Timinng Belt Replacement Cost & Bad Timing Belt Symptoms

A Timing belt replacement cost can vary from $300 to $500. Timing belt need replacement when it turn bad. Bad timing belting symptoms includes rough idling, bad engine noise, engine misfiring, and poor engine efficiency.

The timing belt also known as the cambelt or the camshaft belt is a crucial part of an internal combustion engine. 

The working of an IC engine completely depends on the timing belt, as it synchronizes the motion of different engine components. This article is the ultimate guide for IC engine timing belts. 

This article is about the Timing Belt Replacement Costbad timing belt symptomsWe will also study different factors that involved in bad timing belts.

Timing belt . jpge
Timing Belt

Timing Belt in IC Engine

In internal combustion engine, timing belts are used to deliver a synchronize rotational motion of crankshaft to camshaft. This enables the engine piston and engine fuel inlet and gas outlet valves to work in perfect synchronization. 

Engine Pistons are connected to crank shaft and their reciprocating motion rotates the crankshaft. Now for proper working of engine, the engine inlet value should open and let the fuel enter the combustion chamber at the right time. 

When piston compresses the fuel and combustion starts, both values should be in close condition. After combustion when piston move back the outlet valve should open and let the exhaust gasses out.

Any damage or failure of timing belt can prove very harmful to engine performance and can physically damage engine parts.

To know more We recommend you to read our article on Timing Belt Material, Types, Applications, Advantages and Disadvantages

What happen if timing belt breaks or fail in Engine

If timing belt get damage of fails due to any reason then it can cause follow problems and  issues to the IC engine.

Total Engine Stall

As soon as the timing belt breaks and fails to deliver synchronize motion, the drive will experience total engine stall. There will be no opening and closing of engine valves, so no combustion and no power. 

Broken Engine inlet and outlet valves

Based on the type of engine that is interfering and non interfering engine, there can be partially damaged or completely broken engine inlet and outlet valves.

Damaged Piston

Just like the valves the piston of the engine can get damaged if the timing belt broke during driving. 

Damaged valve seat

Valve seat is that place where inlet and outlet valve set themselves during their close state. In interfering engines piston can impact or strike with the valves and valve seat and damage them badly.

When to change timing belt? (Life of timing belt)

When to change the timing belt depends on the current condition of the belt. If the belt is worn out and it is not performing as per expectations then you can change the timing belt.

The standard useful life of a timing belt is anywhere from 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles or 100,000 to 160,000 kilometers. The life of the timing belt is also calculated in years if you don't drive your vehicle much. 

Belt material degrades over time and the belt needs replacement even if it has not reached the said miles or kilometers. The life of the timing belt is about 4 to 6 years and it is highly recommended to change the belt after 6 years.

How much is a timing belt / How much does timing belt cost?

As far as How much a timing belt or how much does timing belt costs are concerned. It all depends on the specific timing belt you need for your car engine. 

The timing belt does not cost much. A good quality timing belt cost anything between $30 to $50 but usually, they are provided with a complete kit.

The average cost of a timing belt kit is about $100 to $300 or 80 to 250 GBP. This timing belt kit includes a timing belt, timing belt tensioner, idler pulley, and engine water pump. 

Timing belt replacement cost

Timing belt replacement cost can vary between $300 to $500 or 250 to 400 GBP. It Depends on the vehicle make and model, engine make and model, workshop location and labor costs. 

During the timing belt replacement, it's neither the timing belt nor the timing belt kit that involves the major cost. It's the labor that costs the most. 

This makes the cost of the entire process of a timing belt replacement about $400 to $800.

Note: it's just a rough estimation of why most workshops have shown on their web pages. It all depends on where you live and what car model or engine you have.

Timing belt on IC Engine . jpge
Timing belt on IC Engine

To know more We recommend you to read our article on Timing Belt , Serpentine Belt & Timing belt Kit

Bad Timing Belt Symptoms

A timing belt is a crucial part of an engine, so its failure can cause serious damage to the engine. Good thing is that several bad timing belt symptoms that highlight the issue before complete belt failure. 

Here are the top 9 bad timing belt symptoms

Check Engine Light

Check engine light can be the first and most important sign of a bad timing belt. A bad timing belt can affect the engine in many different ways. 

If it gets detected by the engine control unit then the check engine light will turn on. This will alarm the driver that something is wrong with the car engine. 

There is no surety that the error is off the timing belt only. So drivers must look for other symptoms too.

Rough idling

If the engine cambelt is worn or not working properly then the engine idling process will be very rough. 

Drive can easily differentiate between normal idling and rough idling just based on vibration and sound. 

During rough idling, there will be a lot of variation in engine RPM where engine RPM will do well below the standard value.

Engine Misfiring

Due to a bad timing belt, the engine will misfire too much. This misfiring will make the engine lose power during driving, especially at the start. 

This is due to the timing belt being responsible for synchronizing motion between the piston and fuel inlet value. 

If synchronization is off then the fuel burning will be affected heavily. This makes the engine misfire.

Bad Engine Noise

With a damaged timing belt there will be some bad engine noises. These noises will be due to a lack of synchronization between the piston and exhaust value. 

The exhaust valve should work in accordance with the engine piston for the timely removal of gasses. 

If the engine moves forward with the exhaust valve closed and gasses intrepid then this will produce a strange knocking and tapping sound in the engine.

Overheated Engine

With a bad timing belt and in a specific case there will be an overheated engine. 

The timing belt is also responsible for rotating the coolant motor and if the timing belt is worn or is slipping then it will affect coolant circulation in the engine. This will surely overheat the engine.

Low Fuel Efficiency

With a lack of synchronization between the fuel inlet and combustion process, there will be a lot of fuel that does unburn. 

This highly affects the fuel efficiency of the engine as not all the fuel used is burned to produce power. 

Extra Emission

With a lack of synchronization between the fuel inlet and combustion process, there will also be a lot of unburnt or partial fuel in exhaust gasses. 

This makes the invisible exhaust visible and thus produces extra emissions too. 

Difficulty in achieving high power

The effect of a bad timing belt became more prominent when the engine tried to run at full power. 

All those factors that were very minute at low power or speed will now have an exponential effect on engine performance.

The engine will not start

There is high chance that the engine will not start due to a bad timing belt. As the belt fails to provide synchronization between the combustion and fuel inlet resulting in a complete failure of the engine combustion process. This will make the engine very difficult to start.

Factors that affect timing belt life

Timing belts are designed for a long life as their proper working is very important and their replacement cost a lot. There are several factors that affect timing belt life and can reduce it significantly.

These factors includes engine oil leak, very high temperature, high working load, timing belt exposed to dust, sand or mud, low quality timing belt material.

Engine oil when leaked into the timing belt section can significantly reduce the timing belt life. Engine oil make belt slippery and serious affect its performance. 

Engine oil will also make the dust stick on the belt thus increasing its wear rate. This will reduce the belt life.

Extremely high temperature will also effect the timing belt life. High temperature can make the belt soft and easy to stretch. This compromises the belt working and its life too.

Last words about Timing belt

Timing belt / cambelt or engine timing belt are one of the most important parts of an IC engine. They work to provide synchronization between engine crankshaft and camshaft. 

So its very important to know all about the timing belt like their life, cost, replacement, bad timing belt symptoms and what can affect the timing belt life.


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