6 Symptoms of a Bad Timing Belt (and Replacement Cost)

Don’t ignore a worn timing belt! This crucial engine component is under extreme stress, so manufacturers recommend regular replacement. Worn belts can snap, leading to catastrophic engine failure costing thousands in repairs.

Learn to recognize common symptoms of a bad timing belt and proactively replace it before major damage occurs. While timing belt replacement is anything but cheap, it can get a whole lot more expensive if you simply keep putting it off.

bad timing belt

Related: Timing Belt vs Serpentine Belt (How They’re Different)

Symptoms of a Bad Timing Belt

If you have a bad or worn out timing belt, the following are symptoms that may occur. Once you experience one or more of these symptoms, have a certified auto technician or mechanic inspect the timing belt and then replace it if necessary.

A timing belt that is worn or damaged will typically show some signs that everything isn’t all right. If you experience one or more of the symptoms below, make it a priority to have a trusted service center inspect and replace the belt if necessary.

See Also: Code P0017 (Engine Timing Issue)

#1 – Rough Engine Idle

rough engine idle

Rough idling is often one of the first noticeable symptoms of a timing belt issue. When your engine is idling, it should run smoothly with minimal vibration. But with a worn or damaged timing belt, that’s not the case.

When the teeth on the belt are worn or broken, it can cause the belt to slip, leading to the engine’s timing being off. This misalignment often results in a rough idle because the engine’s valves and pistons are not operating in sync.

#2 – Misfire of the Engine

cylinder misfire causes

A worn timing belt can slip, disrupting the precise synchronization between the camshaft and crankshaft. This misalignment can cause cylinders to open and close at incorrect intervals, resulting in engine misfires.

You may experience irregular engine performance, hesitation during acceleration, or a noticeable loss of power.

#3 – Excessive Exhaust Smoke

blue exhaust smoke

When the timing belt is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine’s timing to be off, leading to incomplete combustion. This incomplete combustion can result in excessive smoke from the exhaust.

The color of the smoke can vary depending on the specific issue: white smoke may indicate coolant entering the combustion chamber, while blue or black smoke could suggest oil burning due to improper valve timing.

#4 – Oil Pressure Drop

low oil pressure warning light on

A failing timing belt can cause camshaft gear damage, potentially releasing metal fragments into the oil pan. These debris can clog oil passages, leading to a sudden drop in oil pressure throughout the engine.

Low oil pressure can result in inadequate lubrication, increased friction, and potential engine failure. If you notice oil pressure warning lights or unusual engine noises, immediate inspection is necessary no matter if it ends up being a timing belt issue or something completely different.

#5 – Broken Pistons or Valves

hole in piston

The most severe consequence of a broken timing belt is potential piston and valve damage. When the belt snaps, the crankshaft and camshaft lose synchronization, allowing pistons to collide with open valves if your vehicle has an interference engine.

This can result in bent valves, damaged pistons, or even more extensive engine damage. If you experience sudden engine failure or loud noises, stop immediately to minimize potential damage.

#6 – Ticking or Clicking Noise

A distinctive ticking or clicking noise coming from the engine bay is another sign of a possible timing belt problem. This sound, typically most noticeable when the engine is idling, occurs as the worn belt’s teeth struggle to maintain proper grip on the pulleys.

As the belt’s condition worsens, its ability to smoothly transfer motion between the crankshaft and camshaft diminishes, resulting in this audible symptom. The noise may start intermittently and gradually become more persistent as the belt’s condition gets worse.

While other engine components can produce similar sounds, a rhythmic ticking that increases with engine speed often points to timing belt issues

Timing Belt Replacement Cost

Best places to order parts?  See: 19 Best Online Auto Parts Stores

timing belt replacement cost

The replacement cost of a timing belt is dependent on the number of labor hours that were spent on the replacement job. After all, with some cars, it is a lot harder to gain access to some of the components like the timing belt.

