Timing Belt Replacement

JDM P/L performs timing belt replacements at our Charmhaven workshop. This service usually takes us between 2-6 hours.

The timing belt is the main connection between the crankshaft and the camshaft.

The timing belt ensures these two parts work in unison. This is consistent throughout most combustion engines (two strokes being the exception).

The timing belt is made from rubber and has woven kevlar throughout it.

Manufacturers use timing belts over chains because they –

  • Operate quietly
  • Are easier to replace
  • Are cheaper to replace

The main trade-off is that belts are inherently weaker than chains, so they are replaced more often. The vast majority of car models use belts over chains.

How long do timing belts last?

They usually last anywhere between 60,000 and 150,000 kilometres. This information will be stipulated in your Manufacturer’s Service Schedule.

They are sometimes replaced from age, so the logbook may say “Replace the timing belt every 5 years or 120,000km” or similar.

How much is the average timing belt replacement?

There’s massive variation in this service.

We’d estimate the price range to be from $450 to $1,900 or higher.

Symptoms the timing belt is failing

As a critical part of the engine, maintaining awareness of the timing belt is important. Over time, timing belts can stretch and loosen.

The best course of action is to have your vehicle regularly serviced and maintain awareness of when the timing belt is due to be replaced. JDM’s will normally find this information for you when the car is booked in.

Unlike other mechanical issues where you have time to repair them, a broken timing belt will leave you up the creek without a paddle.

If the timing belt loosens or snaps, the car will come to an immediate stop. Hopefully, no other parts are damaged

The worst-case scenario (a snapped belt) can cause holes in the piston/engine, or even bend the valves!

Don’t be caught on the side of the road!

Maintenance is crucial, and prevention is better than cure. Regular servicing keeps your vehicle’s age accounted for and your engine perfectly intact.

Aside from milage, what causes a timing belt to break?

Age isn’t the only factor, there are other catalysts –

  • Oil leaks from the engine (usually cam or crank seals)
  • Misalignment of the belt
  • Problems with the timing belt tensioner
  • Water pump failure
  • Failure of timing belt pulleys or guides

Those situations are rare, but they can happen.