. As I was not experiencing any problems with my car, I thought he might be trying to belt me with a big bill. Am I really ready to change my timing belt or is it time for me to find a new service shop?

Tim Bell from Blasdell

Dear Tim:

Your mechanic's timing is right on. The majority of 4 cylinder, and even some 6 cylinder, engine cars use timing belts. Timing belts are important because they make sure all the engine parts are synchronized for a smoother running car. Most manufacturers recommend changing your timing belt between 50-60,000 miles. (Check your owners manual to make sure.) If a timing belt breaks it could damage a valve or cause internal engine damage, causing thousands of dollars in damage. In this instance, time is not on your side. Get it changed right away, before your time is up.

The Car Guys has been giving timely automotive advice for over 20 years. Gerry's Service in Amherst has Technicians certified through ASE (Automotive Service Excellence).

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