Hyundai has been making the Elantra since all the way back in 1990. It's been a solid seller for the auto manufacturer and routinely sells over 200,000 units in America every year. Hyundai is known for being reliable, and affordable, and the Elantra has proven to be a dependable automobile for many drivers over the years. That said, if you want to keep your Elantra running the way it's supposed to, you need to make sure you're following a routine of scheduled maintenance. Part of that includes making sure you replace your timing belt when it needs to be replaced, before anything goes bad. With that in mind here are the timing belt replacement costs for a Hyundai Elantra that you need to know about.
Hyundai Elantra Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Unfortunately, getting a timing belt replaced in your Hyundai Elantra is not the easiest job for a mechanic to do. For that reason, the cost of repairing the timing belt on a Hyundai Elantra is typically going to be somewhere between $400 and $700. This of course depends on the year of your Elantra and whether or not you're taking it to a mechanic or the dealership, all of which can affect the cost.
If you're just in the market for the belt on its own, you can head to a site like Autozone.com and pick up a new one for between $20 and $200. Just make sure you're getting the right one. The reason there is such a price difference between the part and the labour is that it takes quite a bit of time and effort to get into where the timing belt is located in your engine. You're going to be paying for your mechanic's time to do so. It's possible you could do this repair on your own at home, but you really need to be comfortable working on the engine as this is not a beginning repair job by any means. If you've never done something like this before, it's probably best to leave it up to a professional.
If you don't replace your timing belt according to the schedule that Hyundai has developed for it, you're putting your engine at serious risk. It's possible that a timing belt will last for 200,000 miles or more, but it's never recommended to try to get it to go that far. The longer you put off replacing it, the more likely it is going to break while you're driving. When that happens, it can cause serious damage to your engine and could potentially cause an accident if you are driving at speed down the highway, for instance.
When a timing belt breaks there is no warning time, and no chance for you to react. You won't be able to pull over to the side of the road like you would if your car just started overheating. The moment it breaks your engine will stop working. The damage that is caused to the cylinder heads, the pistons, the valves and the rest of your engine could end up costing you as much as $4,000 or more to get fixed. For that reason, you want to make sure you're getting your timing belt replaced when you need to have it done.
What Does a Timing Belt Do? – Timing Belt Replacement Cost for a Hyundai Elantra
In order for your Hyundai Elantra to function properly the timing of the engine has to be precise down to the fraction of a second. The way a modern combustion engine works is that pistons rise through the cylinders of your engine and a mixture of fuel and air is injected in precise amounts into the combustion chamber. The spark plug ignites this fuel and air mixture which creates an explosion that in turn forces the piston back down through the cylinder. This happens in each cylinder of your engine whether it's four, six, eight or whatever. It happens many hundreds of times per minute in order to create the power needed to move your Elantra forward.
In order for everything to happen at the same time, the crankshaft rotates, pushing those pistons up into the cylinders. The end of the crankshaft has the timing belt looped around it. The other end connects to the camshaft so that when the crankshaft rotates, the camshaft will rotate with it. As the camshaft spins, it opens the valves at the top of the cylinders to allow the piston to pass through unencumbered. All of these things need to happen at precisely the right time, or your engine will perform poorly, or not at all.
The timing belt itself is just a rubber composite belt. Unlike your serpentine belt which is smooth, the timing belt has notches on the inside which help it grip the ends of the camshaft and a crankshaft while it rotates. If those notches were to wear down, or the belt were to get stretched out, it would lose its grip and not be able to rotate between the camshaft and the crankshaft properly. That could result in the valves not being open at the correct time, or the combustion reaction occurring when the pistons are in the incorrect place.
Do Hyundai Elantras Have Problems with Their Timing Belts?
If you have a newer model of a Hyundai Elantra you likely don't need to worry about changing your timing belt. From 2011 until the present all models of the Hyundai Elantra have actually used a timing chain instead of a timing belt. The timing chain performs the exact same function as a timing belt, but it's made of a much more durable metal rather than the rubber composite material that a belt is made from. In theory, a timing chain should be able to last the entire life of your vehicle without ever needing to be replaced. However, if you have a 2010 Elantra or earlier, then it has a timing belt in place.
In the older models that do still use timing belts, the recommended replacement interval is every 60 thousand miles. You can check your owner's manual to make sure that's applicable to your particular model year if you want to be 100% sure. That means any Hyundai Elantra with the timing belt that is still being driven should probably have had it changed a couple of times by now.
If you bought your Elantra used and you aren't sure when the timing belt was changed last, it's a good idea to have a mechanic take a look at it and see how well it's doing. If there are any cracks or signs of wearing down or broken teeth, it's probably a good idea to get the belt changed.
There were no particular issues with the Elantra as it relates to timing belts in the models that have a timing belt in them. Obviously there are always going to be isolated incidents with certain drivers who have had timing belt problems, but it was never a serious or notable issue for any given model year.
Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Timing Belt
If your timing belt is not functioning the way it should there are some signs and symptoms to let you know it has a problem. Hopefully you'll be able to deal with these before the belt breaks completely which could result in a catastrophic engine failure and cost you some serious time and money to fix.
Engine Noises – Timing Belt Replacement Cost for a Hyundai Elantra
When a timing belt begins to fail it will make some distinctive and hard to miss noises. You'll hear a very fast-paced ticking sound coming from your engine, kind of like the clicking of a roulette wheel after you spin it. The greater the speed of your Elantra, the faster the pace of the clicking sound. You may also hear some squealing sounds as well, but these are far less common and will only be intermittent if you hear them at all. The clicking will be a steady sound and it's the clearest indication you'll get that there's a problem with your timing belt.
Because the timing belt is responsible for the precision timing of your engine, when it is no longer able to do its job properly then the timing of your engine will suffer as a result. You're going to start experiencing engine misfires which means that one of the cylinders in your engine didn't fire correctly and you're going to lose power. If this continues to happen, you'll end up having your car stall. It can also cause damage to the valves, cylinders, and pistons in your engine.
Oil Leaks – Timing Belt Replacement Cost for a Hyundai Elantra
There's a timing case over the timing belt that helps keep it protected and it's bolted on to your engine. If those bolts begin to come loose, oil can start leaking out. The oil could contaminate the rest of your engine and may also be present puddling underneath your car. In addition, oil can leak onto the belt itself which will cause it to wear out sooner than it should.
if you notice that your Elantra is shaking and vibrating much more aggressively than it should, even when you're just sitting still in the vehicle with the engine running, then there's a chance your timing belt is responsible for this rough idling.