Automotive Maintenance And Detailing


Automotive Maintenance And Detailing

How much does the timing belt cost ?.

A question often asked by car owners is the timing belt cost. Car owners who are not very knowledgeable about cars, whether men or women, may ask this question. That’s because you might think it’s just one more belt that should replace at the time of maintenance.


Replacing the timing belt often comes with other costs that you have to pay. For example, replace the belt with pulley, water pump, tensioner. Of course, including the labor of the technician.


Therefore, before getting some information about timing belt prices, we should first understand their working system.     Then, you can determine what replacement should do for your car.

What is the timing belt ?.

The function of the timing belt is to rotate the camshaft by the rotation of the piston-driven crankshaft. A rotating camshaft that opens and closes the intake and exhaust valves. It keeps the engine running, and power is transmitted through gears to spin the wheels.

Therefore, a damaged belt will stop the engine cycle. It will severely damage your car engine. That’s because the camshaft’s pause will cause the piston to hit the valve. It will cause the valve stem to bend, broken camshaft rod, crack piston wall, etc.

If you open the hood of the car, you will not find the timing belt. It is because the belt installs inside the engine with a cover hidden from your sight. Those other belts you see on the front of the engine are fan belt, air conditioning belt, or steering pump belt.  It may have one or several belts, depending on the car model.

This video shows use what will happen if the timing belt broke.  Credit: Genems LMS

Therefore, checking the timing belt requires some level of knowledge about the engine of that car.


Some vehicle engines may have a belt mounted on the front, some on the back.


In case you have access to the cover, you may remove the belt cover for a preliminary examination. But if you can’t, for example, it is installed behind the machine, you need to check the replacement period from the manual of that car model. And then change according to the specified maintenance period.


In addition to the belt, what will increase your costs is that you may have to replace the water pump, pulley, and belt tensioner at the same time.

Timing Belt installed in the engine

Some vehicles may be instructed in the owner’s manual to replace parts as necessary. It means that you may only be able to replace the belt if you find that other car parts are still in good condition. Such as a Volvo SUV model with a diesel engine, the manufacturer recommends replacing other parts only if it finds a problem.


However, most technicians will recommend that you replace other parts at the same time to ensure your safety and save you labor costs.

What are the signs that the belt needs to replaced?

Usually, a worn timing belt will break without warning. You cannot see, nor can you hear any unusual noises unless you open the belt cover or it break. 

In many cases, the belt breaks while the car is running. These are cars for which the owner does not take care of changing a new part as scheduled.

However, there may be some warning signs that you will recognize that there may be a problem with the belt, such as:

  1. The engine is not running smoothly. That would be because the timing belt is stretch. It will cause the camshaft drive belt not to turn as the rhythm it used to be.
  2. The engine has a symptom known as a backfire. Belt slack or jump over the groove causing the engine to trip. It causes the ignition of some cylinders are not correct. Then, the engine does not run smoothly.

Timing belt, what and when to change ?.

Timing Belt Usually, technicians recommend replacing it with a fan belt or something else installed in front of the engine. Timing belts usually have a service life of 100,000 – 150,000 km or 60,000 – 90,000 miles. You should check the replacement time from your car’s manual.


Some European cars are required to change every 200,000 km or 120,000 miles.


You have to think at the same time whether what else should replace other than the timing belt.


Most technicians will recommend that you replace the belt pulley, tensioner, and water pump. Why? It’s because these parts will work with the belt and they can wear out.


But, as we said before, the carmaker may require that changes are necessary.  You shall consider these things before making a decision.


However, we recommend that you change them together as it may reduce the labor cost for replacing multiple times.

A Timing Belt Set

How much Cost to Replace a Timing Belt ?.

Come back to the issue of cost that the timing belt is not expensive. Generally, timing belts cost only 25-50 dollars only. But if you replace the whole set consist of the pulley, tensioner, water pump, it would cost around $ 150-200 or more. This price does not include the labor of the technician. The technician’s wages will calculate in hours.

You may have to pay 150-300 dollars upon the difficulty of the replacement. How difficult is it?

As we have told, this belt may install on the front or back of the machine. 

A Timing Belt Set

In most cases, it is easier to replace the belt on the front than the rear. Vehicles with rear-mounted belts, such as rear-wheel-drive vehicles, For example, a BMW.   The mechanic might have to remove the engine and do it outside the car.   Can you do it without removing it? The answer is you can, but it’s a bit tricky and time-consuming.

This difficulty or ease of replacement will vary the timing belt replacement cost higher or lower.   In case you find that your car is the BMW model we illustrate.  And you do not want to waste much time. You should bring your vehicle to a technician who has expertise in that car brand. The expertise will make the replacement easy and less time-consuming. Of course, that would make wages of a replacement lower as well.


A timing belt is something that many drivers do not take care of it. That may be because we trust the mechanic who does the job of inspecting and maintaining the vehicle on a maintenance schedule.


If you are using a vehicle that is several years old and the dealer’s warranty period has expired. Especially for cars with low mileage where you never change belts before the warranty expires. You should be aware that this part will need to replace or your vehicle engine will damage if the timing belt is broke during use.

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