Timing Belt Maintenance in Kia Cars
One of the most often encountered problems with Kia vehicles is a snapped timing belt. Kia cars use a timing belt to time the function of the engine’s valves and thus ensure that the engine is operating at maximum efficiency. However, over time, the timing belt gets worn down. It’s important to check and replace the timing belt in your car as needed, in order to avoid costly repairs further down the road.
What is a Timing Belt and What Does It Do?
A timing belt is used in car engines to make sure the engine’s valves open and close at the proper times. It is commonly used in smaller vehicles because it is less costly than timing chains, which have longer lifespans but are more expensive to manufacture and replace. Without the timing belt, the car cannot run properly. Unfortunately, this crucial part of the engine will eventually wear out and has to be replaced every few years.
How Often Does Your Kia Timing Belt Need to be Changed?
Depending on the model of your car, your Kia timing belt should be replaced every 40,000 or 60,000 miles. The manual that came with your car should tell you which limit applies to you. It is extremely important that you change the timing belt before your car reaches the specified number of miles driven. Many Kia owners are finding that their timing belt fails even before this mileage is reached, so it’s a good idea to change the timing belt 5,000 to 10,000 miles early. This may seem frequent compared to other car manufacturers, but the timing belts that Kia uses cut down significantly on costs, so you will not be spending any more money in the long run.
What Will Happen if the Timing Belt in Your Car Breaks?
Kia vehicles use an interference engine, which means that if the timing belt breaks, the valves will open and close at the wrong times, causing them to come into contact with the pistons. This can cause a great deal of damage in a short time. Chances are, if your timing belt breaks or slips while the engine is running, the valves, pistons, and other parts of the engine will all be damaged beyond repair.
How can You Fix the Damage if Your Car’s Timing Belt Snaps?
If your engine is running when the breakage occurs, there is not much you can do to fix the damage. First of all, you will need to call a tow truck, because your car will no longer be able to run. You’ll also most likely need to replace the engine completely, because trying to take apart the resulting mess and repair the damage will cost even more than a new engine. Rather than try to repair the damage caused by a broken timing belt, it’s better to take measures to prevent the timing belt from breaking. Make sure to change your car’s timing belt before the car reaches 40,000 or 60,000 miles (depending on the model). While it can seem a hassle, it is much better than the alternative of having your engine ruined by a broken belt.
Many frustrated Kia owners have had to scrap their car engine due to a snapped timing belt. Because of the interference engine used in Kia cars, broken timing belts can cause heavy damage to the rest of the engine, not just the belt itself. In order to avoid this problem, make sure you change your car’s timing belt well within the mileage limit specified in the manual for your model. You may even want to change the belt 5,000 to 10,000 miles earlier than recommended, just in case; it’s better to be prepared and spend a little money on a timing belt replacement than have to spend a lot of money on a new engine.