How Much Does Timing Belt Cost to Replace?

The timing belt is so important to the running of your engine that its failure is frequently catastrophic, which means that in addition to your car suddenly not starting, the internal engine is probably also destroyed. It’s one of those parts where skipping maintenance would unquestionably result in a catastrophic failure and a higher expense, notwithstanding how painful replacement is compared to routine maintenance.

Timing belt replacement cost

Well, in this article, we uncover the cost of replacing a timing best. Be that as it may, you’ll get to know the difference between a timing belt and a timing chain, how often to replace the timing belt, bad timing belt symptoms, and if you can drive with it. So, keep reading as we get started!

Read: How Much Does Timing Chain Cost to Replace?


Difference Between a Timing Belt and a Timing Chain

The materials utilized to create these two components account for a large portion of their diversity. A timing belt is just what it sounds like—a closed belt, typically made of rubber. So, a timing chain includes a real metal chain.

Timing chains were employed prior to the invention of rubber, and Pontiac brought the timing belt to American automobiles for the first time in the middle of the 1960s. The position of the chain and belt is another distinction. The timing chain needs engine oil for lubrication, whereas the timing belt is located outside the engine.

The majority of automakers used timing belts as their first choice up until the 1990s since they are more affordable and quieter than their steely rivals. However, manufacturers have lately improved chain technology, prioritizing the reduction of noise and vibration, and modern automobiles may now expect their timing chains to last as long as the vehicle itself.

Note: Check your car’s owner’s manual to find out whether it uses a timing chain or belt.

Timing Belt Replacement Cost

If your timing belt needs to be replaced, you may expect to pay between $300 and $500 for the service. Because the timing belt is not easily accessible on many vehicles, some disassembly and reassembly are required to access the belt. Smaller engines in economy cars necessitate less labor. Larger trucks, SUVs, and luxury vehicles, on the other hand, frequently necessitate significantly more time.

It’s also not uncommon to replace the timing belt along with the water pump. The water pump is located beneath the timing belt and has a comparable lifespan to the other components. For many owners, it is more cost-effective to repair the water pump when the engine is broken down for timing belt replacement.

Read: Timing Belt Vs Timing Chain: Differences and Which is better

How Often Should You Replace a Timing Belt?

Timing belts are made of rubber, just like a standard drive serpentine belt. After years of repeated heat cycling, the rubber begins to degrade, eventually causing the belt to fail. A defective timing belt will usually give little warning of an approaching break. You may be cruising along when the car suddenly dies.

Like engine filters and other comparable automotive parts, timing belts should be changed on a regular basis. They no longer need to be changed as frequently as they did in previous decades, but you should still schedule an appointment to replace the belt between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.

Many automobiles can now travel up to 100,000 miles before seeing substantial wear and tear from these belts. It’s recommended to consult your owner’s handbook to determine inspection frequency and follow the guidelines.

Timing belts are relatively inexpensive, but neglecting them for an extended period risks causing costly damage. Any vehicle equipped with a timing belt includes a manufacturer’s suggestion for replacement. These intervals are typically between 70,000 and 90,000 kilometers. Check the owner’s manual or research online for unique recommendations.

Keep in mind that miles are only a rough guide; older, low-mileage vehicles should always be evaluated for a timing belt replacement as time also degrades the rubber. For example, if you possess a 2016 vehicle with 60,000 miles and the timing belt suggestion is 70,000 miles.

Now, arrange your timing belt service. In contrast, if you possess a 2001 vehicle with only 40,000 miles but no timing belt replacement, this belt is due for replacement due to its age. In any case, this is one maintenance item you absolutely must plan for.

Read: Difference between drive belt and timing belt

Bad Timing Belt Symptoms

If you suspect that you have a defective timing belt, here are the most common signs and symptoms to watch out for:

  • You are having trouble starting the engine.
  • Your engine is misfiring.
  • If you notice a difference in your RPMs (revolutions per minute).
  • Your engine is making a ticking noise.
  • Smoke is coming from your exhaust.
  • Your check engine light is illuminated.
  • It’s been more than 60,000 miles (or 5 years) since your timing belt was replaced.
  • Your engine is leaking oil.

You are having trouble starting the engine

When you can’t start the engine, it’s one of the clearest symptoms that something is wrong. If this occurs, it could indicate that the timing belt is entirely broken. The starter should make a clicking sound. However, because the belt is in charge of the crankshaft, the car will not start.

Your engine is misfiring

The timing belt’s most important function is to keep the cylinders in rhythm. If the timing belt fails, the cylinders can become out of sync. This causes the engine to misfire. Another symptom is that the car isn’t performing as well as it used to. This is one of the most serious red flags. It cannot be disregarded because it indicates that you are causing damage to your engine.

