Things You Should Know About Changing the Timing Belt in Salem, OR

There's one thing most people know about timing belts: that they're not something to mess around with, since a broken timing belt means bad news. Beyond this, these parts remain a mystery for many. Why do timing belts need to be changed? Does your vehicle have a timing belt at all? We'll give you more information on changing your timing belt below.

The timing belt is a simple part that plays a large role 

5. Does My Toyota Have a Timing Belt?

Before you start looking at replacing your timing belt, it's best to check and see if your vehicle has a timing belt at all! Many modern vehicles are instead equipped with timing chains. Though heavier than belts, timing chains are more durable and last much longer. Recent Toyota models like the 2020 Corolla, the 2020 RAV4, and even the 2020 Toyota Yaris are all equipped with a timing chain rather than a timing belt. However, older Toyota models may still be equipped with timing belts. To see whether yours has a timing belt, it may be helpful to check your owner's manual. The technicians at an authorized dealership like ours will also be able to help.

Failing to change your timing belt can destroy your engine 

4. When Should I Have My Timing Belt Changed?

The simplest answer is: whenever the owner's manual tells you to have it done. Timing belts will wear down over time. Unfortunately, they don't usually give very noticeable symptoms before they break. Replacing the timing belt on schedule will greatly reduce the chance of a broken timing belt, and all the damages it can cause.

3. What Happens If I Don't Have the Timing Belt Changed?

Of course, if you decide not to get your timing belt changed, your car will still work . . . until it suddenly doesn't. Some Toyota engines are freewheeling, which means that the piston and the valves never occupy the same space in the cylinders. If a timing belt breaks in a freewheeling engine, the engine will simply stop running. But other Toyota engines are interference engines. This means that the pistons, when fully extended, occupy the same place in the cylinders as the valves do when they're open. The timing belt coordinates the movement of these two via the crankshaft and camshaft (or camshafts). If the timing is no longer controlled, a piston may hit an open valve, causing massive engine damage that may be irreparable.

You should also have the water pump replaced when you replace the timing belt 

2. Why Is a Timing Belt Change Such an Expensive Service?

The timing belt itself isn't an expensive part. The time and labor are what make it so expensive. To get to the timing belt, the engine needs to be disassembled. Doing so takes significant time and effort. In addition, replacing the timing belt involves setting the timing and putting the engine back together.

1. What Else Should Timing Belt Service Include?

When you have the timing belt replaced at a reputable service center, the service should also include a few other things. The tensioner and idler rollers should also be replaced. The technician will also inspect the crankshaft seal and the camshaft seal, replacing them if necessary.  It's also common for this service to include replacing the water pump, as well. Though this isn't related to engine timing, the water pump is exposed during a timing belt replacement, so replacing it then saves you money later.