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The timing belt is a rubber belt located in the engine compartment behind the drive belts. Its job is to keep the crankshaft in sync with the camshaft(s), ensuring the proper timing and operation of the engine valves and therein, the engine.
Follow the maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer and replace the timing belt as recommended. The timing belt drives the water pump in 60% of the cars. The labor cost of replacing the water pump is significantly higher than the cost of the pump. While replacing the timing belt, it is cost effective to replace the water pump. We highly recommend replacing the timing belt pulleys and tensioners. The tensioner applies pressure to the timing belt keeping it tight, while the pulleys keep the timing belt in line. These components are sealed units that contain bearings (they cannot be lubricated on a regular basis). The bearings wear out over time and may seize, causing the timing belt to come off, which can cause major internal engine damage.
Ignoring the replacement of a timing belt as a part of scheduled maintenance, could result in major engine failure down the road. You should not wait for your timing belt to break, it must be serviced regularly.