This is my first installment of Tips Maintenance and Information (TMI pun intended). It will, in the future include, you guessed it, tips on maintaining your car or Information on some of the things George and I do in the car realm. RRM is about cars and car issues but it’s mainly about people because God only cares about cars as they relate to people. So let’s get started.
I want to talk about something in the engine that everyone has if they have an engine in their car ….the timing belt or chain. The reason I picked this issue over the thousands of things that can go wrong with cars is because most of the cars we fix for people are high mileage which makes the timing belt (or chain) crucial. But why you ask? What’s the difference between belt and chain?
You can certainly get more detailed information from the web about your particular car but since you are on our site here’s what I know.
Older cars typically had timing chains that did not get replaced until the engine was rebuilt or replaced. They were mostly designed to last the life of the engine, and that is true, as well with today’s engines that have timing chains. However, most engines today come with timing belts that may be “interference engines” meaning if the belt breaks while driving and you somehow keep going it would run until the internal damage stopped it; hence the word “interference”. A few car makers have “non-interference engines” with a timing belt are designed to stop running or shut down before doing any internal damage, which is still annoying but preferred.
So my tip today is find out if your particular car has a belt or chain. If it’s a chain, relax, but keep up your oil changes. If it’s a belt, find out the interval and get the belt checked or replaced. It may be important to know also if your engine is interference or non-interference, especially if your replacement history is sketchy.
As George and I move in and out of the car community and car shows we’ll keep posted on what we find. I welcome any helpful feedback and although NOT an ASME certified mechanic, I’ve fixed over 66 cars in my 62 years on this planet and some of them were doozies! My greatest joy though is seeing a person get back on the road safely because we know firsthand how hard it is to get kids to school or get to work without that trusty car, and with God’s Grace we’re here to help.