Q: I'm not sure if I need a new timing belt & if I do, is it worth to get fixed?

asked by on October 13, 2016

A few months ago I got a tune up at firestone but I brought it to another mechanic before that. The guy pulled my car into the garage but then told me he wouldn't touch the car bc it was making a clicking noise that he heard before & he thought it was the timing belt. He said it's such a big fix that their shop doesn't even perform that service bc they said they'd have to take out my engine but he didnt really make sure it was the belt. I haven't really had issues with my car since i got the tune up but there is a clicking noise under my hood, mostly when i first turn it on but then it'll stop after like 10 minutes and it doesn't always make that noise. &my car seems to have little to no pickup, it takes awhile to get up to speed. Sometimes when i press the gas to increase speed it sort of jumps back, kind of like the car is trying to catch up to the gas. Im not sure if this is bc it's an old car or if it relates to my belt. Im afraid of it snapping while driving. Please help

My car has 122000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your Explorer’s 4.0 liter V6 is equipped with a timing chain, not a timing belt. While timing chains have a finite lifespan and should definitely be changed at a regular interval (usually around 60k miles), timing chains will usually last the entire life cycle of the vehicle. On this engine, however, the timing chain guides can wear prematurely and lead to the ticking noise you describe. Ford has issued a service bulletin on this issue and has released a redesigned, improved timing chain “cassette” that includes the chain, upper and lower gears, guide and tensioner assembly.

This assembly can be replaced with the engine still in the vehicle. It’s important to have this service done – a failed timing chain tensioner can come apart and send debris into the oil pan. Other causes for a clicking or ticking noise can be a fuel injector or lifter noise, but given the reputation of this engine, the timing chain angle is worth pursuing. To have this done, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician from YourMechanic can perform a timing chain replacement and full diagnosis of the noise and any other issues.

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