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When should I change my car's timing belt

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When should I change my car's timing belt

The timing belt in a car is the one in charge of making sure synchronization between the admission phase of the air fuel mixture and the valves and crankshaft rotation, as well as the pistons' movement. In general, it's a car element to which we don't pay much attention because it lasts long and we forget about its maintenance. However, it's vitally important to check-up on its state and change it as a prevention, as its break-down could cause severe damage to your car. If you don't know when you should change your car's timing belt, this article will tell you when.

You may also be interested in: How Does The Timing Belt Break

You can find three different types of timing drives:

  • Gear timing drives. This is less frequent and doesn't usually need maintenance.
  • Chain timing drives. Some vehicles use this metallic chain system because they usually don't need changing, although they should be changed after 350.000 km (217479 miles).
  • Toothed timing belt. This is the most common system and requires close supervising and maintenance to avoid it braking.

Truth is, there isn't an exact period of time when you should change the timing belt, as it has no pre-established duration. To know exactly when we should change our timing belt we should check our vehicle's guide book, as each brand has a stipulated aproximate number of miles/kilometers to tell you when this change should be done.


However, there's a general rule which stipulates that timing belts should be changed after 100,000 or 120,000 kilometers (62000 or 74500 miles), although this can vary depending on what we have previously mentioned. For more safety, it's recommendable to change it at 5,000 km (3100 mi) or even at 10,000 km(6200 mi) before what is stipulated by your vehicle's brand.


Not doing maintenance work on your timing belt could mean it could break. What happens when a timing belt breaks? The engine completely stops and there can be irreversible damage to the superior part of the engine. Pistons get into contact with valves, resulting in bent valves, a bent camshaft, harmed pistons, etc.


The cost of repair for a timing belt break down is much more expensive than its replacement. For this reason, and the damage it can cause to your car, is why you should keep a close eye on your timing belt and change it before it breaks.


If you'd like to read similar articles to When should I change my car's timing belt, we recommend you browse around our Car Maintenance and Repair category.

Comments (4)

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What did you think of this article?
When is the best time for me to change my cambelt for Hyundai Atos?
good day, just want to ask when is the best time for me to change the Cambelt/Timing belt on my Hyundai Atos.
hi i currently exchange my fuel pump from electronic to manual nou there is a massive withe smoke getting out from the exhaust what can be wrong
Isaac Amissah
Time periods to replaced opel timing belt?
OneHowTo Editor
Depends on the type of timing belt your car uses. You'll be able to know by looking at your car manual. However,you should not look at the period of time but at the car's mileage, as the timing belt wears not with time but usage. You have the average mileage when you should change it above.
Hope this helps

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When should I change my car's timing belt
When should I change my car's timing belt