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  • Automotive Tips from Affordable Transmissions: A Broken or Damaged Timing Belt

    Jun 24, 2018

    The timing belt rotates the cam shafts which open and close the valves that allow air, fuel, and exhaust to flow through the engine as it powers your car when you drive around MINNEAPOLIS.

    An old timing belt can lose a “tooth” in the belt allowing it to slip. The engine could stop or misfire. Timing belt slips – or a broken timing belt – can be disastrous on some engines. In “interference” engines, open valves can get in the way of the piston when the timing belt breaks or slips. When that happens one or more valves can be bent requiring expensive engine repairs.

    It is important for MINNEAPOLIS drivers to replace their timing belts as recommended in their owner’s manual to avoid unnecessary breakdowns. Ask the team of professionals at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS if it’s time for your timing belt to be replaced.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Good Timing: Proper Timing Belt Replacement Saves Money for MINNEAPOLIS Drivers

    May 14, 2018

    Knowing how their engine works can help MINNEAPOLIS drivers make informed decisions about auto care and prevent repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts.

    An engine's power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top of the cylinder opens to let in fuel and air. The piston then rises, which compresses the fuel and air. At this point, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down. This downstroke transfers energy to the engine, which provides the power it needs to run. The piston rises again, and a valve opens to release the exhaust.

    All of this movement is orchestrated by a timing belt. The timing belt is so named because it keeps the pistons and valves operating in synch with each other, just as a conductor keeps all of the instruments in an orchestra in time with one another. Thus, the timing belt is critical to the proper operation of your engine.

    Not all vehicles in the MINNEAPOLIS area have timing belts. Some have timing chains. A timing chain is more durable and rarely breaks, but timing belts are cheaper, so many use them to save money.

    Timing belts wear out and break, so part of preventive maintenance for MINNEAPOLIS drivers is to replace the timing belt on schedule.

    The results of failure of a timing belt depend on the type of engine in your vehicle, but they are always inconvenient and can be very costly for MINNEAPOLIS auto owners. If your engine is a non-interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the engine simply stops running. Now that can be an incredibly inconvenient situation depending on where you are driving around MINNEAPOLIS when it breaks, but it won't cause any engine damage. On the other hand, if your vehicle has an interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the valves on your cylinders will actually fall into the path of the pistons. Then things start getting chewed up by the motion of the engine and it will cost thousands of dollars to get everything sorted out again. Compounding the problem is that there aren't any warning signs before a timing belt breaks. A visual inspection of the belt is difficult also. In some vehicles, parts of the belt may be visible, but most vehicles hide the belt under a cover.

    The timing belt doesn't even have to break to cause major engine damage. If it slips, even one notch, the result could be engine damage with repair costs in the thousands of dollars.

    Our only car care option is to simply replace the timing belt periodically. You can check your owner's manual to find out how often your timing belt should be replaced. Many vehicles need a replacement at 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers), but the recommended replacement mileage could be as high as 90,000 or 100,000 miles (145,000 to 160,000 kilometers). If your owner's manual recommends replacement at 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers), however, don't wait until 65,000 miles (105,000 kilometers) to get it done. Remember what you're risking.

    Replacing a timing belt is not a cheap part of preventive maintenance for MINNEAPOLIS vehicle owners. The belt is usually difficult to get to and often requires removal of some of the engine accessories. The cost of the replacement, however, is a lot less than what the repairs may cost if the timing belt fails.

    For more auto advice on timing belts and other engine components, you can always consult with your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions. When it comes to car care, ignorance is not bliss. It can end up costing you in a big way.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Automotive Tips from Affordable Transmissions: Knowing When Your Timing Belt Should Be Replaced

    Jun 1, 2017

    The timing belt in your engine controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. MINNEAPOLIS drivers need to replace it on a schedule to avoid failure.

    Timing belts are very difficult to get to, requiring quite a bit of labor to access. Timing belt replacement is one of the more expensive maintenance services, but the cost at Affordable Transmissions to correct an engine damaged by a broken timing belt is much, much more.

    The timing belt has a tensioner to help maintain proper belt tension. The tensioner should be replaced along with the timing belt and any idler pulleys at the vehicle manufacturer’s specified service interval. Your Affordable Transmissions service advisor can help you with the timing belt.

    Give us a call.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in MINNEAPOLIS

    Dec 25, 2016

    Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine has to do with the combustion cycle.

    Your vehicle engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves that open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned.

    Call Affordable Transmissions at (763) 533-1169 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our MINNEAPOLIS, MN, service center on 6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1.

    It's critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all.

    The timing belt is responsible for rotating the shafts that control the valves. It's vital and precision work. Timing belts are made of very tough, flexible material. They can last a long time. But they eventually wear out and can break. The consequences can be disastrous.

    In some engines, the valves actually protrude far enough into the cylinders that they could come in contact with the piston. If the timing belt breaks, the pistons will smash into the valves. Valves get bent or broken. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts will shred the cylinder head as well. Repairing this damage can cost several thousand dollars.

    It's a sad day when this happens; especially since it usually can be avoided. Manufacturers have issued recommendations for when you should replace your timing belt. For some engines, it's at 60,000 miles/97,000 km. For others it's at 90,000 miles/145,000 km or more. If you're approaching 60,000 miles/97,000 km or have passed it, make sure you check your owner's manual or with your MINNEAPOLIS auto service advisor at Affordable Transmissions for when the timing belt should be replaced. Don't let this one slip by.

    Now some timing belts are visible and can be inspected. Others are hidden under a protective cover and are hard to get to. Some timing belts also drive the water pump. If you have a leaky water pump, the coolant will contaminate the timing belt and could make it fail sooner. So if you have this kind of engine, get it in to Affordable Transmissions for an inspection right away if you have a coolant leak.

    Most people in the MINNEAPOLIS area with this engine design end up with a new timing belt when they replace the water pump. And when you're having your timing belt replaced on schedule, check with your Affordable Transmissions auto service advisor to see if it makes sense to install a new water pump, even if it isn't currently having problems, since most of the labor is already being done any way for the timing belt replacement.

    As a heads up; larger engines will often have metal timing chains rather than belts. The chains don't need to be replaced like belts.

    We've already told you how very expensive it can be to get your car running again after a timing belt fails. You also need to know that replacing the timing belt is very labor intensive and is one of the most costly maintenance services you will have. So if you will be at the point where your timing belt should be replaced in the next year or so, ask for an estimate from Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS, MN, so you can begin to prepare for the expense.

    We at Affordable Transmissions, your MINNEAPOLIS service center, can be a valuable partner. Please take advantage of our knowledge and experience.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169