Apart from the visible condition of the belt. which is explained fully later in this section. there are several other factors which must be considered when checking a timing belt:

1. Is the belt an original or a replacement

2. When was the belt last replaced and was it at the correct mileage

3. Is the service history of the vehicle known

4. Has the vehicle been operated under arduous conditions which might warrant a shorter replacement interval

5 Is the general condition of other components in the camshaft drive, such as the tensioner, pulleys, and other ancillary components driven by the timing belt, typically the water pump, sound enough to ensure that the life of the replacement belt will not be affected

6. If the condition of the existing belt appears good. can you be satisfied that the belt will not fail before the next check or service is due

7. If the belt does fail, have you considered the consequences. If the engine is an ‘interference’ type then considerable expensive damage may well be the result.

8. The cost of replacing a belt as part of a routine service could be as little as 5to 10% of the repair cost following a belt failure. Make sure you are aware of the consequences.

9. If in doubt about the condition of the belt - RENEW it.

*Where possible the recommended intervals have been compiled from vehicle manufacturers information. In a few instances no recommendation has been made by the manufacturer and the decision to replace the belt must be made from the evidence of a thorough examination of the condition of the existing belt.*