If you notice a difference in your RPMs (revolutions per minute)

The dashboard displays the number of revolutions per minute (RPM). This figure represents how hard the engine is working. Manual drivers will utilize it to determine when to shift gears. If the timing belt has a flaw, such as missing teeth, it might cause the RPM to behave unpredictably.

Your engine is making a ticking noise

The timing belt is attached to crankshaft pulleys. When it begins to wear out, it will be unable to turn the pulleys effectively. This is what causes the ticking noise. Ticking, on the other hand, might be caused by a low level of oil in the engine. In any case, it’s a major problem that should be addressed by a mechanic.

Smoke is coming from your exhaust

If you observe more smoke coming out of your exhaust than usual, it could be because you are forcing the engine to work harder than usual. It can, however, be a symptom of other engine issues. It could, for example, indicate that fluid is leaking and the engine is burning oil. It could possibly be a filter issue, restricting the amount of air flowing to the engine.

Your check engine light is illuminated

Depending on the vehicle, a problem with the timing belt may cause the check engine light to illuminate. Even though it is one of the less dramatic warning lights, it should never be ignored. It indicates that something is amiss and that you should contact a mechanic as soon as possible.

It’s been more than 60,000 miles (or 5 years) since your timing belt was replaced

It is advisable not to wait until any of these symptoms arise. It’s a good idea to keep track of when you last replaced parts. While the belt will include mileage specifications, it is preferable to judge how long it has been in the engine. Belts should be replaced every five to six years. However, this can vary depending on how frequently you use the vehicle.

Your engine is leaking oil

A series of nuts hold the timing belt in place. However, these might become looser over time. This can result in an oil leak near the timing belt cover. As you can expect, this can be a serious issue. When the flow of oil is interrupted, the engine is at risk of overheating. If this occurs, substantial damage and a large repair price may result.

Read: Difference between drive belt and timing belt

Can You Drive with A Bad Timing Belt?

With a broken timing belt, your car cannot be driven. The harm is already done by the time the belt snaps, and you will be unable to drive at all. To get the car to a shop for repairs, you’ll need to tow it. How long can you continue to drive with a damaged timing belt? Can you still drive the car if you discover that your timing belt is damaged but it hasn’t yet broken? The belt could potentially snap at any moment, yet it is still possible to keep driving the vehicle in this condition. Once you suspect that you may have a timing belt issue, it is not recommended to drive the car for an extended period of time.


Is it expensive to replace a timing belt?

A timing belt set will typically cost between $100 and $350. Most timing belts require 3-5 hours of labor, bringing the total cost to between $400 and $1,000.

Is it worth fixing a timing belt on a car?

In a nutshell, a damaged timing belt causes significant engine damage. It is sometimes less expensive to replace the entire engine than to fix it. Replacing a timing belt in advance is far less expensive than fixing the damage caused by a damaged timing belt.

What are the symptoms of a bad timing belt?

Symptoms of a Broken or Failing Timing Belt

  • You’re hearing strange noises coming from the engine.
  • Your car struggles to start and occasionally misfires.
  • You notice a loss of power and your vehicle runs or idles more erratically than usual.
  • Your Check Engine Light is illuminated and flashing.

Can you still drive with a bad-timing belt?

Your vehicle will not start if the timing belt is broken. The harm has already been done by the time the belt snaps, and you will be unable to drive at all.

Is timing belt change a big job?

Timing belt replacement is an expensive service. It is a complex, time-consuming operation that can take 4-8 hours depending on the car. However, replacing the timing belt before it fails will protect the engine and save you money in the long run.

At what mileage does a timing belt fail?

Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, timing belt replacement is usually advised every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

Can a timing belt last $ 200,000 miles?

Not really. It is safer to change the timing belt earlier than recommended by the manufacturer. Timing belts, on the other hand, should be replaced every 60,000 to 150,000 miles.

Do I need to replace the water pump with a timing belt?

It is not necessary to replace both at the same time, although it is strongly advised owing to the high danger of engine damage. The synchronous drive’s components all have the same mileage and wear.


The timing belt is essential to the operation of your car engine. If you’ve had it for more than six years, you should talk to your mechanic about replacing it. While this is an expensive procedure, it can spare you from engine damage and difficulties in the future.

That is all for this article, in which we’ve talked about the cost of replacing a timing best. Nonetheless, we covered the difference between a timing belt and a timing chain, how often to replace the timing belt, bad timing belt symptoms, and if you can drive with it. Hope it was informative. If so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!

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