A big-ticket, routine service that most drivers experience (and have to budget for) are timing belts and water pump replacement. Here is a basic overview of what these parts are and why/when Timing Beltthey are replaced in the lifetime of a vehicle. The timing belt is in fact a rubber belt that connects the crankshaft to the camshafts. It is critical to the vehicle’s function that these shafts run “in time” together. A timing belt that is worn or breaks can cause serious damage to some engines.
A water pump can be either mechanical (driven by a belt) or electric. The pump distributes coolant (antifreeze and water mixture) throughout the engine and radiator. The coolant that becomes heated by the engine is pumped through the radiator where it is cooled, and then back to the engine to provide cooling (over and over). It is important for the engine to maintain a constant temperature and not get too hot, which can also cause serious damage.
All timing belts will need replacement. This is a part that due to function and materials is made to eventually wear out. The vehicle manufacturer’s suggested interval for replacement is the safest guideline to follow. Most intervals are given in miles or age, 90,000 miles or 7 years.
The Water pump, however, does not have a recommended replacement interval. The Water Pump is typically replaced as it fails or leaks. Very often, the water pump will be replaced when the timing belt is replaced. This is because on some cars the water pump is located behind the timing belt and is driven by the timing belt. The pump is replaced with the belt to save on labor costs. If a timing belt is replaced and the water pump is not, then later, at the point of replacing the pump, the labor costs associated with the timing belt will be incurred again (since the timing belt must be removed/bypassed to access the water pump).
Timely replacement of timing belts and water pumps, while an expense, can save you from much more costly repairs should they fail before replacement. Motorcars offers a 24 month/24,000 mile warranty on all parts and labor, so you can rest assured in your repairs. To check out our current offerings click here.
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