For economy cars with small engines, the labor should be cheaper for this because they are easier to disassemble. But if you’re driving an SUV or a truck, they have bigger engines which mean you’ll be paying more money.

The average cost to replace a timing belt will be anywhere from $300 to $500 in total (more for larger cars, trucks, and SUVs). The price of a timing belt itself is usually less than $50 but the majority of a timing belt job is spent on labor.

The cost of the labor will be anywhere from $250 to $450 or more. There will likely be taxes and fees added onto these prices too.

NOTE: It’s often recommended to replace the water pump at the same time while in there since it’s in the same area. It may cost a bit more for a new water pump but you’ll save a lot of money on labor costs if you were to do it later on.

Read also: The Average Steering Column Replacement Cost

When Should a Timing Belt Be Replaced?

A timing belt is one of those things that’s critical to replace according to the auto manufacturer’s schedule. Most often this will be between every 75,000 and 100,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the exact schedule for your vehicle.

Replacing your timing belt is not one of those things you can just put off indefinitely. Eventually, the belt will break and you may have thousands of dollars in engine damage. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Timing Belt Replacement Process

Unless you have a lot of auto repair experience, a timing belt replacement is not an easy DIY job and should be handled by a professional.

The mechanic needs to gain entry to the timing cover of the engine by removing various accessories. After removing the cover, the mechanic will analyze the timing belt and its pulleys to see what is in need of replacement.

At this point, he will begin to remove the timing belt and replace it with a new one. They will likely replace the pulleys, tensioners, and water pump if they feel it is important to do so.

Once all the new parts are in, he will put the timing cover back on and any other parts that were removed. Now that it is all put back together, it can be tested with the start of the engine.

Is the engine running like it should? Is the timing of the engine good? If the answer to both of these is yes, then you are in good shape. Pay the mechanic and then you are done.

How a Timing Belt Works

how a timing belt works

Unless you drive an EV, all modern vehicles have either timing belt or timing chain. For more info about timing chains, read this.

A timing belt is responsible for synchronizing the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft(s). This precise timing makes sure that the engine’s valves open and close at the correct intervals relative to the position of the pistons, allowing for proper intake of air and fuel, and exhaust of combustion gases.

The belt is typically made of reinforced rubber with teeth that mesh with sprockets on the crankshaft and camshaft. As the crankshaft rotates, driven by the power of combustion, it turns the timing belt, which in turn rotates the camshaft(s) at exactly half the speed of the crankshaft.

Engines are classified as either interference or non-interference types, and an engine’s type has a major effect on timing belt failure:

  • In interference engines, the pistons and valves occupy the same space in the cylinder at different times. If the timing belt breaks, the piston can collide with open valves, which can cause severe (and expensive) engine damage.
  • Non-interference engines have adequate clearance between pistons and valves, even if the timing is off. While a broken timing belt will still cause the engine to stop running, it’s less likely to result in catastrophic damage.

Related: SOHC vs DOHC (What’s the Difference?)

Mark Stevens


  1. I have replaced almost everything on the fuel system and engine I can think of except for the ECU and timing belt. This is a Hyundai Accent 2010. It works fine, except when it gets cold. It will not start. The problem began a few years ago when the outside temperature went below -20F. It would not start. The following years that temperature had to be higher for it not to start. This past winter, just below freezing would not allow the car to start. I changed the injectors and now it will start when about 20F, but not lower. The engine cranks, but will not start. No error codes. Is it possible that the timing belt has jumped a notch to cause this?

    1. To be honest, we never see -20F where I live so I’ve never dealt with this. I know folks from Alaska who buy block heaters to make cold starts easier. Is that something you’ve tried?

  2. I have a 2015 (7 year old) TLX with only 26,600 miles. I was just informed that since it is 7 years old, the timing chain et al will cost me $1,750 (assuming the other parts will be replaced as well). Since your comments indicate you are not aware of any 4 year tie criteria, is the Acura mechanic correct? With the Honda needing 105k miles (above) before replacement, shouldn’t mine go longer than the mileage despite the years or do the years take precedence?

