I have yet to talk to anyone who has replaced a timing belt as preventive maintenance. Why should I do it?
I need your advice. I have a 1991 Nissan Maxima with 69,000 miles. The
dealer tells me I'm driving on borrowed time by not having the timing belt
changed. The guys at my office think I'm nuts for even considering such a
thing when the car is running fine. I have yet to talk to anyone who has
replaced a timing belt as preventive maintenance. -- Debbie
RAY: Until now! I've replaced timing belts as preventive maintenance a
TOM: How many is a jillion? Is that one more zero than a bazillion?
RAY: We recommend that all of our customers with timing belts have them
changed at 60,000, for two reasons.
TOM: Reason No.1 is that when the timing belt breaks, the car stops
running. And that can be inconvenient if you happen to be a quarter of a
jillion miles from home when it breaks.
RAY: But the other reason is that some cars have engines that are designed
in such a way that when the timing belt breaks, the valves get crushed and
sometimes the entire engine gets ruined. And guess what, Debbie. You've got
one of those cars!
TOM: Right. Nissans and Hondas fall into that "motor-wrecker" category,
among others. So for you, it's especially important that you change the
belt at 60,000 miles -- or in your case, 69,001 (i.e., as soon as
possible). It'll cost you a couple of hundred dollars to replace the belt.
But that's nothing compared to the 2.6 bazillion you'll spend on a new
engine if the timing belt breaks before you get to it.