Many of today’s vehicles have at least one accessory drive belt or more under the hood this is visible under the hood and is easily inspected. The belt is responsible for driving crucial items needed for operation of your car or truck. They include the water pump, alternator, power steering and the very important air conditioning compressor. Another belt under the hood, the timing belt, is hidden under a cover at the front of the engine. This belt is often overlooked and is crucial to the operation of your engine.
If the timing belt fails, the majority of engines will quit without causing any major damage. However, there are some engines that will suffer catastrophic damage that at times may require replacement of the engine.
Refer to your owner’s manual to see if your engine has a timing belt or take your vehicle to a repair shop to find out. The maintenance schedule will indicate the replacement interval, which may be 60,000 to 90,000 miles or even 5 years.