Timing Belt Change: Average Costs & Pricing

January 27, 2012

Performing a timing belt change is a routine or scheduled maintenance item. The main reason to why change the timing belt in your car’s engine is to prevent normal wear on the belt from exceeding tolerances, causing the belt to fail. Below you will find three paragraphs containing the following information:

  1. The general timing belt change cost for most vehicle models.
  2. General timing belt change interval for most vehicles.
  3. Reasons why to change a timing belt.

General Costs

The total timing belt change price will be determined by a number of factors. What tools you have and which ones you need to either buy or rent is one of the biggest factors in the total timing belt change cost you’ll be paying if you do it yourself. If you take it somewhere to have the work done, you may expect to pay anywhere from $100 at the extreme low end, to as much as $300 on the high end. If you own none of the tools and you plan on doing the work, you can expect to pay as little as $50 if you shop around for the best prices. At most retail chain parts stores, the belt will cost between $20 and $40. For someone with little to no experience and complete instructions, preferably with pictures, this project can be completed in an afternoon. For most cars, you will need nothing more than a set of sockets and a few wrenches. If you have a front wheel drive car, you may need a jack.

General Change Intervals

Most automotive manufacturers recommend a timing belt change interval of between 50,000 and 70,000 miles. However, there are certain makes and models where the interval may be as high as 100,000 miles. It isn’t wise to exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation for when to change the timing belt because they have arrived at these numbers by using years of experience and testing.

Reasons to Change the Timing Belt

Timing belts are made of rubber with some sort of stiffening and strengthening material sandwiched by layers of the rubber. These belts have teeth that run around the inside circumference of the belt. Over time the belt will stretch. When the belt stretches, the critical timing of the engine is compromised as the lengthened belt is able to skip teeth. On certain engines this can result in very serious damage to internal engine parts. If allowed to continue, teeth can start breaking or the belt will snap. On the same engines, a snapped timing belt at normal running speeds can be catastrophic for the engine. On the other end of the spectrum, a stretched belt will only cause decreased engine efficiency, thus fuel economy, until either enough teeth skip to cause the engine to quit running or the belt snaps or loses teeth.

Above you have been given information such as costs, reasons and intervals to consider when thinking about performing a timing belt change on your car.