Timing Belt Question - Hyundai Elantra

To my knowledge, if the timing belt goes the engine shuts down. According to others on Hyundai forums, you can blow the engine in a Hyundai Elantra if the timing belt goes. Is the latter really the case?

Never mind. I called the dealer and they said that any vehicle with a timing belt could have a serious problem if the timing belt goes.

Does anyone know the cost of replacing a timing belt for an '07 Elantra SE? I may as well have the other belts changed while I’m at it too.

you can research this on gates.com a web site by a manufacturer of timing belts.

You want to find out if you have an “interference” engine in your car. Certainly all motors with a timing belt will stop running if the belt breaks. Even worse in an interference engine the internal moving parts collide, pistons smash into the valves. This pretty much damages the engine beyond repair and usually requires a search for a new motor. You are looking at about $2,000 to 3,000 dollars to get the car on the road again.

Your car most likely has a timing belt and I’m guessing the replacement interval is about every 7 years or 60K miles whichever comes first. Some cars have 100K intervals, so the gates site will help you on this point too.

Thanks, UncleTurbo. I do believe that it is an interference engine because the dealer said that the parts could smash the pistons if the timing belt goes. Yikes!! I certainly don’t want to have yet another big repair.

Anything else, besides transmission and timing belt that can cause such catastrophic failure?

On your car, that’s about it for catastrophic failure. That’s not to say other expensive repairs can’t occur. The AC condenser and compressor will set you back about $1,000 if they go. Steering racks are about $500+. CV joints and half axles are about $200 each side. Computer failures are expensive, like $1,000 in some cars. ABS computers and sensors can get pricey to sort out and repair. New tires, struts, brakes, etc. are expensive but just part of putting miles on any car. It is a good idea to have some money budgeted for repairs. Your car is off warranty and not everything will go at once, but the car is getting older and something will go bad - you just have to wait it out and see what it is.

When a timing belt fails…the engine stops running. Interference engines…there’s a chance that a valve could hit a piston before the valves stop moving. I had a belt break once on a interference engine…but no engine damage. It’s rare, but it does happen.

What do you mean by “Causing” catastrophic failure. Timing belt can…but a if a transmission fails…it’s not “Causing” the catastrophic failure…it “IS” the catastrophic failure.

Just keep up on maintenance. Automatic transmissions need maintenance (i.e. fluid change). Engine oil.

Your owners manual is a good source for what services and when they are needed. Just follow the maintenance schedule in your owners manual and you’ll be fine.

You do NOT have to take it to the dealer for ANY service. Either do it yourself (like many of us here do)…or find a good local mechanic (which I recommend for those who don’t do their own PM).

I found this animation of how valves and pistons work. It isn’t great, but it shows basics.
The only thing that keeps he valves opening and closing in time with the pistons is the timing belt. If that fails, the valves can open as the pistons are coming to top dead center and the two can crash together. This only happens until the engine stops, but it can do expensive damage.

Yes, you do have an interference engine. But follow the maintenance schedule in your Owners’ manual and you’ll be fine. It’s neglect that causes these design eccentricities to become disasters, not the eccntricities themselves. In other words, the fact that yours is an interference engine is not problem whatsoever. Neglecting its needs, however, could be very expensive.

People now demand power and efficiency in their engines.
One horsepower per cubic inch is the minimum these days.
That calls for high valve lift (opening wide) and high compression.
Both of these things bring the valves and pistons closer together.
Things get really critical in diesels, with compression 16:1 or more.

With most new models, they have moved away from timing belts and returned to the more reliable chain…Or at least they have designed out the “interference” problem…

What new car these days has a timing belt and a non-interference engine? I am not aware of any.