Timing belts & chains

Timing belts and chains are essential components of a car engine, and yet many people have either never heard of them or know very little about them. While car parts such as spark plugs and radiators are known well, we often find that it’s only us mechanic geeks who know the role that something like a timing belt or chain plays in the running of a car.

As we’re guessing you’re not a mechanic geek, we won’t bore you with too many details, but quite simply your car requires a timing belt or chain to control the various pistons and valves within the cylinders of your car’s engine. Without a belt or chain, the engine won’t run, as these engine parts must operate together in perfect synch and at exact times.

As a driver, you won’t get a warning sign that a timing belt or chain is about to break, but if it happens it won’t just stop your engine working, but will likely cause extensive – and expensive to fix – damage to your vehicle’s engine. There is perhaps no part of your car that is more aptly described by the old adage of “prevention is the best cure”.

If your car has a timing belt, the manual will suggest a time/mileage at which you should look to have it replaced. This varies, but is usually between 60,000 – 100,000 miles, so you get a lot of service from your car before a belt should be replaced, but once you enter that range, it is wise to have a mechanic have a look at your engine and determine whether it’s time for a new belt.

However, if your car uses a timing chain, it might not mention a replacement strategy, as chains are more long lasting, and will often last as long as your car itself – but it’s sensible to err on the side of caution, and have the engine checked if you’re not sure.

Although replacing a timing belt or chain is not the cheapest work you will ever have done on your car, it is vastly more affordable than trying to rectify the damage caused if the part breaks – which usually happens when the car is either being started or shut down.

At MD Solutions, we don’t carry out unnecessary work, but are happy to put your mind at ease by checking up on the status of your engine’s timing belt or chain, and if a replacement is needed, our team of experts will ensure that it is done for the best possible price we can provide!

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