I'm currently trying to work out whether its worth changing the cambelt on my 1998 38K Miles 1.25 Fiesta Zetec. Generally in the past I've worked on the 4 years/40K rule, but various Ford dealers are adamant that 10 years/100K is the interval.
Is it just me or is that a huge gap? And it seems a little strange that the 1.4 Zetec has an official interval of 5 years/80K - which my car falls into on the age range anyway.
I know its safer to err on the side of caution but I'm also not in a hurry to spend 100 quid or more on a job that genuinely doesnt need doing for another 3 years or so! (this car only does 8k miles a year)
My Focus is just about to hit 40k, unfortunately Ford are very clear on that one, 4 years/40K! So thats another 140 quid!
I'm vary wary of manufacturer recommended intervals since the belt in my Dad's 309 SRi went at 41K taking most of the valves with it at the same time.
This 11 yr old car had a Full Peugeot Service History at the time, so naturally I questioned when the timing belt should have been changed.
Apparently, for that model year Peugeot specified no cambelt change during the life of the car! The next model year specified regular changes at 40K/4 years.
I contacted Peugeot UK, who justified this saying that the original cam belt on my Dad's model year (87) was of a different material to the later model years (88 on).
Yeah right! More like they realised that this cam belt for life policy didn't work so they made a subtle change to the service requirements without sending out appropriate service bullitens!
Ironically, any backstreet garage would have pressed for a cambelt change asap. If the belt had had another 500 miles left in it. I would have almost certainly got it done when I bought the car from him!
hmm don't just replace the belt. Eaxamine very carefully all rollers and tensioners for ANY signs of roughness by spinning by hand also any signs of sideplay (shiny surface on one side on not t'other). If they fail, new belt is not worth tuppence and you will end up MUCH poorer.
Persoanlly I think any belt> 5 years old in a hot and cold oily environment is likely to fail at any moment and certainly after 7 years it's just risking too much.
No matter how well designed if you subject anything to periodic stretching , rotation, sideplay, heat and cold the teeth will start to wear.. It's amazing how much better engines run after a new belt is fitted as engine timing is restored to amnufacturer's settings.. Worth the cost in fuel consumption alone.
See other thread on Audi A4 tdi expenses on bent valves:-(
I normally change timing belts myself but with this Fiesta you need a few extra tools to do it properly and its not worth buying them/renting them as the garage has quoted 70 quid to fit one,plus 30 for the belt.
Which doesn't seem to bad for a modern(ie transverse!) engine.
My old Omega had many(many,many) faults, but changing the timing belt took me only 1/2 hour - the benefit of a longitudinally mounted 4 cylinder engine!
Next its my 1.8 Focus. Which looks even trickier for the cambelt change as you apparently have to almost remove the camshaft sprockets.