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How To Know If Your Car’s Timing Belt Needs Replacing? 6 Symptoms

Honda Timing Belt or Chain List

Here's how to know if your car's timing belt needs replacing:

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  1. Strange ticking noises
  2. Engine not starting
  3. Engine misfiring
  4. Troubles with oil leak
  5. Vehicle hydroplaning
  6. Check engine light illuminating

Many people are aware of the common vehicle components like the engine and the transmission, and they understand how important it is to take care of those components. However, many need to learn exactly what could go wrong in the engine and how to handle it.

A common term you might come across and hear from your mechanic is an issue related to your vehicle's timing belt. While this belt sounds minor, it can significantly affect your vehicle's drivability.

This article provides you with a detailed guide to help you understand how to know if your car's timing belt needs replacing. It also highlights some recommendations for replacing it. You can always contact your mechanic if you have the right skills but need help.

What is the car's timing belt and what does it do?

The timing belt is a small component of your engine. Its main responsibility is to ensure that your vehicle's different components move at the right time. If they don't, the vehicle suffers from significant problems that impact its drivability.

In many instances, you might deal with situations where the timing belt wears out, and if this happens, you might have the chance to fix it. Still, if you ignore it for some time, you can easily deal with situations where the vehicle stops completely and the engine fails.

How do you know if your car's timing belt needs replacing?

Addressing timing belt problems is extremely critical, and the faster you take care of them, the easier the problem is and the cheaper the repair costs. However, ignoring the problem for a long time can easily lead to severe issues that might cost the entire engine, as we indicated earlier.

The following list provides the six most common symptoms indicating that it's the time to replace your timing belt. These symptoms could also be related to other problems that require your mechanic to take a detailed look at the vehicle and confirm the faulty component before replacing the timing belt.

1-    Strange ticking noises

When the timing belt has a problem, you'll first notice a weird ticking noise coming from the engine. This ticking noise indicated that the vehicle was not operating as it should, and the timing of the Pistons opening and closing needs to be revised in the vehicle's design guide.

That's why many experts recommend that you never ignore any noises coming from your car. The more you ignore these noises, the louder they get, and as you ignore them even more, you can get severe failures that might cause you to go into our engine.

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2-    Engine not starting

Pay attention to any early signs of timing belt problems to avoid getting stranded nowhere. In other words, your engine might suddenly stop working without you knowing what's happening.

Therefore, before this happens to you and before you get stranded in nowhere, you should take care of the timing belt and inspect it regularly. Your mechanic can detect early signs of timing belt problems at early stages many times, saving you a lot of hassle, if not a significant amount of money.

How To Know If Your Car's Timing Belt Needs Replacing

3-    Engine misfiring

It concerns the air and fuel coming into your engine, causing and misfiring. Since the timing belt is a significant component in this process because it tells the engine when the Pistons should be opening and when the input pathways for the fuel and air should be triggered, it's easy to deal with engine misfiring when you have a problem with the timing belt.

It would be best if you did not wait till the point where the engine starts dealing with major problems because it should be obvious to you that the engine is suffering already by this time. However, as we indicated earlier, the more you ignore the minor signs, the harder it is for you to fix the problem.

Engine misfiring is one of those problems where you cannot tell for sure if it's a timing belt issue or something else. Therefore, your mechanic needs to look closer and confirm the issue. Otherwise, replace a healthy component that doesn't need to be replaced.

What Causes Misfiring

4-    Troubles with oil leak

When the timing belt is worn out completely or is about to get connected, you often start dealing with some oil leaks. That's very common, and if this happens, you should immediately check on different components, including the timing belts.

Again, when you see oil leaking underneath your car, you cannot conclude immediately that the timing belt needs to be replaced. This is because many other symptoms and problems could trigger oil leaks faster than a faulty timing belt.

How To Know If Your Car's Timing Belt Needs Replacing

5-    Vehicle hydroplaning

If you've ever driven during rainy days, you might notice that it's hard to control your car, especially if you have a poor tire spirit. Many people say that the problem is most likely related to the tires or the vehicle type itself, but in some instances, the issue could be completely related to a faulty timing belt.

While this might be strange to many drivers, it could be true. Therefore, dealing with such a problem should be investigated. If you notice that your car is hard to handle and your car keeps hydroplaning as you're driving it, it's important to check out the tires, but you must also take a quick look at the timing belt to see if there are any signs of some tear and wear.

How To Know If Your Car's Timing Belt Needs Replacing

6-    Check engine light illuminating

Finally, a failed timing belt can easily lead to a check engine light illuminating. As we always mentioned in our articles, you should keep an eye on the dashboard, and any warning lights, regardless of what they're linked to, should be taken seriously.

Of course, this particular symptom can be challenging to identify the root culprit. This is because the check engine light can be illuminating because of any problems, including a coolant leak, troubles with the oil pressure, etc. However, knowing exactly if it's related to a timing belt needs some digging.

The nice thing is that if you have an OBD scanner, you can connect it to the vehicle's computer and get some error codes to help you narrow down the problem. However, if you need to know what the error means, you can easily focus on other components that are not faulty. That's why you have to check with your mechanic.

How To Know If Your Car's Timing Belt Needs Replacing

How much does it cost to replace a timing belt?

In general, replacing a timing belt should cost somewhere between $500 and $1100. However, if you're driving a more luxurious car, repair costs can pile up and might get up to $2000, if not more.

This is not a cheaper pair and that's why focusing on the root problem can help you prevent this situation from happening, but if it happens, you still have to do the right math and determine whether you want to fix this car or sell it instead.

How To Know If Your Car's Timing Belt Needs Replacing

Final Thoughts

A failing timing belt can be a serious problem. Therefore, you must never ignore it. Whenever you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, including the strange ticking noises and troubles with your engine not starting, you should consider checking the timing belt.

The earlier you detect the problem, the easier it is to fix it and the cheaper the repair costs. However, ignoring the problem for a long time can get you stranded in nowhere and might lead to situations where you must replace the entire engine.

Before you spend any money changing the engine, make sure that you do the right math and confirm whether it's worth fixing your car. You can contact a cash car buyer at 773-791-4363 if you want to sell your car. Our team of experts will help you identify the best ways to sell your car and take advantage of the best deals in your area.

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