    1. That’s strange, because usually timing chains components don’t require maintenance unless there is a specific problem that needs to be addressed, or you’re tearing into the motor for another repair.

      What I would do is double check against the owner’s manual, the Acura forums, and maybe even the factory service manual to see if any of those sources mention a standard maintenance interval on any of the timing chain components. If the tensioner is known to go bad on that car, it might be wise to do that maintenance after all, even if it’s not specifically called for. The Acura forums (or Facebook groups) should be able to point you in the right direction there.

  3. Hello, my wife’s 2016 keep renegade manual says 15 years or 150,000 miles on the timing belt. It’s seems way to much she’s has 50,000 on the keep right now… when should I get it changed? 80,000? I would take it to the dealership because it’s a pain to work on

    1. That does seem like a lot. If there is a severe maintenance interval in the manual, you could follow that. Most people replace their timing belts between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.

  4. Yesterday I was driving my Cadillac STS on the freeway and I ran something over however second later the car stopped reacting when I pushed the pedal for the gas I pulled over to the side of the freeway and turned the car off once I started it back the car would turn on but the engine wouldn’t start up or car wouldn’t drive what could have tore at the bottom causing this to happen?

    1. Do you have an idea of what you might have run over? I’m wondering if something broke in the engine that caused a similar jolt to what you might feel if you ran something over.

      My next steps would be to scan for codes. Unfortunately that’s not a lot of info to go off of by itself. Did you have the car towed? Will the car start and run now?

  5. I’m driving 2015 Hyundai Sonata and it’s on 108137miles.
    My car read high idle, check engine light on and theleration not work as normal (it won’t pick up the speed as usual).
    And I came to check and they ran diagnostics test. They said it timing chain and it would cost almost $4000. It sounds very expensive. Is it normal?

  6. I have a 2003 Honda Accord, have owned the car since 2018. Have been a good car all of the sudden, one day i got in tried to start the car and it cranked over but, didn’t start. after the 3rd try it started. Then it had no problem starting and running for about a week. Then i tried to start it again and it would crank over but, not start. the car has 148,247 miles on it and i don’t know if the timing Belt has ever been changed. We had the battery test to rule that out and they said it was good on cold cranking amps, battery is approx. 4 yrs old. Someone also mentioned a crank positioning sensor….any ideas where i should start???

    1. Start by scanning for codes. If the check engine light is or has ever been on since the battery was last disconnected, there should be some stored codes that might help you narrow down the problem.

      Could be a sensor issue, could be a wiring issue, could be old spark plugs. There are so many possibilities you’ll have to start narrowing down the scope of the problem a bit before you will likely find the issue.

  7. hello, I have a 2009 Honda Accord right now it is in the workshop they will change the timing chain for $ 650 … my question is the gasoline needle is going crazy sometimes it is not marking well what problem will be they already changed the fuel pump gasoline and nothing

    1. Could the problem be in the instrument cluster? Those clusters do go bad occasionally. Perhaps there is a poor ground behind the cluster that is affecting the fuel gauge. If this is true, you may notice intermittent problems with some of the other gauges too.

    1. Sounds a little high. Are they replacing anything else while they’re in there? Did you get this quote at a dealership or at an independent shop?

  8. I own a 2001 Acura 3.2cl with 333,000 miles (Yes you read that right!). I have been religious about maintenance and as such have replaced THREE timing belts as soon as I pass another 100k miles. The first one from the dealership was $1000 but the next two were hundreds less from private mechanics. It is worth shopping around!

  9. I have a 2007 jeep compass 4fwd. Yesterday the check engine light came on & today I’m noticing an intermittent rough idle. I bought it used so no clue when the timing belt was changed so I’m thinking that may be it since it isn’t constant. I haven’t started checking prices yet. Do you have any idea what price range I should getting?

