Best Auto Repair, Cape Coral

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    Cape Coral, FL 33990
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Timing Belt

Posted January 31, 2021 8:13 AM

Ever heard the sad tale of a staggeringly steep repair bill from a broken timing belt? Bad news. Let's take a lesson from their woes and remember to think about our timing belt.

First, let's review what a timing belt does. The top part of the engine over the cylinders is called the cylinder head. The head contains the valves. There's at least one valve that lets the fresh air into the cylinder. This air, mixed with fuel, burns to create power. Then another valve or two will open to allow the exhaust out of the engine. Each cylinder has 2 to 4 valves - that's 12 to 24 valves for a V-6, up to 32 values on a V-8. The opening and closing of the valves is done by a camshaft. The timing belt uses the rotation of the engine to drive the camshaft which opens and close the valves. It's called a timing belt because it has to be adjusted to rotate the camshaft to keep proper time with the engine so that everything's in sync.

The timing belt is a toothed rubber belt. But some vehicles use a timing chain or timing gears instead of a belt. Timing chains and gears are much more durable, but vehicle manufactures are using belts more because they are quieter - and cheaper. If you have a small or mid-sized passenger car, crossover or mini-van, chances are you have a timing belt.

Unfortunately, timing belts fail without any warning. That shuts your engine down right away. Your pros at Superior Auto Care can inspect your timing belt and look for cracks and looseness. But getting to the belt to take a look can be almost as much work as changing it on some vehicles. That's why manufacturers recommend replacing the belt from time to time. For most vehicles it's from 60,000 to 90,000 miles or 95,000 to 145,000 kilometers. If your owner's manual doesn't specify an interval, ask your service advisor at Superior Auto Care.

Someone we know, who shall remain anonymous, has had two timing belts fail. The first was while he was waiting at a stop light - that repair cost several thousand dollars. The second was while driving on the highway - that one cost more than twice as much. Both had the cars out in the shop for three weeks. His cars had what we call "interference engines," meaning that the valves and pistons are very close to each other. If the timing belt slips even one notch, the pistons will slam into the open valves. That's why our friend's highway failure was so much more - his engine was traveling so fast that the valves were smashed and they chewed up the cylinder head.

A non-interference engine will just shut down if the timing belt breaks. You're stranded, but the engine doesn't suffer permanent damage. In both cases, our hapless friend was just a couple oil changes past the recommended interval for changing the timing belt. This is one of those things that CAPE CORAL drivers just cannot put off. Now replacing a timing belt is not cheap - but repairs for a broken belt can be far more expensive.

The team at Superior Auto Care recommends CAPE CORAL drivers check their owners' manual ASAP - especially if you have more than a 60,000 miles or 95,000 kilometers. You may need to get that belt replaced right away. And on many cars, the timing belt drives the water pump. So, it may be a good idea to replace the water pump while you're at it because 90% of the work required for the new pump is already done with the belt change. Doing both at the same time saves you a lot of money because as they say, "timing's everything."

Superior Auto Care
2112 DEL PRADO BLVD S
CAPE CORAL, FL 33990
(239) 574-2121
http://www.superiorautocare.net

 



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What People Say About Us

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    , 01/21/2022

    This was my first experience at Superior. Shane, the manager, greeted me, and listened attentively to what I needed done. In a timely fashion, Shane called me and shared with me what needed to be done with my car. The estimate was clear, and fairly priced. When I arrived to pick up the car, I was a little early. All of the mechanics, dropped what they were doing, to help finish up my car. The mechanics were very professional, personable, and quickly finished my car. This garage was an A+ experience. Oh, and the quality of work was superior!!

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    , 01/21/2022

    This is an A number one place. Friendly, fair and they do good work. I'm so lucky they're close by. It can be hard to find a place with this much integrity.

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    , 01/21/2022

    My clutch burnt out on my VW Jetta on a sat. I had my car towed to Superior on a strong recommendation of a friend. Monday morning, Manny the outstanding manager had an super reasonable estimate for me. I told him I’m an Uber driver and needed my car fix ASAP as it’s how I provide for myself. With all the challenges of parts etc Team Manny got it done in a few days. He has an outstanding staff of Jose the mechanic that work on my car along with Frank. I strongly urge you to consider Superior and Team Manny for you car needs

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    , 01/17/2022

    Explained the issues and gave me options and prices for repairs. Work was done in timely fashion and priced reasonably. Very professional in responses, etc.

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    , 01/12/2022

    Family is so kind and honest! We take all our vehicles there!

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    , 01/04/2022

    Great service. Got me in a lot earlier than my appointment. Great value. VERY PROFESSIONAL.

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