There are many parts in the car that are required to be replaced for proper functioning. And one such part is the timing belt, which helps the engine function properly.
A timing belt is one of the most significant components of the engine system. It is responsible for controlling the timing range of the engine valves. There are four strokes in an engine, and they collectively work to give power to the engine. These strokes are generated by valves which open and close when required.
The timing belt, hence, controls the timings of these valves. Moreover, it also helps in the functioning of other car parts such as the oil pump and water pump.
When to Consider Timing Belt Replacement?
Typically, you have to refer to the manufacturer's instructions regarding the time interval to replace the timing belt. Few car manufacturing companies would suggest you to get the replacement done between every 50,000 and 75,000 miles, whereas others would suggest a range of 80,000 to 100,000 miles.
However, there can also be a need for the replacement if you experience certain problems in your vehicle. These problems, can be of varied type, such as, increase in the time taken for ignition, wobbling of the car while driving, engine overheating, etc.
Cost of Replacement
The cost of replacement can depend on several different factors such as the location of the workstation, labor charges, make of the automobile, type of the belt, and other complementary maintenance jobs.
You certainly can change the timing belt yourself, if you are machine friendly, and have required technical knowledge. Few crooked fingers of your dexterous hand can do the task comfortably however, the time required will certainly depend on your expertise, rather than on your enthusiasm.
The first aspect that affects the cost is the type of product. If you have an eight cylinder vehicle, you have to purchase a longer belt which is more expensive that one which is to be used in a car having four cylinders. The price of the belt falls somewhere between $25 and $75.
The average cost at a car repair shop is between $350 and $700. But this price range depends on the type of car and the labor charges in your neighborhood. This job requires a lot of labor, and hence, a majority of the overall cost is labor charges. Some shops and dealers may even charge you on hourly basis.
The replacement can take two hours to eight hours, and depends on the expertise of the mechanic. If you are getting the job done in the outskirts of the city, you may be charged around $50 - $100 for an hour, whereas the per hour labor rates in the heart of the city may be more than $200.
In some cars, you may need to replace a complementary part with the timing belt. And the most common part to be replaced is the water pump. The mechanic may even find out repairs to be done to other parts, for avoiding serious problems in the future.
When thinking of timing belt replacement, it is very necessary that you choose a certified and trained profession to do the job. In order to get the best possible price for the job, check out the quotations at a few of your nearby car repair shops.