Mazda 323,Mazda 626 & Mazda 929 Whether the compact 323, the mid sized 626, or the full sized 929, these vehicles remain very popular even though production has stopped.

323 timing belt

  #1  
Old 11-22-2011, 06:03 AM
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Default 323 timing belt

I have a 2003 323 1.6 Auto which has only covered 37,000 miles. The service book states that the belt should be inspected at 54K miles and changed at 90K. I only do 3K miles per year now so it would be approx 13 years old by the time the 54K inspection is due.

Is it possible that the belt could deteriorate just due to age irrespective of mileage and need inspecting earlier,if so is it easy to inspect?

I ask because my son has a VW group car and belt changes are recommended at 4 years irrespective of mileage, but no mention of this is made in my 323 owners manual.
 
  #2  
Old 11-25-2011, 10:50 PM
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Hi, I asked a similar question a few months ago, regarding my just purchased 1991 929 with 63000 km on the clock. I also asked if anyone had had a failure under the 105,000km recommended replacement intervals. No answer so, presumably no failures. My mechanic says there is no need to replace the belt under 105,000km. I also asked the Service Dept. of the Australian Mazda Importer, if there was any time recommendation for low mileage cars, or if distance is their only criteria for belt replacement. They stated 3 times (I was fairly persistent) that time is not an issue with Mazda timing belts (despite mine being 20 years old) and distance is the only factor involved. I can't say much more, other than that I have now done a further 5000km, without trouble. Rgds., David
 
  #3  
Old 11-27-2011, 05:46 AM
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Thanks David, very comprehensive investigation that you carried out and most reassuring.

When the timing belt on my son's VW was changed after 5 years on the time basis it looked in very good condition from a visual inspection. At the same time we were advised to have the water pump and all pulleys and tensioning wheels replaced. These again looked perfect, but they are plastic and I believe in the past they have been know to suddenly shatter and cause the belt to come off. I think it is much more the likelyhood of this happening than the belt breaking which leads VW to advise all these components are changed after 4 years regardless of mileage.

I have now decided not to change the belt until the recommended mileage (54K) and feel far more confident in doing so.

Thanks again, Tony
 
  #4  
Old 11-27-2011, 05:49 AM
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Previous detail slightly wrong, should be inspection at 54K, to change belt at 90K.
Tony
 
  #5  
Old 11-28-2011, 03:06 AM
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I think you are talking in terms of miles. I'm speaking of kilometers. Please bare that in mind. (Roughly, 1km=5/8 1mile). Remember we are talking about different models, but I would make sure the 54,000 mile timing belt inspection was done. I am possibly sensitive to timing belt service lives due to the fact I was Warranty Manager with BMW Australia when the BMW 323 was first released. It took many belt failures (with destroyed engines) and a lot of persuasion for the factory to recognise the belts had a service life. That is also why I was so persistent with my inquiries of Mazda. Regards, David
 

Last edited by iphoenix; 11-28-2011 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Clarification
  #6  
Old 12-24-2011, 01:10 AM
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Default mazda belts are good for it

the belts are rubber, and rubber does dry out. the interval was set by mazda to prevent premature failure. 96K km is the min. milage that these would ever fail at regardless of age.
 
  #7  
Old 12-24-2011, 04:45 PM
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Thanks 2tall, it's nice to have further confirmation of what I've been told about the timing belts' lifetime.
 

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