Well, it all depends on if the engine has a "interferance" fit between the piston and valves. If it does and the belt breaks, it'll cost you several thousand dollars to fix. If it doesn't, then drive till it breaks and call a wrecker.
Most manufacturers suggest the belt be replaced between 60k-80K miles.
GET IT CHANGED. I have seen the results of a broken belt when the engine was at a light. There were valve impressions on each pistons. The valves were bent but everything else was good. An easy fix but still costly. They were very lucky.
I have seen the results of a engine that was on the road and had the belt brake. The valves were bent, the pistons were toast with holes in them from the valve and the head was cracked. Almost needed a new engine but they repaired it. New pistons, new head. Do the math and you will see the belt is cheaper.
I replace my belt every 60 to 70,000 miles. Mine is due this summer and I will do it. Its cheaper then if I don't.
Having had to make up the invoices for timing belt replacements and, worse yet, the repairs after they break, I won't own an engine without a timing chain. Change the oil on schedule and they last forever.
I just bought a new vehicle with a DOHC engine three months ago and waited to finalize the transaction until I found an exploded view of it to make sure it had a timing chain and that was after checking the maintenance recommendations and finding no timing belt change interval.
But to answer the original question, yes - have the belt changed. And make sure an original equipment belt is used. If it breaks during its warranty period, the labor to replace it as well as towing is covered by its warranty. Buy an aftermarket belt and all its warranty usually covers is the part itself.
Boy, that's for sure! The warranty time to just replace the generator was three hours and change. Thankfully, we only had that POS engine a couple of years and we didn't stock any cars with it after the first few.
I have to comment on the non-dealership recommendation for no other reason than the parts warranty. Independent shops usually use aftermarket parts and if one of them fails during its warranty period - even if that is "lifetime" - the parts house isn't paying the towing and labor and neither is the independent shop if you aren't an established and very good client. Any time a very involved repair is being performed, a dealership isn't a bad idea. Smaller jobs are different - the shop might eat the labor and if not, it probably wouldn't be a hateful amount. But when several hundred dolars might be at risk, you could easily cost yourself twice the money you saved.
And yes, I've seen replacement timing belts fail early on.
Also, be sure you have the timing belt tensioner replaced at the same time. If it fails, it will take that new belt and possibly the engine with it and the belt's warranty won't apply since it was damaged by another part. Most shops will strongly recommend a new tensioner and coolant pump any time they're doing a timing belt. It costs more at the time but you're getting a new tensioner and pump for very little more than the price of the parts since so much in that area is opened up to replace the belt.
For around $20, you can buy a Chilton's book on the vehicle and it will walk you through, step by step how to change the timing belt. It may take you the better part of the day, but none of them are really that hard to do in my opinion.
That's true. The trickiest part is keeping the timing belt sprocket(s) from moving after the belt comes off. My techs put a long-nose Vice Grip on each pair of sprockets before loosening the belt tensioner. That way, it doesn't matter where the timing marks are because the camshaft timing cannot change.
No matter if it has an interference engine or not. If that belt breaks your butt is stranded. Been there done that. I thought the same damn thing about changing a timing belt on a perfectly good running engine. The time I spent in the Lowes parking lot waiting for the wrecker on that hot July night gave me a whole new perspective.
It should be based on the dollars and cents of the issue. Cost of replacement and what the value of the car is. If it dies because of damage to the engine due to the timming belt and the cars not worth much keep driving it. If you rely on the car to get you to work and can't afford to buy another car then replace the belt. We're it me I'd replace the belt
Bvr Tail, I agree with you. If your into something and find the water pump, alt or what ever needs to be replaced DO IT WHILE EVERYTHING IS TORN DOWN. If not you will just be doing it again. Not fun to do something twice.
Tron I agree with you about the auto book and doing it yourself. How ever I'm sure you have had to put a car or two back together from Mr I Can Fix I Myself person. LOL. I for one know how to fix things but I also know when to back off and let someone else do the work.
I once worked for an independent garage, and the owner insisted on fixing things properly, or not at all.
An older customer brought in a 1 ton truck over 15 years old (about a 1965)that had been used on a dairy farm. It needed a major brake job...all linings, wheel cyls, rubber and hard lines, and a master cyl.(leaking through).
Estimate was about $1600.00.
The owner became outraged, and insisted he could fix it himself for less, and demanded we put it back together, and he would come get it.
The boss made him sign a waiver, to release the garage of liability, which he did.
The farmer came back about two weeks later, and said he was never coming back there again, because he had a kid come out to the farm, and put new "brakes" on it for $169.00!
That was fine with my boss because he didn't want to half-a** a repair, especially a brake job!
Three days later, we heard the farmers son was driving the truck into their shop, when a brake hose broke, and he ran into their combine, doing several thousand dollars in damage!