  10. I have a 2005 Hyundai Tiburon with a 2.OL engine, 4-cylinder. I took it to my local repair shop for an estimate cost to replace the timing belt and water pump as I have 160K miles on it. They gave me an estimate cost of at least a $1000.00 with a repair time of at least seven hours. Is this a fair price now days, and is this really a seven hour job? Two years ago I inquired the same to a couple of other repair shops and they to me it was around a $500.00 job. I can’t believe the cost has doubled in two years. What is really a fair price for this sort of job on a Hyundai Tiburon in excellent condition?

    1. Sounds fair to me depending on what all is being replaced. $500 sounds pretty cheap, I’m surprised you got a quote that low.

    2. It depends on what the shops 2 years ago were going to replace. If you replace just the belt, it’ll be cheaper than the water pump, pulleys, and other associated bits. Right now you can get the absolute cheapest timing belt kit with everything for around $100 online. If a shop charges a 30% parts markup, that makes it $130. Add $50 for what they’ll charge you for engine coolant. Then you have the labor costs. The shop rate around here is $100 an hour. Labor really adds up.

      You might ask around and see what their book times are for this job. Some shops might use a different bit of estimation software. You could also save a few dollars by buying your own parts, but then you go without a warranty.

  11. I have a 2002 Acura MDX in amazing condition sure to good regular maintenance. It has roughly 190k miles on it. Recently took it in to get a 50 point inspection done and one of the big things they recommend was replacing is the timing belt at about $1,750! Does that seem like a fair price? I’m now considering just selling the car, it’s not worth much more than what they want to charge me for replacing that part. Ugh!

    1. That sounds like an expensive timing belt change. I would expect the cost to be closer to $800-1,000. Did they say which components they were planning to replace with that estimate?

  12. Hi,
    i just bought a 2011 honda odyssey with 106K miles, drove it for few days and last day i parked it in good condition, and after shopping, tried to start the engine, it cranked normal, strong battery and everything sound good, except it won’t start, ran diagnostic test, nothing wrong , no error codes or anything. spark is good, gas pressure is good everything seemed in good manner, then i towed the car to honda dealership and after a week they said timming belt is broken and valves are damaged ? i have no idea what they are talking about how did this happened.

    1. My guess is the timing belt snapped when you tried to start the engine. Do you know when the timing belt was last replaced? If it’s never been replaced, 106k miles is a lot of miles on a timing belt. Most manuals ask you to replace it after 60,000 miles.

  13. Any rough idea of the cost to replace a timing belt/chain on a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe?
    I was quoted $1600. This is not due to the belt/chain breaking yet, just as a needed precaution due to the age of the vehicle. The car has 165K miles on it. The most major repair was a catalytic converter and A/C repair due to Exhaust valve and service port replacements. All in all, this has been a very dependable vehicle. So is it a timing belt or chain and is $1600 to high?

    1. Is that the 2.7 L or the 3.3 L engine?

      That quote sounds high to me. Is there other work they gave you an estimate for while you’re in there? What parts are they planning to replace?

  14. I have a 2009 Hyundai Elantra. Recently my timing belt broke. It also caused head damage which I paid to repair, $1500. After the work was completed the check engine light appeared and has not turned off yet. They replaced cam sensors and did several resets , but to no avail it is still on. The car runs fine but this check engine light is telling me something was not done right. Any suggestions. They are telling me that it is possibly a cam sprocket, Does this sound right.

    1. What code was thrown with that check engine light? I’m not sure why the cam sprocket would cause that check engine light. Perhaps VVT isn’t functioning correctly, in which case maybe they replaced the cam sprocket with one from a different year Elantra that is slightly different than the one that came with your car. That is just a guess, though.

  15. I have a 98 Ford escort zx2 and recently the bearing went out in the alternator, so I was told. So I had it replaced, right after the replacement I had to ride the gas to keep it from stalling. I went and had it read and the code came up for the timing belt gone bad. Did replacing the alternator cause it to go bad?

    1. No, the timing belt and alternator belt are separate and not really related, other than the fact that both are powered by the crankshaft.

