Timing Belts and Chains

Do you know if you have a timing belt or a chain under the hood of your vehicle? It really will serve you to know what’s under the hood of your car.

A timing belt or chain is a critical part of your vehicle and it’s a tough one to assess because it’s installed and working deep under the hood. We can’t see it without removing parts.

If your timing belt lets go, snaps, cracks or breaks while it’s in use, the car quits running and you will be towed. You don’t know until it’s broken, and when it’s broken you’re broken down, and the engine’s possibly damaged.

Most timing belts are made of cogged rubber, which can break or become brittle with use and over time. A metal chain usually lasts a lot longer and doesn’t have a regular replacement schedule.  Timing belts have a regular replacement schedule determined by the manufacturer and can be good for 60,000- 105,000 miles before replacement.  Be sure to check your owners manual for recommended replacement or give us a call and we will find out for you.

It’s not a cheap fix to replace a belt, but you’ll pay less in the long run if you get your car, truck, SUV or hybrid the regular service it needs. If you’re planning to keep the vehicle for a long time, belt or chain replacement is an investment.

We had a client who was ready to go to Madison, Wisconsin in a 200,000 mile Honda, and it had been 110,000 miles since the last timing belt replacement. The timing belt replacement schedule for their vehicle was 90,000 miles.  We couldn’t get it done in time for him to leave on his trip, so we suggested that he go rent a Grand Caravan just for that trip.

And he did.

Then he had us replace the belt in his Honda when he got back.

It’s not worth it. He could have been on the side of the road between here and Wisconsin, having destroyed a van that he relied on every day. All he needed was education. He was ready to go, so it’s just about letting him know. He made an informed choice that was right for him.

He had a great, safe time away and knew what he needed to do to for his van when he got home.

That’s how we love to work at Tom’s. We explain and share about what’s happening under the hood of your car. The service and value also come in the form of recommendations and problem-solving next steps regarding your car’s maintenance. We can even help you prioritize the tasks.

It’s always your decision in the end.

We want you to make the best and most-informed choice for yourself.

Discover more about how the team at Tom’s Automotive Service, or schedule your next appointment now.

Our Reviews

Tom's Automotive Service
Reviewed from Google

4.7 out of 5 stars

Andrea Honer
Andrea Honer

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Tom’s is great. I took my vehicle in for a transmission issue. They were thorough with their diagnostic and communicated my options every step of the way. Honest and reliable service.

Meg Halverson
Meg Halverson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

Everyone at Tom's cares about delivering great, expert service and keeping your car or truck in excellent mechanical condition. I have a 2001 Yukon XL which is a 3/4 ton towing vehicle and has been serviced at Tom's for 14 years. It has 187,000 miles on it, and I credit their commitment to excellent service and workmanship for the vehicle's longevity. They are the best in the business, and we are super fortunate to have them in West Seattle.

Tamara Gillest
Tamara Gillest

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Tom's Automotive is open and honest. They have a friendly staff and are helpful in getting answers that work for the budget. I never feel pressured to do something that I don't want to do and they are willing to present options. Thanks, Tom's!

Cory c
Cory c

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

Hands down the best auto shop I've ever been to. Tom's is always friendly, accommodating and takes time to explain the issue. Recently they went the extra mile on an issue with our car and spent time (that the dealer wouldn't) diagnosing, finding and fixing the issue. All for a fair price and with an incredibly helpful attitude. Don't hesitate for a minute to go to this locally owned small business who consistently knocks it out of the park. We've been going to them for 10+ years and always had A+++ customer service.

sishi691
sishi691

5 out of 5 stars

posted 6 months ago

I called in to get oil change for my 2018 car and the guy who took my call told me about the importance of going back to the dealer for the first oil change so that we wouldn’t have any warranty issue in the future. He told me that he would be happy to work on our car next time. I’m definitely taking our car back there! Hard to find a place like this nowadays 🙂