Car Enging with Belts

Ignoring Your Timing Belt Can Be Costly

Replacing Your Timing Belt Can Save You Loads On Potential Repairs

Take a moment to imagine a symphony, without a conductor, no one to tell each musician what to play, when to start, and how to play it.  Your vehicle’s timing belt is like the conductor for your engine.  It keeps everything in sync and performing as it should.  This means that when your timing belt is in need or repair or even routine maintenance, ignoring this could cause major problems for your engine.

At Duramax Transmissions, we’ve seen firsthand the damage that ignoring your timing belt can cause.  Yes, we’re here to help fix whatever car troubles you might have.  But by placing our customers first, we hope to help stave off these costly repair bills by offering high quality, affordable, routine maintenance.

What Damage Can a Little Timing Belt Do?

The unfortunate answer is, a fair amount. Timing belts help to control when valves in your engine open and close.  For your vehicle to work, the timing of these valves opening and closing is very important.  When the timing belt breaks, these valves won’t open at the correct time and their synchronization with the pistons of your engine will be off.

The amount and type of damage your engine might suffer from a broken timing belt depends on the type of engine that you have.  Some valves may become damaged, the camshaft or cylinder head or camshaft might experience damage.  Other vehicles may still experience other damage.

How do you Prevent Your Belt from Breaking?

The only way to prevent this from happening is to have your timing belt changed at intervals suggested by your car manufacturer.  Most often, car manufacturers will recommend having it changed at 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

If the belt breaks before this, with regularly scheduled car maintenance, it might be a manufacturer defect.  Volkswagen just underwent a class action lawsuit because certain vehicles had issues with broken timing belts before their suggested replacement window. If you have a Volkswagen or are curious to learn more about this class action, click here.

To schedule an replacement, give us a call at (503) 363-6888 or find more contact information here.

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Improve Your Gas Mileage

Improving gas mileage is simple. Follow the recommendations below, and you will save money and increase the life of your vehicle. As with anything related to your car or truck, regular maintenance and oil changes are necessary to achieve top performance.

Gas Mileage Thieves

Incorrect Tire Pressure:  You can find an inexpensive pressure gauge like this one (pic) and periodically check your tire pressure.  The manufacturers recommended pressure levels are on the driver’s side doorplate.  Don’t use the “Maximum Pressure” numbers on the tire.

Tire Gauge - Gas Mileage

Bad Oxygen Sensors: Replacing malfunctioning sensors can improve your gas mileage by as much as 10%.  Oxygen Sensors regulate the mixture of air and fuel and are generally rated to be replaced at 100,000 miles. Make sure you have a mechanic perform diagnostics to be certain that this is the issue.

Poor Air Filtering: Ensuring that Air Filters are unclogged can improve your mileage per gallon by as much as 20%.

Broken Spark Plugs: Make sure the spark plugs are firing correctly.

Spark Plug - Gas Mileage

Leaking Fuel Injectors:  You’ll want to confirm the functioning of your fuel injectors to ensure they aren’t negatively affecting your gas mileage.

Low Quality Motor Oil: The wrong motor oil can affect your gas mileage up to 12%.  Make sure you choose an oil that is high in reducing friction.

Loose Gas Caps: Check that your Gas Cap is screwed on tight.

Driving Habits

  • Accelerate and break steadily.
  • Drive the speed limit.
  • Use cruise control on the highways.
  • Idling wastes fuel. It takes only 30 seconds to warm up the engine. Also, if you are waiting for someone, put the car in neutral.

Before You Buy

If you’re looking for a new or used car, you can go to this site to check on the fuel economy of the Model by year:  http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.shtml.

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