The dreaded Timing Belt, it's changed every 100 000 K.M. or 5 Years, some brands are changed every 130 000 but that's a lot to ask for a rubber belt that, if it breaks can be very costly. So I thought I would write about the importance of following this proceedure to the Tee.
What is a timing belt? A timing belt is a rubber belt that runs off the bottom of your engine (Pistons and Crank) and is perfectly timed via this belt to the top of the engine (Cams and Valves). As your engine rotates the belt keeps the top and bottom of your engine in perfect sync.
When this belt breaks, the cams stop (position of valves) but the crank keeps rotating, so the pistons impact the valves and can also damage the tops of the pistons as shown in the pics below.
When this kind of damage happens it's very expensive to Repair so if you have bought a used car and is around the KM's when the belt is due then my advice is get it done asap! Always try and do a full timing belt kit with a new water pump and oil seals, no way will an oil seal or water pump last another 100 000.
Cylinder damage for example on a Camry 5SFE with bent valves and a full rebuild can cost between $800 and $1800 depending on the extent of damage, then you have timing belt and all the trimmings so your bill could run into around $3000. To do a timing belt with water pump and all the seals and pulleys range from $800 to $1200 depending on make and model, euro's are more. This should not be attempted by the backyarder either, I constantly fix stuff ups from incorrect timing belts and always ends up costing a lot more than if he got a Mechanic to do it in the first place. Not every man is a Mechanic!