  16. My Honda Pilot 2011 has about 45,000 miles, but it is over 10 years old now. My mechanic said that timing belt is plastic as tire and will be oxidized easily to become weak by time. Should I change it? If yes, how much is cost for this vehicle model? Or should I wait until it hits to 100k mileages?

    1. The timing belt interval for your car should be 60,000 miles, but you can double check this interval in your owner’s manual. You should absolutely change the timing belt when it’s recommended to do so. If you don’t change the timing belt and the belt snaps, you will be stranded in the best case. In the worst case (for interference engines), you will need a new engine.

      If you or your mechanic have reason to believe that the timing belt is on its way out already, it would probably be best to change the belt a little early.

  17. What about a Mitsubishi Galant, 2006, when should it be done and about how much $$. ….Thank you very much for this site—I’ve learned a lot from the Q/As.

  18. what would you say about a toyota tacoma 2002 its been sitting for about three years and im trying to work on it and get it going again as a project

    1. Is there something specific you would like to know? Tacomas tend to be good vehicles if taken care of, but without knowing more about the condition of this example I can’t really offer anything of substance.

  19. I’m wondering about the cost of replacing a timing belt, water pump, etc. on an ’05 PT Cruiser (2.4l turbo). Can you suggest a “ballpark” figure?

  20. I was told at my Acura dealership that a timing belt on my 2013 RDX Acura would be $1500.00 – that seems high to me, what do you think

    1. It seems high to me too, but dealerships are almost always more expensive than independent shops.

      In addition to the timing belt, what other components are they planning to replace?

  21. I have a Honda Accord V6 with 87K miles. Runs fine. How long can I wait before I need to change the timing belt? Does the fact that it’s been used mostly for short trips (5- 10 miles) and is 12 years old affect the decision of when to replace it?

    1. A timing belt is one of those things will work perfectly fine until it doesn’t. You can’t see the condition of the timing belt by popping the hood. You would have to take off the valve cover or timing covers. Even then, it’ll be hard to know for sure how much longer you can go on the belt without changing it unless it looks really rough (cracks or broken teeth, for instance).

      If you’re not sure if the belt has been changed, follow Honda’s recommended service interval for the timing belt. This should be listed in your owner’s manual, or can be found online in a Honda owner’s forum. Most Hondas are interference engines, which means if the timing belt snaps, the valves may contact each other or the pistons. This is an expensive fix that may completely ruin the engine.

    1. I see a lot of timing belt jobs get quoted around the $800 mark, +/- $200 depending on what other work they’re doing while they’re in there and how familiar they are with that particular vehicle.

  22. after change of Timing belt car does not iddle. When you stop pressing on the accellerator the car just switches off. Could the problem be timing belt or something else ?

    1. Yes, I would double check that the timing belt is aligned correctly. If you’re off even one tooth the car will run poorly, if at all.

      Next I would check for vacuum leaks. Make sure you didn’t forget to hook up any hoses, or tear one in the process of replacing your timing belt.

  23. how can i tell if the timing belt/chain being broke caused the valves to bend…which from what I am told is that if the valves were bent, the engine needs to be replaced or re-built. I have a 2001 saturn s series. it was put in the shop because of the breaks and my exhaust seemed too loud (that is the only symptom I experienced of a timing chain issue before putting it in the shop) My mechanic ended up having to replace my entire break system…master cylinder all the lines etc., and the power steering pump. the car sat at the shop for about 3 months before I could pay the bill so when I paid, they went to jump off the battery and couldnt get it started, he said it seemed to be misfiring. he dug into it and used the camera to find the guide for the timing chain had completely broken, said it jumped time and the chain was off. He said what he saw (dealing with the valves) is that he could not really tell without completely tearing it apart if the valves were bent or not but he did say that with his camera he could see some shiney spots on the valves which led him to believe they did get bent. I am now trying to sell the car and do not know if i should place the ad stating that the timing chain needs to be replaced or the engine? Basically this long question is asking, by what you have read does it sound like the engine was destroyed when the timing chain broke? Im trying to be as honest as possible in disclosing the issues with the car to any potential buyer, but obviously wanting to get as much money for it as I can…because I did just pay the mechanic $876.00 to fix the car only to find out there was another issue when I went to pick it up. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    1. Hey Valerie, a broken timing belt on an interference engine (like yours) would likely require an engine rebuild and replacement. An interference engine means the valves and/or pistons are able to contact each other if the engine is not properly timed. However, I know someone who got very lucky and had no damage after a snapped timing belt on his interference motor, so it’s definitely possible your engine is still OK.

