I purchased a second hand Ford Focus LX 2004 (Sedan) and it is now getting close to 200,000km. I was wondering if this car needs a timing belt replacement or not?

I looked at the maintenance guidebook and there is nothing mentioned about changing the timing belt. However, under the hood, it looks like the car has a timing belt, as there is a plastic cover on the right side of the engine (left in the picture), next to the water pump. But I am not sure, as I cannot open that plastic cover myself.

Is there any way to find out? Does anyone have the experience with this car?

P.S. It seems that the previous owner has not changed the timing belt at all. There is nothing about it in the log book. Here is a picture of the engine from top:

enter image description here

  • 1
    At 200,000km yes it needs changed soon.
    – Moab
    Dec 27, 2018 at 17:21
  • broken belt is not funniest thing. it could trash a lot of other stuff that keeps engine running Dec 28, 2018 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


Zetec with belt cover removed

From what I have read, the Zetec engines of this period using a timing belt. The image attached shows what looks to be pretty much identical to your engine but with the plastic timing gear cover removed and it's clearly a belt.

You can prise the cover back slightly and peer in with a torch to confirm yourself but if there is a chain under that plastic cover, I'd be very surprised.

  • That is a good tip, I was afraid it would break the cover. I have seen that on 2003 there is a timing belt. What surprises me is that the car has been running with the same timing belt for 15 years bearing the same belt for 197,000km. Also the fact that there is nothing in the scheduled maintenance guide. Does the oil leaks at the front indicate anything?
    – orezvani
    Dec 27, 2018 at 12:47
  • 1
    Actually, according to this list assets.gates.com/content/dam/gates/home/resources/…, there is a timing belt in there which needs to be replaced after 120,000km.
    – orezvani
    Dec 27, 2018 at 13:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .