Timing Belt Service

Understanding Your Cadillac's Timing Belt

Luxurious and iconic, the Cadillac brand has been a staple of American highways since the beginning of the 20th century. Synonymous with quality engineering and innovative design, Cadillac models consistently deliver superior performance and a luxury experience each time you get behind the wheel. Keep your Cadillac performing at its best with regular maintenance and inspections of short-term and long-term engine systems. One example of a long term maintenance task is changing your timing belt.

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Timing Belt Service Questions & Answers

How does a timing belt work?

Your timing belt performs the intricate function of coordinating both the camshaft and crankshaft so that the pistons move and valves open in your engine at the right time. While timing belts were once made out of metal chains, modern belts feature a toothed rubber design that spins efficiently while operating with far less noise than their metal predecessors.

How often should I change my timing belt?

Your Cadillac technician will advise a maintenance schedule for your vehicle. The 105,000-mile service visit is typically when your timing belt will be changed. If you buy your vehicle new and sell it within a few years while maintaining a typical number of miles driven each year, it's highly likely you won't even need to worry about changing the timing belt.

For those that plan to hold onto their vehicle for an extended length of time or who purchase a used vehicle, you can plan for this visit and make the appropriate arrangements with your service center as you get closer to the 105,000-mile mark on your odometer.

What are the signs to look for with an aging timing belt?

Staying aware of subtle changes in your vehicle's performance can pay off when it allows you to catch problems early. Because your timing belt is responsible for synchronizing movement between various parts, a failing belt will be most apparent in reducing engine performance. You may experience a loss of power or a feeling of the engine shaking as the timing belt slips. You might also hear a tapping noise as the engine is running. If the belt breaks entirely, your engine will simply refuse to start. An illuminated check engine light will be an early indicator of timing belt trouble, as will a suspicious oil leak that has no other explainable cause.

What happens if I don't change my timing belt?

In addition to causing your Cadillac technician no end of concern, the decision not to change your timing belt will inevitably lead to its failure, which will require expensive repairs to rectify. If you are driving when it fails, it will cause catastrophic damage to your engine and render it completely unable to run, leaving you stranded. If it causes a piston rod to puncture the engine case, you will need a new engine. Completing regular maintenance allows you to bring your vehicle in for service on your terms and will give you peace of mind as you're driving in Birmingham.

I have a Cadillac SUV rather than a sedan; does this make a difference in the type of timing belt or how often it should be changed?

If you own an older Escalade, it may have a timing chain rather than a rubber belt. Timing chains can sometimes go for hundreds of thousands of miles - often the entire lifetime of the vehicle - without needing a change. If your vehicle has a timing chain, defer to your Cadillac technician's judgment on when it should be changed. A thorough inspection will reveal the chain's state and allow the technician to decide on the appropriate time to replace it.


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