Ford C Max 1.6 petrol - HAS the cambelt been changed? - Starman999

I'm in the market for a cheap used car and have come across the above vehicle, which seems promising. The private seller (who sounds like an 'old boy'!) swears he has had the cambelt and waterpump changed a year ago but has lost the related paperwork and also lost touch with the mobile mechanic who did the work! Sounds like a story, I know, but... he sounded genuine. The car happens to be local to where I live...

Now I know little about cars so please excuse what is possibly a silly question here: Is there any way (that's not labour intensive!) that someone in the know could determine if the cambelt looks newish through visual inspection?

Ford C Max 1.6 petrol - HAS the cambelt been changed? - RobJP

Unless you have absolute proof that it has been done, then you must assume it has not been changed.

A belt might 'look' new, but you can achieve the same effect by spraying some polish on it (you can even buy 'belt dressing spray').

Ford C Max 1.6 petrol - HAS the cambelt been changed? - elekie&a/c doctor

Another posibilty is to get the cambelt cover removed and check for any identification marks on the cambelt. There may be a date stamp printed on the belt.

Ford C Max 1.6 petrol - HAS the cambelt been changed? - gordonbennet

Removing the cover and examining the belt should prove one way or the other with such a recent change, for a kick off the printing of the belt specs on the outside would most likely still be easily read (chances are after 5 years or 50k miles they'll be almost worn off), then a close up with a torch and magnifying glass on the toothed side where it stretches the wrong way over an idler or similar would show the true condition of the teeth.

A new tensioner wheel/idler/water pump would also be obvious once inside the cover, so check those too in case the belt alone was changed.

Ford C Max 1.6 petrol - HAS the cambelt been changed? - Starman999

So is removing the cover a quick job? (The car is so near to me that I'd hope to take it to my local friendly mechanic to do this, but it's not worth it if it's anything more than a quick job!!)

Ford C Max 1.6 petrol - HAS the cambelt been changed? - gordonbennet

Not sure about the Ford, some cars have a split cover, the top section of which is usually a two minute job to remove, however that often only shows the untoothed side of the belt with very restricted vision below, the lower section could be an easy 5 minute removal or an hours cursing and hand shredding, hopefully the former.

Might be worth a poke nose on Youtube for cambelt changes on your potential purchase, there are some very good instructionla videos to be found for all sorts of car jobs.

Ford C Max 1.6 petrol - HAS the cambelt been changed? - Galaxy

You might be able to tell by taking the cambelt cover off and seeing whether the printing is still present on the outside of the belt. If the belt has been changed fairly recently then this should still be quite clearly readable. If it hasn't then it will have disappeared.

My brother once bought a Ford Mondeo which was six years old but had only done 12,000 miles. In accordance with Ford's recommendations, based upon age, he had the cambelt changed and the garage gave him back the removed belt. You could still clearly read the manufacturers name (Gates) and various other details which were printed on the belt.

Ford C Max 1.6 petrol - HAS the cambelt been changed? - John F

.....please excuse what is possibly a silly question here: Is there any way (that's not labour intensive!) that someone in the know could determine if the cambelt looks newish through visual inspection?

No question is 'silly', unless it's asked repeatedly without learning the answer. Far more silly is not asking about what you don't know.

You can't judge the age of a belt (either years or distance) just by looking at it, unless it is so new the ink is still on it. Our 1.6 Zetec cambelt looked fine last time I inspected it, and it's 17yrs old.

The Ford Zetec 1.6 cambelt arrangement (it only drives the cams and a tension pulley) was designed to last the life of the engine - the 10yr/100,000m change advice is merely precautionary. Time and numbers have proved it to be a good design. I suspect more damage might have been done to these engines from unnecessarily early cack-handed changes than would have occured had they been left alone.

The water pump is driven by the poly-v auxiliary belt. This also is sturdy - ours looks and sounds fine at 127,000m.

(haven't heard from skidpan for a bit....;-)

 

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