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3208 International St, Fairbanks, AK   |   (907) 312-1447

Timing Belts and Service

At METRO, we are scientists and we love this about what we do. We pay attention, find patterns, advise our customers and come up with dynamic plans of maintenance that are specific to not only our climate, but also to our clientele!

Let’s take standard “maintenance intervals”. These are predictable mileage and time markers that indicate a materials replacement is necessary. Like the filter in your water purifier or your toothbrush. These things just wear out.

Timing belts are an extremely important wear item on an engine that need to be replaced during a specific “maintenance interval” or service. They are particularly sensitive to the harsh climate of Interior Alaska. 

A “belt” on a vehicle is a combination of rubber compounds, steel, polyester, and other materials. All manufacturers use proprietary mixtures and manufacturing techniques to produce belts. 

Broad differences in production techniques and compounds results in longevity and wear that cover a wide timeline. 

Even within specific makes and models, different belt compounds are used. 

For example,  the Timing Belt on a 2002 Toyota FourRunner is made of a different material than that of a 2008 Toyota Sienna. How does one determine a predictable time-period with so many variables? 

Manufacturers publish safe, educated guesses, based on historical wear. However, these guesses do not take into account “harsh conditions” 

Fairbanks qualifies as a “harsh condition” and intervals have to be adjusted to accommodate our climate in order for clients not to experience being stranded due to engine failure.

For most cars, recommended timing belt replacement intervals vary between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. Some manufacturers list the time interval (e.g. every 7 years).

A timing belt is the toothed belt that runs the engine camshaft(s). It’s called a timing belt because it precisely coordinates (times) the up-and-down movement of the pistons with the opening of the valves.

If the timing is off, these components can collide, resulting in a blown up motor.

In addition to the possibility of outright breakage, over time, these belts stretch. Symptoms of a stretched timing belt include a loss of power and the Check Engine light coming on.

Alaska is special. Maintenance intervals are very different here than in most places in the driving world. At METRO we pay attention and catalogue these details. 

A timing belt coordinates the movement of pistons and valves in an engine. It is the most important belt on an engine and wear or failure will leave you stranded. Our mechanics know the specific “harsh duty” intervals for timing belt replacement on vehicles and we know which belts perform well in the sub-arctic. We also combine water-pump and pulley replacement during this repair in order to save our customers time and money. 

The picture in this post is a timing belt that appears on the outside to be fine. Upon further inspection, the inside of the belt, (not readily visible to the mechanic) has missing teeth due to wear.

Our mechanics have learned to look past the usual wear to see the special problems that Alaska presents. Come in for an inspection today if you don’t know when your last interval was addressed! Book online at metropolitangarage.com