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Ford Focus (1998 - 2004) - 1.6 zetec cambelt  
1.6 zetec cambelt - John F
Have just traded in ultra-reliable Passat Est 2.0GL at 232,000. Original cambelt, but tension pulley changed about 150,000 as whining and about to seize. Belt was ok.
Wanted something bit smaller, passat getting a bit tired.
How long can I expect 'bit thicker for these engines' Ford cambelt to last? It is auto, driven gently. Is it an 'interference' engine? It's done a mere 29,000. Any reason why it shouldn't do another 200,000 without probs? Is there any info re longevity for these engines?

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 08/07/2008 at 18:56

Tags: technical issues reliability cam belts

Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Altea Ego
YOu were lucky. Try and do 230k miles in the escort with no cambelt change and you wont be lucky again. Change the belt as per the service book and you will be fine.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - kithmo
According to Service Handbook they're good for 10 years or 100k.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - DL
I'd advise no more than 60K - most other posters here would agree.

All modern multivalve engines are interference engines, together with all diesels.
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Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Galaxy
DL,

60K seems a very, very low figure then Ford quote 100K or 10 yrs. Are these extra wide belts really that likely to go, or is this 60K figure just being on the ultra cautious side?

I guess, if we really wanted to, we could have cambelts changed at every service, i.e. every 10,000 miles. I don't suppose more than a handful in the whole of the UK would ever break then, but what about the increase in servicing costs.

It's interesting to note how manufacturers have gradually back-tracked on how good these damn belts really are! "Will last the life of the car, Sir!", anyone remember that statement?!

I am surprised it has taken manufacturers so very long, but it looks as if they have, at long last, finally admitted to the considerable shortcomings of these belts and gone back to fitting far more reliable chains, which last for years and years,and, when they finally do wear, give plenty of warning.

As a matter of interest, I would be very interested to know how long owners have kept a cambelt on a Ford Zetec engine for, and, heaven forbid, whether anyone has ever been unlucky to have one of these belts break before 100K, or 80K for the pre 1998 zetec engine with the aluminium rocker covers.

Mine is a Zetec-E 2000cc and has done 60,000miles. Original belt.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - DL
Well, I can see your point of view....but you pays your money and takes your choice. Personally, I wouldn't allow a belt to run more than 60K or perhaps 6 years.
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Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - BB
As a member of the cam belt snapped early brigade, I would have to agree with DL.

I will never buy a cam belt car again, I will only buy a chain driven cam car from now on.

Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - John F
Many thanks for all your thoughts. I'll go with kith and Galaxy on this one, despite DL's photo!
VW used to say they would last the life of the engine - mine have. It seems the tension pulley is the usual culprit - and I have often heard of a belt going [this website] a few thousand miles after someone has changed it.
Does the motor industry keep statistics so we punters can know which engines to avoid or is it just anectdotal?
I believe, rightly or wrongly, that autos protect the engine components so I shall probably keep it till it breaks or starts looking flawed. Are the pulleys reliable on this engine? [which has aluminium cam covers although it's a 2000 model- genuine, I think]
If it works, don't mend it!
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - blank
As a matter of interest, I would be very interested to
know how long owners have kept a cambelt on a Ford
Zetec engine for, and, heaven forbid, whether anyone has ever been
unlucky to have one of these belts break before 100K, or
80K for the pre 1998 zetec engine with the aluminium rocker
covers.


My 1999 Mondeo 1.6 Zetec E did 70k in 4 years before I chickened out and had it changed, with tensioner and pulley.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - hutchy04
My focus zetec 1.6 has done 94000 on the original cam belt, getting it changed tomorrow
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - L'escargot
Mine is a Zetec-E 2000cc and has done 60,000miles. Original
belt.


Mine is a petrol 2 litre Zetec-E, and has done 73,000 in 5 years. The service advisor at my local (large) Ford dealer insists that they are good for 100,000 or 10 years. The shortest life they have experienced was 230,000 (yes, 230k) and even that was a secondary failure initiated by some other failure.

Diesels are a different matter entirely.
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L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - John F
Bonjour M Escargot - that's what I want to hear......almost as good as my old VW's 232,000 and 10yrs! Can anyone beat that? [I agree about diesels - any techies out there who know how many extra transient foot-pounds are needed to turn diesel cams?]

I still believe that inspection is good enough, and keep an ear out for bearing squeal - if you really want to change something at 100,000, change the pulley.

If it works, don't mend it!
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - prm
On your head be it
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Snakey
I tend to agree with the 'err on the side of caution' brigade. I change my cambelts every 40k or 4 years - just think of it as a major service. Local reputable garage did my 1.8 Zetec for £100 including the belt which I thought was reasonable.

As for Ford claiming 100k or 10 Years, when a cambelt snaps they will certainly be looking the other way! I'm convinced they upped the interval to make it look good for fleet buyers.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - mss1tw
Yoda? I thought you were dead.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Dynamic Dave
I still believe that inspection is good enough....


It depends how you inspecting it. If you're just whipping off the cover and looking, then you might as well not bother at all.

The only way you'll see cracks appearing in the belt is to physically bend and twist it. To do that properly you need to remove the belt. As you've removed the belt, you might as well fit a new one.

