Timing Belt Replacement Cost

by Lucas Lee

We are familiar with the “out of sight, out of mind” saying. The same goes for the timing belt in your vehicle. Since the timing belt location is in the front of your vehicle’s engine, it is very natural that you might forget to check up on it from time to time.

Now, why is that important? The belt can wear out very rapidly due to continuous usage. You will end up losing a lot of money if you are late to change it. Do not worry; timing belt replacement cost will not be an issue because I will tell you all the necessary information about the replacement cost.

What Is Timing Belt?

Before diving right into the cost-related subject, let me first talk about what a timing belt does. It contains a number of belts that help keep your vehicle running. The only way you can make sure that the valves operate smoothly and safely is by using appropriate belts.

Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Timing Belt Replacement Cost

It syncs the vehicle’s crankshaft and camshaft so that they fire perfectly.

As you can pretty much guess, damaged belts can cause extensive harm to the valves and the engine’s internal parts. Therefore, it plays a major role in keeping your precious vehicle in check. One thing is clear: replacing timing belts from time to time is crucial in keeping your vehicle running properly.

How Does a Timing Belt Work?

Rubber is the core component of timing belts, and it can help with the synchronization of the rotation of both crankshaft and camshaft. I have previously emphasized how vital the belt function is for smooth valve operation. These valves allow fuel and air into the cylinders.

Then, the spark plug’s firing causes the fuel to ignite in the combustion chamber. The valves push the pistons down during this combustion. You guessed right; if the valves do not open and close appropriately, this combustion will not occur properly.

Timing Belt Replacement Cost Bmw
Timing Belt Replacement Cost Bmw

On another note, as the timing belts can link the camshaft to the crankshaft, this crankshaft begins to manage the pistons of the engine. On the other hand, the camshaft is responsible for the valve’s closing and opening.

Therefore, the timing belt indirectly controls both the pistons and valves. It is important you know about these functions because that will help you get a better idea about replacing the belt.

Perfect harmony and balance between the crankshaft and camshaft are crucial if you want the vehicle to operate smoothly. And you can maintain this harmony by keeping track of whether the timing belt requires replacement or not.

One more factor I want to add is that not all vehicles contain rubber timing belts. Some even contain belts of superior quality, which tend to last as long as the engine itself.

When to Replace the Timing Belt?

There are not many obvious signs that will tell you that the timing belt’s shelf-life is coming close to an end. In the case of other belts like drive belts, you can easily tell they require replacement by the look and the feel of the material. Sometimes, those belts even make squeaky noises that tell you it is time for a change.

Timing Belt Replacement Cost Audi
Timing Belt Replacement Cost Audi

However, timing belts will not give you any warning before breaking. One general rule is your vehicle’s running level. Usually, 60,000 miles is the ideal run time before changing the belt. However, with the newer models, you might be able to go further than that. Here are some other tips that your timing belt is in much need of a change.

  • Smoke from the engine.
  • The engine of the vehicle is misfiring.
  • Oil pressure decline.

Timing Belt Replacement Cost

Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Timing Belt Replacement Cost

Now that we have talked about the timing belt basics, let us go straight to the replacement cost. Unfortunately, most belt replacement cost is relatively expensive. But there are three primary factors –

  • Vehicle model
  • The number of parts you need to replace
  • Labor cost

Labor Cost

With some cars, especially the older models, it may be challenging to gain access to an intricate component like the timing belt.

Subaru Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Subaru Timing Belt Replacement Cost

On the other hand, if you drive a smaller vehicle, the components will be much easier to disassemble, and the labor cost will reduce. However, if you drive a bigger truck or an SUV, you will have to pay more for the belt replacement.

Vehicle Model

As previously mentioned, some vehicles have old engine models that are not easily accessible. For example, front-wheel-drive cars contain transverse engines. You will notice that the other components of the vehicle squish up against the cam cover of this type of engine.

Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Timing Belt Replacement Cost

Hence, they are difficult to access. But if you have cars with belt assembly at the front of the engine, the replacement will cost less.

However, there are more factors that might drive up the replacement cost; because it is not just about replacing the belt. What do I mean by that? Most belt systems come with idle bearing and tensioner. These bearings help to guide the belt.


Therefore, you may have to change these bearings alongside the timing belt when you go for routine maintenance.

Do not forget about the water pump! It does not assist the belt; however, the water pump’s replacement will require the removal of the timing belt. Hence, it is better to replace both the water pump and the timing belt at the same time.

So you can see how adding up all these components together may increase the cost of replacement.

Uses of Timing Belt

In order for your vehicle’s engine to operate accurately, the critical component is the timing belt. This device connects the crankshaft and camshaft and plays a crucial role in controlling the valves/pistons.

Uses Of Timing Belt
Uses Of Timing Belt

This rubber band with teeth/notches can synchronize the opening and closing movement of the valve. Now, I will be talking about some of the uses of the timing belt below.

  • As this device contains notches or teeth, it can perfectly connect the crankshaft with the camshaft. If the crankshaft begins to move, the timing belt starts to move as well. That, in turn, moves the camshaft.
  • If the belt does not act as a bridge between these two shafts, your vehicle’s valves will not close or open appropriately.
  • It all acts like a chain reaction. As soon as the camshaft starts moving, so do the valves. This opening/closing of valves allows the pistons to move up and down.

The timing belt does not only allow the valves to open and close, but it also makes sure that these valves operate in an accurate manner. How does it do that?

  • Usually, there are 4 phases in 4 stroke engines. These are intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust phase.
  • The cylinders pull in both air and fuel during the intake phase. For this method to occur, the intake valves remain open while the exhaust valves stay closed.
  • After that, in the combustion and compression phases, the air and fuel in the cylinders mix, compress and ignite with the help of spark plugs. During these two phases, no valve functions.
  • The remaining air and fuel exit in the exhaust phase with the help of the exhaust valve. Here, the intake valves remain close. The timing belt controls all the openings and closings of the valves and the timing of the pistons during every phase accurately.

Advantage of Timing Belt

Timing belts function by providing transfer motion at a preset timing. Here are the advantages of this belt –

Benefits Of A New Timing Belt
Benefits Of A New Timing Belt
  • It will provide precise motions to control the valves with accurate timing.
  • The belts do not produce unnecessary vibrations while it functions.
  • There will be no slip-related problems.
  • No excessive noise production will occur during the transfer of G power.
  • Its mechanical efficiency is high, approximately up to 98%.
  • You will not have to use lubrication to get the timing belts working.
  • Since most belts come with rubber components, there is no chance of rust or corrosion.
  • The power transmission efficiency will not decrease with usage.

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Ultimately, you can see how the timing belt replacement cost can be higher and more expensive compared to the other components of a vehicle. However, this device alone can save you from spending thousands of dollars because it will protect your vehicle’s engine superbly.

On the one hand, you can replace the timing belt in time. On the other hand, you can leave it as it is, and when the belt stops working, you will have to spend an excessive amount of money on replacing the entire engine. I would say go the first and save your hard-earned money!

About Lucas Lee

Lucas Lee was raised outside the city of Livermore, in the legendary Bay Area of North California. Lucas considers his family and researches to be most important to him. If he isn’t hanging out with his loved ones, you can almost always find him around his sweet little garden of fruits right in the backyard of his lovely home.

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