      You could probably figure out if the engine needs a rebuild with a compression test or a leak down test.

      A compression test will test the pressure achieved in each cylinder as the engine cranks. It will show you the health of your valves, valve seats and piston rings. If pressure is high and relatively similar (about 10% variance) across all cylinders, you probably have a healthy engine. You would need to replace the timing chain to perform this test.

      A leak down test is a static test (the engine is not moving), and will test where air is escaping from. Each cylinder is oriented in its compression stroke (when the valves are closed), and shop air is pumped into the spark plug hole. The location and volume of how much air is escaping could tell you if the intake or exhaust valves are open, if you have worn piston rings and excessive blow by, or if you have blown head gaskets.

      A leak down test is usually slightly more expensive as it is more involved, but gives you more information than a compression test. Theoretically, if your mechanic can figure out how to close the valves on each cylinder without making contact with other valves or pistons, he may be able to perform this test without replacing the timing chain. I don’t know Saturns well enough to say for sure.

  24. My mechanic replaced the timing belt and water pump in December. My car broke down less than 2 months later. The timing belt was slipping off so I had it towed. When he checked it out the camshaft had completely snapped off. Did his work on the timing belt involve doing anything with the camshaft? It is a 2000 Toyota Sienna.

  25. Hi, so I’m from Tennessee and the cost of the timing chain kit is 400 dollars and some change. That does not include labor. I just took it to my mechanic. My question is what is the probability that its messed up the heads? It is still driveable if that helps any.

  26. My 2009 Chevy Traverse LS suddenly lost power and could not accelerate stalled on a highway. The car won’t start at all and mechanic thinks engine it’s locked due to Timing Chain break or malfunction. What do you think, and what be the average cost to repair? Or should I just chunk it now at 164,000 miles on it? Thanks much!

  27. My Subaru forester with automatic transmission sometimes revs high while changing gears. Is this an indication of timing belt wear?

    1. No, it wouldn’t be the timing belt. Check the level and condition of your automatic transmission fluid right away. If that’s fine, you may have an internal transmission issue. Scan to see if there are any codes popping up.

  28. For a private used car sale of a Honda or Toyota with 100,000 or so miles on the odometer should one expect the timing belt needs to be replaced — unless the seller can produce documentation showing it has been replaced?

    1. In general, yes, I would expect it to be replaced along with documentation. If not replaced and the vehicle is running fine, use that as a negotiating point so you can pay for the timing belt job asap.

  29. I have a Kia Rio 2009 it was running fine then I stopped after few hours it wen I want start it has just cranks but no spark and it was sending the message to tracking company of battery disconnect but the fuses and relays are fine,

    1. My friend has a 1996 Suzuki x90. Stopped running. Needs a water pump, which means a new timing belt too, with accessories. Is it worth fixing?

      1. Depends if any internal damage was done due to the water pump failing. Even then, I’m not sure I’d put the money into it unless they are really attached to the car. But you definitely don’t see many X-90s on the road.

  30. I have a 2016 Ford Fiesta – timing belt just broke and we coasted into our driveway. We were that close by. What should cost look like?

        1. That sounds reasonable. You might be able to find it cheaper if only the timing belt is replaced. However, when you go to do a timing belt there are usually several other components that should be replaced at the same time such as the valve cover gasket, idler pulleys, and water pump. These add parts cost but little to nothing in labor cost.

