Keep an eye on the timing belt
The timing belt on your Citroën is one of the most important features of the engine. It is indeed the timing belt that controls the interaction between the pistons and valves. Even though it is one of the most important components of the engine, only few drivers are aware of it.
The timing belt consists of a rigid, synthetic rubber material. Over time, the rubber starts to tenderise and when that happens, the belt usually begins to crack in the surface and starts to look frayed.
It is important to make sure the timing belt doesn’t get too worn out. If it snaps while the engine is running, this can quickly lead to an unpleasant extra expense and at worst, a broken engine. As a car owner, you should therefore periodically check and possibly replace the timing belt before something goes wrong.
Typically, the mechanic will inspect the timing belt when the car is being serviced. However, it is at the same time important to adhere to the recommendations of the car manufacturer. The service log should indicate the next time the timing belt should be replaced. Typically, this will be when the car has driven around 120,000 km since the last timing belt replacement.
Timing belt replacement – how expensive can it be?
A timing belt is not too expensive, but the actual replacing of the belt can be a little difficult. Also, the timing belt and the water pump work together so, as a result, both wear at the same time. Since it is by far the easiest to get to the water pump when the timing belt is already being replaced, many workshops recommend that both are replaced at the same time.
Time and labour cost is thus the largest item on the invoice when the timing belt and water pump must be replaced. We therefore recommend you find out what the hourly rates for the mechanics are, before you choose a workshop.
Below you can see the average price for a new timing belt for your Citroën. The price shown covers all Citroën models and is based on thousands of quotes that the workshops have sent to users of our garage portal.
Average price for new timing belt is £300.
It is easy to get a quote on autobutler.co.uk. You just fill out the form and the workshops then send you 3 quotes, which you can look through and choose the one that suits you the best. Both price and the description of the job are included in the quotes, and on autobutler.co.uk you can also read what other car owners have written in their assessment of each workshop. This way, we have made it easy for you to find your favorite, high-quality garage.
Check the timing belt
If you are unsure when your Citroën had its timing belt replaced last, you should have a mechanic check if it is time for a replacement. This will normally be in a situation where you have bought a used car, and where the previous owner has been unable to disclose when the car last had its timing belt replaced.
You can also inspect the timing belt yourself by opening the bonnet and seeing if the surface of the belt is worn. If you find cracks in the rubber, then you can be certain that it is time to get the belt replaced.
If you have the slightest doubt, give it an extra thought. In fact, the timing belt does not wear gradually like for example the car’s brake pads. It wears without one really being able to see it, and snaps, often without warning. It is the worst case scenario, so if you are unable to determine whether the belt is worn out or not, then contact a workshop for it to be checked.
Why does a timing belt wear out?
It may be difficult to determine exactly when the timing belt is worn to the point it needs replacing. But there are several factors that cause more wear on the belt and that can even get it to come off the gear or snap quite unexpectedly.
Oil leaks in the engine compartment is a serious matter. If the oil gets on the timing belt or in between the timing belt and the gear, the belt may slip off the gear. This will very likely cause serious engine damage. If you discover oil leaks in the engine compartment, you should immediately contact a workshop to have the issue resolved.
An old timing belt
The timing belt on a car is equipped with ‘teeth’ that run on a special gear which keeps the belt in place so that it cannot slide off. Previously, timing belts were both angular and trapezoidal, and were not nearly as elastic as the new models that are used today. If you drive an older Citroën, then check to see which type of timing belt is mounted on your car. Have it replaced with one of the newer timing belts, which are more flexible and last considerably longer.
When the timing belt is stiff
If you do not drive your car daily, you will probably find that the timing belt quickly becomes stiff and rigid. Therefore, it should be replaced before reaching the stated mileage in the service manual. Talk to your mechanic and get the garage to check whether the timing belt can still be used.
If you need to send the car to a workshop, then use autobutler.co.uk. Request 3 quotes here if you require a timing belt replacement on your Citroën.