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I would like to know how is my timing belt looking? Does it appear that it is about time for a change? I do not see obvious signs of cracking but the upper side of the belt does look glossy though not the underside. I do notice the belt rides a bit to the edge instead of the centre of the pulley, is this a problem?

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Nov 24, 2023 at 12:14
  • Remember that in a 4-stroke engine, the lower pulley is half the diameter, has half the number of teeth, and the belt does not wrap as far round the circumference. The usual mode of failure is the crankshaft pulley ripping off those few teeth, not the belt breaking. The belt that failed on me looked to have a lot less surface wear than yours. (I got lucky -- mine failed on starting and did zero damage.) Nov 25, 2023 at 8:27

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There is just about no way to know the viability of a timing belt by looking at it. Your belt could last another 100k miles or it might pop tomorrow. This is why it is important to follow the change intervals given by the manufacturer. Most require a change at 60k miles (100,000 km) while others stretch it out to 100k miles (160,000 km). The longer change interval is usually with belts which are made of Kevlar.

That said, if you do not know the mileage on your belt, change it. It is better to spend the money for a belt now versus paying for an engine later.

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There is nothing to worry about on these pictures.

Sane timing belts look more or less like this - smooth rubber surface, no cracks, no loose fiber, no de-lamination, no extra wear of the teeth.

This particular one looks even rather new.

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