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Automotive Column 10 from Under The Hood Timing Belts

Automotive Column 10 from  Under The Hood Timing Belts

Syndicated Newspaper Column

Do you know if you have a timing belt in your vehicle? If you don't know then it's time you find out. What does your odometer say. If you don't know if you have a belt and you have enough miles or years added up you may be on the verge of what happened to this listener.



Daily Car Repair and Advice Tips Question 10 Timing Belts

Dear Motor Medics,
 We recently purchased a 2003 Subaru Legacy for our daughter to drive to college. It’s very clean with 130,000 miles and everything works well. We had it inspected by a shop that was not where we purchased the vehicle so that we could get an unbiased opinion of the car. The report came back that everything looked good except for the brakes which we had them replace. The inspection took about 30 minutes and covered basic wear and safety items. After driving the car for two weeks the timing belt broke and they tell us that we will have to replace the engine because of internal damage caused by valve interference. Is this true, and should this have been foreseen while doing the inspection? 

Brian in Bowling Green Kentucky.

Dear Brian,
 You are in a situation that many people face because they are not aware that their vehicle has a timing belt or that it needs to be serviced. Even if you know the car has a belt, you may not know when to get it changed and what happens if you don’t? On most cars when the belt breaks it causes heavy damage to the valves due to interference so they need to be serviced regularly as indicated in the owner’s manual. Depending on the extent of the inspection it may not have been checked because parts have to be taken apart to see it. It is common to be missed on smaller less detailed inspections.

Take care, the Motor Medics

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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. In order to make an accurate diagnosis a qualified technician should make a hands-on diagnosis. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.


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