Is It Time for a New Timing Belt?

Posted on: 23 July 2021

Do you have a suspicion that your vehicle needs a new timing belt? This is the part of your vehicle that plays a key role in getting all valves of the engine to close and open at the right time so that everything runs smoothly. Unfortunately, the nature of the part being made out of rubber and getting hot means that it will eventually crack and need replacement. While the part itself is relatively cheap, it is the labor that can cause the replacement to become expensive. That's why it's important to know more about your vehicle's timing belt and when it actually needs to be replaced.

Don't Base A Timing Belt Change On Miles

One thing to keep in mind about timing belts is that rubber can deteriorate over time, even if the vehicle is not used that often. While your owner's manual may have a specification of how many miles a timing belt is good for, that doesn't mean that you should change it purely based on your mileage. Even an infrequently driven vehicle with low mileage can require that the timing belt be replaced due to old age. 

However, mileage can definitely be an indication that it is time. Letting the timing belt go until it breaks will typically leave you stranded on the side of the road. However, some vehicles can have damage caused to the engine if you are driving with a broken timing belt.

Take Note Of How The Engine Idles And Starts

When a timing belt is damaged or not working properly, it is going to cause issues with how the engine operates. You may be able to easily tell this based on how the engine idles. You're likely very familiar with what it is like when your engine is turned on and you are parked, which is when you'll notice the differences if you have a damaged timing belt. The engine itself may sound as if it is going to stall, with it misfiring even when it is at a standstill. This is because the timing belt is not able to turn the gears, and those pistons are moving the cylinders at an incorrect timing pattern. 

Of course, a timing belt doesn't have to break when you are on the road and actively driving. The rubber can finally break when you are parked. If this happens, you won't be able to turn the engine on, and it will seem as if your engine is dead. 

If you have found that your BMW is not working, contact a local BMW service shop near you to learn more.