If your car has a timing belt, it’s important that you inspect it regularly to ensure that it’s in proper working order. This small part is critical to your engine running properly, and if it breaks the results can be catastrophic.
Your timing belt should be replaced every 80,000 –100,000 kilometres, depending on your car’s make and model. Also, make sure you understand if your engine is an interference engine or a non-interference engine.
In an interference engine, the valves and piston share the same airspace and the timing belt keeps them from touching. This is why you’ll have a major engine failure on your hands if the belt breaks or skips. Fixing it involves removing the head and replacing bent valves—and anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Non-interference engines do not risk this contact if the timing belt goes. Nonetheless, a failed timing belt will leave you stranded with either type of engine, so it is important to know the replacement interval for your specific model and have your belt replaced accordingly.