I cannot believe you're willing to risk the engine from going pop for the sake of £15 to £20 worth of rubber belt and around 1 hour to fit it.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - P 2501
It depends how you inspecting it. If you\'re just whipping off
the cover and looking, then you might as well not bother at all.


Amazing how many people i know of who believe this is correct though.

50,000 or 5 years seems reasonable to me, with tensioner,pulleys and water pump at 100,000.But each to his own.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Galaxy
Water pump is driven by the auxillary belt on Ford Zetec engine, not cambelt.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - P 2501
I didn't say it was! But i would replace the lot anyway.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Rolling Ronnie
Replace at 50,000. Our 2.0 let go of a pulley two months ago at 53,000 miles and Ford were totally un-interested. We have heard of at least one other since then as well.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Galaxy
I've just had my 2.0 Zetec cambelt changed at 95,000 miles. Age of old cambelt was 5 years, the original one.

It hadn't "gone" and no funny noises, either, I just thought it about time it was changed in line with Fords own recommendations.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - jc2
I'd expect a belt and tensioner fitted with sophisticated machinery on the assembly line to last a lot longer than a belt fitted by an erk in your local garage-"tension?"oh yeah-that's orlright!!!
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - caesar
Said it before but ill say it again.
You are a fool if you believe the ford 100k/10 year cambelt change.Belts do not seem to snap but the tensioner certainly gives up on you.And when your tensioner goes before the 100k/10 year go to ford and see what they have to say.
Belts covered tensioners not,Sorry sir that will be a grand please?
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - John F
Nice to see this 2yr old thread still alive - thanks for all your opinions!

jc2 and l'escargot seem to have the right idea - there must now be loads of Zetecs around with six figure mileages but I have yet to hear of cambelt probs......but continually read about belts failing shortly after being replaced.
Doing few miles these days, only 40K now so just run in. Looking forward to the belt lasting as long as the engine..which is what they are designed to do.

If it works, don't mend it!
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - caesar
If you havnt heard about cambelts giving up on the focus you want to be on the focus forum(ffoc)theres plenty on there.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - L'escargot
If you havnt heard about cambelts giving up on the focus
you want to be on the focus forum(ffoc)theres plenty on there.


The few that fail prematurely are bound to get bad press. And you won't get a blaze of publicity about the vast majority that last to Ford's recommended 100k or 10 years.
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L\'escargot.
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - caesar
The few that fail prematurely
Think you should change that to quite a few?
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Adam {P}
I've heard of one going at 70k.

My local Ford dealer hasn't, my Dad's best mate who runs a garage and engineering company hasn't, and oddly enough, I've never seen that many people having a problem with them on here either.

Where are these "quite a few" and what are they doing different to Focus drivers here in the North West?
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Number_Cruncher
>>belts failing shortly after being replaced

Yes, the job has to be done correctly - it's quite easy to damage a new belt, but, because the damage is hidden inside the structure of the belt, not be able to see it.

>>Looking forward to the belt lasting as long as the engine...

I think you are being "optimistic" - you may be lucky, you may have been lucky in the past, but, being unlucky will cost you.

Number_Cruncher
Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - DP
What's the point of risking extensive engine damage for the sake of a job which, even if you have it done at 60,000 miles at a Ford dealer would cost you £200 once every five years or so at typical annual mileages? If you do the job yourself, a decent (Gates) belt kit will cost you about £50 and take a couple of hours of your time.

Letting a cambelt go over 200,000 miles is just ludicrous. You really don't seem to understand how unbelievably lucky you were with the VW.


Ford Focus 1.6 zetec cambelt - Carrow
As a parts salesman in a Motor Factor, can I just say a big thankyou to all those who don't change your cambelt/kits, you are
the people who help us achieve our sales targets, what with all those headgasket kits, head bolt sets, valves or sometimes even new engines being sold.
Ford Focus 1.8 zetec cambelt - tensioner
So the cambelt is supposed to last as per the handbook, this may be so but my cambelt tensioner disintergrated after 37.5k nearly ruining the engine which made the cambelt irrelevant. So be aware. Contacting Ford they did not want to know saying the handbook is only a recommendation, and because my car was over 5years old,nice get out eh!!! This is a car owned from new by me regularly serviced and maintained. This resulted in a bill of £240. They also wanted to know if it was serviced by a main dealer,what this has to do with it, I have no idea or perhaps the main dealer checks the tensioner when serviced can anyone enlighten me on this. I stopped using a main dealer, when after their service I returned home and found my back brake drum red hot and smelling of burning, which resulted in the paint being burnt off the drum. They had adjusted it wrongly.
P.S. The front brake caliper siezed after 25k and needed replacing no explaination given as to why. I have had cars doing 80k or more never needing a caliper to be replaced.>> According to Service Handbook they're good for 10 years or 100k.

Ford Focus 1.8 zetec cambelt - John F
First I've heard of problematical Foci tensioners - I thought that was an old Vauxhall problem. As the years roll by it seems the petrol 1.6 Zetec is living up to its reliability claims so I shall see how long it lasts.
Sounds as though you have a Friday car, tensioner, or just v unlucky. Brakes should last for decades as long as you don't keep changing the pads. [you need to allow the piston its full run to avoid corrosion creeping up the cylinder wall]. My TR7's are 28yrs old - apart from the rear o/s piston which needed fettling 2yrs ago and now has a new rubber seal.


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