Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How do I know when to change my timing belt?

I just bought a used car and have no idea when the timing belt was changed. Went to a body shop and they looked at the belt and said that there is usually a sticker affixed to the belt where it mentions what mileage it was last changed at; however, my car did not have this. I have a 1996 Toyota Corolla with 173,000 miles on it.

I just don't want to get ripped off. How do I know when to change my timing belt?
to tell you the truth you should replace it every 90,000 miles. if not at about 100,000 miles you take the risk of it snapping.

But a word to the wise if you ar replacing the belt replace the water pump also. They tend to be connected together, and you would hate to have to pay for more labor on a part that could have been done at the same time.

Good luck with everything. :)How do I know when to change my timing belt?
First mistake is you went to a body shop. You should have gone to a mechanic. You can't just look at a timing belt without removing the cover and a few other item's (to gain access). I'm a firm believer if it ain't broke don't fix it. If you car start's ok leave it alone. If it jumped timing then take it to a mechanic and have it replaced ( I would recommend a toyota dealer, you'll probably get a better warranty). My spouse has an 05 toyota 4runner with 160,000 miles and has no timing belt problem. Body shop's are for dent's and paint. If you don't want to get ripped off buy a repair manual on you vehicle and research it. it'll give you step by step instruction's
Pull the timing cover off and look at the belt teeth and look at the back of the belt to determine if it looks old and dry. Move the belt in and out to see how much play it has. You need to have experience to determine what you observe. If you have never checked a timing belt before have an experienced mechanic check it out. I'd replace the pulleys and waterpump while you're at it with the mileage you are at.
I would check and see if the belt looks excessively worn or if you are able to see the chords it would need to be changed immediately. Around 100,000 miles most people get the belts changed as if you dont it does sometimes cause serious problems to the motor if it goes out while the car is running.
if the belt is cracked or real weathered looking,you need to change it.it is not that hard to change one.just make sure that you have the crankshaft marked and the camshaft marked. do not turn the the engine over or turn the cam or the crankshaft.good luck
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