Timing belt replacement is important because letting this one slide can lead to very expensive engine damage.
Your timing belt connects the crankshaft and the camshafts to create the timing of your combustion process. While the pistons are traveling up and down in the cylinder the Intake valves must open at the right time to let in air and fuel, they close at the right time to allow the fuel to burn and then the exhaust valves open at the right time to let out the exhaust.
All this happens thousands of times a minute and it's your timing belt that makes sure the valves are opening and closing at precisely the right time. If the timing belt is damaged, your engine won't run.
Even worse than that is that if a valve is opening at the wrong time and collides with the piston. This will result is bent valves and maybe even more damage.
Timing belts are made of a special rubber and they breakdown over time. You want to replace a worn belt as a preventative item before it slips or breaks. Check your owner's manual or with your service advisor at Frank's Servicenter Inc. in Southampton Pennsylvania to see when they recommend you replace the timing belt. Timing belt replacement varies and can be as soon as 60,000 miles or as long as 105,000 miles.
Additionally on some engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt. On these engines it's a good idea to replace the water pump when you're replacing the timing belt, and vice versa since much of the same work has to be done for either. The same is true for the timing belt tensioner – it should be inspected and potentially replaced during service.
While replacing a timing belt is one of the more expensive maintenance items on your vehicle not replacing your timing belt can lead to some of the most expensive repairs you'll encounter.