What is a timing belt?
The timing belt is one of the main features of a car engine, as this belt controls the interaction between the pistons and valves. Despite the fact that the timing belt has a vital importance for the car engine, only few drivers are aware of this.
It pays off keeping an eye on the car’s timing belt. If it snaps while the engine is running, it can lead to an unpleasant extra expense and at worst, a broken engine. It is therefore a good idea to frequently check and possibly replace the timing belt on your Skoda, before something goes wrong.
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 looking frayed.
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. At Skoda, it is stated that cars from 2007 and older have their timing belt replaced every fourth year, while newer cars (from 2008 and onwards) have their timing belts replaced every fifth year. If you drive more kilometres in your car than the average, then remember to check and possibly replace the timing belt more frequently than four or five years.
How much does it cost to change the car’s timing belt?
A timing belt is not too expensive, but the actual work to replace the belt can be somewhat time consuming. The timing belt and the water pump moreover work together, so when the timing belt wears, then so does the water pump. Since it can be difficult to get to the water pump in order to replace it, many workhops recommend that both timing belt and water pump are replaced at the same time.
Time and labour cost is thus the largest item on the invoice when the timing belt is replaced, and therefore we recommend that you check the hourly rates for the workshops, before you send the car to a mechanic. If you do a little research, there may be considerable savings to be made.
Below, we have calculated the price of how much it costs to replace a timing belt on a Skoda. The shown price is an average that covers all Skoda models, and is based on thousands of quotes that workshops have given to users of our garage portal.
Average price for new timing belt is £300.
It is quick and easy to get your car to a workshop via autobutler.co.uk. The garages exclusively send written quotes, so that you may comfortably compare prices and description of the scope of the service. At the same time you can read other people’s reviews of workshops they have used on autobutler.co.uk. This means you can find the best workshop for a fair price without compromising on quality and service.
Check the timing belt
If you are unsure when your Skoda last had its timing belt replaced, you should have a workshop check if it is time to have the belt replaced.
You can also check it yourself by opening the bonnet and seeing if the surface of the belt looks worn. If it is worn or if there are cracks or fraying in the rubber, you can be sure that it is time to have the belt replaced.
If in doubt, give it an extra thought. The timing belt does not wear gradually like for example brake pads do. It wears and snaps, often without prior 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 mechanic for it to be inspected.
Why does the timing belt wear?
It can be difficult to determine exactly when the timing belt is worn out, but there are some factors that cause more wear on the belt and that can 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, and between the timing belt and gear, the belt may slip off the gear and cause damage to the engine. 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 is equipped with 'teeth' that run on a special gear that holds 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. If you drive an older Skoda, you should make sure to mount one of the new timing belts, which are more flexible and last considerably longer.
When the timing belt is stiff
If you don’t drive your car on a daily basis, the timing belt can easily become stiff. Therefore, it must be replaced more often than if you were using it every day. Therefore, notify the workshop of this if you do not drive many kilometres in the car, because then the mechanic will change the timing belt if it becomes stiff and rigid.