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Viva Elite - When to replace the timing belt?


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I know in the manual it says in every 100,000 km to replace the timing belt. But in SL what is the practical mileage you have to change the belt. My car's current mileage is 65,000 km and 8 years old (1st owner). I am specially asking this because, after the latest service I am hearing a small noise which probably generated from a belt when I start the car. So I am worried it is coming from the timing belt.

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So...don't get your knickers in a twist...

1. When you say there is a noise...what noise ? It is typical for serpentine belts (fan/alternator/compressor belts) to slip. it very well could be that.

2. Typically you don't hear timing belts make noice unless something like a tensioner is gone out of placement or one of the gears themselves have something broken. Typically a timing belt is either broken or not...there are no noises or anything that are indicative of the timing belt needing replacement. SOmetimes there are some sideeffects you may or may not notice but that is also not a guarantee as you will not always get such symptoms.

3. Usually timing belt replacement is around 100,000km or 10 years (which ever come first) for cars under normal use. For severe use cars (ie. cars that do short runs all the time...be stuck in traffic for long long periods of time...used under heavy load, etc...) it goes down to about 75,000km or 7 years on average. In Sri Lanka, you are looking at severe use conditions if you are using the car as a daily driver (especially in a area like Colombo). In SL the issue is when people buy (used) cars, the mileage is fake 99.9% of the time so people are told to change it when they buy a car even if the meter shows a low mileage.

4. For your car, the stats, 65,000km 8 years; does not necessarily mean you need a timing belt change. So do not jump to conclusions. The noise you are hearing could be something else; like a fan belt or  a clutch/razor of something like the alternator or a compressor. So the issue might be a lot simpler than the effort required for a timing belt change; OR it could be something more serious than just a timing belt change :) So take it to a reputable garage..get it diagnosed.

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