  31. I have a 2009 honda accord exl v6 w/navigation. I have around 98,750 miles on the accord, and was wondering when to change the timing belt, as i know some of the honda mechanics says to change it close to 105k and am worry about driving it as the car is getting close to that mileage. I am trying to save money until then. What should I do, should I keep driving until i’m close to 105k or change the time belt before i get to 100k on my accord. As i’m worry the timing belt may break off soon and then cause more damage to the engine. As i don’t know the condition of the timing belt and the mechanics says they can’t see the condition of the timing belt until they take it apart.

    1. You should be fine to wait until you’re at 105k miles (unless you’re hearing some type of “slapping” noises coming from the area. The maintenance schedule set by car manufacturers has to be a bit conservative for something as important as a timing belt. The belt is not automatically going to snap as soon as it hits 105,000. But don’t try to get a few more thousand miles on it after that.

  32. i have a 2011 bmw 328xi. he just did the crankshaft and said it needs a timing belt. $1800. the car was kind of running loud and just died on me while driving. then it wouldn’t start. towed to mechanic. 160k miles. should i go elsewhere. he’s the guy that normally works on my car

    1. BMW uses a timing chain (not belt) on almost all its cars (including your 3 series). Timing chain issues are pretty rare and it’s considered a lifetime part on a BMW. Unless you heard wrong or he explained it incorrectly, I’d look to get a second opinion from another mechanic.

  33. My 2002 Kia Sportage just stopped running today without no problem no missing no noise just sit running. Is this a normal thing that happens when a timing belt goes bad?

    1. My 2005 Kia Sorento is the shop for a timing belt replacement right now for what sounds like similar issues. It just stopped running. Then it would crank up drive a quarter of a mile and then stop again. Apparently the belt had come lose and it is going to cost about $1,000 to fix.

    1. hi Jason
      Thanks for your informative article. I bought a VW T5 2010 2lt 4cil 132KW twin turbo diesel manual with 275000km some 2 years ago.( I only added 5000km in 2 Years) the previous owner only had the car 4 a short time, he missed out getting the service records.The engine seems fine-and powerful. a bit noisy in idle. but quietens down when touching the accelerator slightly. I got no idea at what stage the Timing belt is either not to long ago done, or well overdue. Being a pensioner, financially not well I am undecided how to go about. I am very mechanically minded and do many jobs myself. I done 1 timing belt/water pump on a ford tel star successfully. (i had a mechanic friend standing behind me , instructing me. He is not available this time around) I had 2 quotas 1.4K and 0.9K the first one is a vw workshop with a good reputation. the second one sounds OK but i don’t know them. I had previous twice bad experience with other cars and workshops, as they damaged other functions on the engine, by trying to get to where they had to work. including a spanner left lose in the engine compartment. Denial and costly repairs of the damage was the result. So I am a little hesitating. Nor do i know if i should worry about the T belt on the first place? Q 2: i seem to understand that the manufacturer not only recommend a km limit for the T belt. but also say 4 years max,( seems a very short time, if correct) Q3: besides water pump, tension-er and pullis is there anything else which would be advisable to be replaced. eg. fuel pump belt ? any good workshops in Coffs harbor nsw you can recommend?
      Thanks for your answer


      1. The first step is to do a bit of research to determine if that vehicle has a timing belt or a timing chain. If it uses a chain, you’re probably fine to leave it as is but check if there is a maintenance interval on any of those components just to be sure.

        I have never heard of a four year time limit on the timing belt.

        That’s a good starting place for other components to replace with a timing belt. Check forums and see what’s typically replaced on that vehicle while you’re in there.

  34. My timing belt broke and the mechanic said he has to have the heads worked on? Is this correct or is he trying to screw me

    1. Unfortunately, he’s likely telling the truth. When a timing belt breaks, bent valves and cylinder head damage commonly occur.

    1. Hi Jennifer. You would have to contact a local shop for the exact cost but the Skoda would likely be on the lower end of the range given above if taking it to an independent mechanic.

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