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Timing Belts High Mileage Vehicles


Proper maintenance is the most important factor in keeping your car running and avoiding unnecessary repair expenses. There are two major maintenance items that pertain to every vehicle:

Regular Oil Changes - the single, most important thing you can do to keep your car running

If you buy a car new and religiously change your oil at the appropriate interval, the inside of your motor will maintain a clean, like-new appearance. This means that there will be much fewer abrasive, foreign particles circulating through your engine. Any dirt or other foreign particles that make their way into your oil are circulated through your motor along with your oil. This causes damage to your motor due to the fact that the oil is circulated at high pressure through small openings. Even tiny particles act as an abrasive in an environment that is not designed for any type of friction and can destroy delicate materials and mechanisms inside your motor.

The average cost of an oil change at Luray Import Service is about $25 - $30 depending on the type of vehicle. The standard interval for oil changes is 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you do a lot of highway driving and reach 3,000 miles quickly, it is generally safe to change your oil every 5,000 miles.

The importance and benefit of changing your car's oil regularly cannot be overstated.

Factory Scheduled Maintenance Services

Every car has a maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. It lists the mileage at which the vehicle should be taken to a repair facility and the components of the car that should be checked and/or replaced. Following this schedule signficantly increases the life and safety of the vehicle.

One of the major services that you may see listed involves replacing the timing belt at approximately 70,000 miles. Please see below for more information regarding the importance of replacing your timing belt (if your car is equipped with one.) When the timing belt is replaced, it is necessary to remove the other belts on your vehicle. The technician will also be displacing the water pump in order to replace the timing belt so, in order to save the labor costs of replacing the water pump at a later time, we also recommend considering replacing it also. At 70,000 miles, replacing the water pump is a good preventative action to take.

Why Preventive Maintenance

Manufacturers know that a properly maintained car will be more dependable, safer, last longer, and increase your satisfaction with their product. Car makers and owners also have a responsibility to make sure emission controls receive regular service and are functioning properly. Regular maintenance helps accomplish these goals by keeping your engine running efficiently and eliminating potential problems that may leave you stranded.

What's in it for you?

  • More Dependable Car
  • A car that retains the "new car feel"
  • Less chance of a costly breakdown
  • A safer car for you and your family
  • Doing your part for cleaner air
  • A car worth more at trade in or sale
  • An intact warranty

Manufacturer Maintenance Schedules

The manufacturer creates detailed maintenance schedules outlining specific operations to be performed on various components and systems. This is done at different mileage intervals to ensure proper operation and prevent premature wear. The manufacturer also indicates what services must be done to maintain the factory warranty and extended warranty.

Automotive Information System

Luray Import Service, Inc. is equipped with an automotive information system that provides this detailed data. This system even lists high-tech specialty lubricants required for your particular car. Other information includes vehicle specific repair and diagnostic information and factory-issued Technical Service Bulletins. The bottom line is efficient, dependable and cost-effective service for you.

Why timing belts need replacement

What is a timing belt?

Timing belts have replaced timing chains on many of today's engines. Both belts and chains ensure that crankshaft, pistons and valves operate together in proper sequence. Belts are lighter, quieter and more efficient than chains.

Why replace the belt?

Like other components, timing belts wear out. Proper maintenance requires belt replacement at regular intervals--before they break.

Where are the belts located?

Timing belts are on the front of the engine protected by a plastic or metal cover.

When should belts be replaced?

When a timing belt breaks, the engine stops. Replace belts before this occurs. Most manufacturers provide a suggested service life and replacement schedule for this critical component.

How do I know if my car has one?

Your vehicle manual may tell you, but you should ask your technician--he will know for sure.

What is a "Free-Running" engine?

If the timing belt breaks on a free-running engine, the engine stops and you will need a tow to the repair shop. No mechanical damage occurs and the installation of a new belt is usually all that is needed to get you on your way.

What is an "Interference" engine?

If the timing belt breaks on an interference engine, mechanical engine damage occurs. It most commonly involves open valves being struck by pistons, resulting in the need for expensive repairs. In extreme cases, a replacement engine may be required.

High Mileage Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance

Fixing Your Present Vehicle Saves Money

Most of us want to get the most for our motoring dollar. One of the best ways to do this is extending the life of your current vehicle. With new car prices in the United States averaging well over $10,000, money invested in keeping your existing vehicle in good shape could save you hundreds--even thousands--of dollars a year. When you consider the true cost of buying a new car (price of the car, sales tax, license and registration fees, insurance), it is not difficult to justify investing a few hundred dollars to repair your present vehicle.

Safety and Scheduled Maintenance

The safety aspect of properly maintaining your vehicle, especially when it has high mileage, should not be overlooked. Failing brakes, exhaust leaks and other problems can be prevented by following sound car care practices.

Unfortunately, most manufacturers only provide maintenance guidelines for the first 100,000 miles or so. Clear procedures for maintenance beyond this mileage do not exist. At best, manufacturers provide interval service schedules, such as every 15,000 miles. These schedules should be followed whenever possible. By doing so, you can reasonably expect thousands more satisfactory miles from your vehicle.

High Mileage Inspection and Evaluation

If your vehicle has passed the 100,000 mile mark and you want to significantly prolong its useful life, it is time to have it thoroughly evaluated by a professional automotive technician who can recommend needed repairs or service. Luray Import Service, Inc. is equipped to perform this service. We employ technicians who use factory-level information detailing your vehicle's service requirements.

Our high mileage inspection and evaluation goes beyond cursory "once-overs" and is designed to get to the root of potential problems. If interested, ask us to show you exactly what is involved in this service. We will be happy to go over the evaluation form with you before you okay the inspection and provide you with a comprehensive estimate for any work recommended as a result of your vehicle's checkup. We will tell you about repairs that are necessary today, and also alert you to items that are potential problem areas you may want to address today for more trouble-free miles tomorrow. Naturally, you make the decision as to what work is actually performed.

Working together, we can add years to the life of your car or truck.

Page last modified: 05-Jan-2017