The timing belt is a reinforced band of rubber that is essential in controlling the precise timing and movement of the engine's valves. It provides a link between the crankshaft and the camshaft to maintain proper valve timing, which is important in keeping an internal combustion engine running smoothly. Any damage to this part may throw off the synchronized movement of the valves, resulting in poor combustion.
Timing belt kit vs. Timing belt
When it comes to timing belt replacement, we recommend that you purchase a complete timing belt kit because it will make installation easier for you, especially if you're planning on doing the repair yourself. Replacing all the parts simultaneously also means they'll wear out evenly. If you install a new timing belt and your water pump is already worn out, coolant may leak on the new rubber and affect the belt's performance. If you'll only purchase the timing belt, chances are you'll discover that some parts also need replacing. Purchasing a complete kit will save you additional trips to the local parts store, and it will also save you money in the long run.
Most timing belt kits include cam seals, idler pulley, springs, tensioner, and thermostat. However, not all of them come with a water pump. We recommend that you choose a timing belt kit with parts that are specifically designed to fit and function well with your vehicle's factory specifications to guarantee smoother engine performance.
Timing belt replacement cost
Timing belts need to be replaced approximately every 50,000 to 70,000 miles. Usually, auto repair service for timing belt replacement costs around $250 to $750. However, this rate may also vary depending on the belt's damage. The mechanic may also charge extra if he'll do overall maintenance work such as replacing the water pump and other parts. Hourly labor may range from $40 to over $110-$150, depending on your car's make. Labor cost on high-end vehicles like BMW and Mercedes-Benz may go over a hundred dollars, especially if you're living in urban areas.
To save money, we recommend that you purchase a complete timing belt kit and do the repair yourself. Timing belt kit prices start at around $35 to just a little over a hundred bucks. In fact, $150 is already a bit too much for an entire kit. If you want maximum savings, timing belt kits are definitely the way to go.