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Timing belt in 2003 Hyundai Accent
September 5, 2007 1:25 PM   Subscribe

car question: timing belt replacement on Hyundai 2003 Accent at 60k?

From googling, it seems that most people recommend replacing the timing belt on at least some versions of the Accent (this one is a 1.6L interference engine, I understand) at this mileage.

What I would like more information on is the following, from the 60k service information the mechanic printed for me (out of ALLDATA): "In California, replacement [of the timing belt] is recommended at this mileage, but not required." What does this mean? Are there other states where it is required? Is CA overly or underly strict? Is it just that it's really hard to predict the lifespan of a rubber timing belt and this is the safest answer? (I do already understand that if the belt does go in an interference-type engine before being replaced it can cause major damage.) Thanks!
posted by advil to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total)
 
Incidentally, the mechanic seemed kind of nonplussed about this instruction too; it's not a mechanic I've used before so I don't know what that means. He said he thought it should be done because of the interference engine thing.
posted by advil at 1:34 PM on September 5, 2007


Is it just that it's really hard to predict the lifespan of a rubber timing belt and this is the safest answer?

Translates as 'it's probably ok for now, but someone will sue us if we don't cover our arses just in case" to me. It is likely more to do with litigation than anything else (like the humidity of the state or anything daft like that).

I'd replace it at 60,000 anyway. Better safe than busted valve gear...
posted by Brockles at 1:36 PM on September 5, 2007


California (and some other states) have laws saying that cars can't require major routine service before a certain mileage. So the manual can't tell you to replace the belt before that mileage, even if you really should, but it can tell you to get it inspected.
posted by phoenixy at 1:40 PM on September 5, 2007


More accurately, Some states have consumer protection laws that do not allow manufacturers to "require" certain services before X miles.

As an automechanic, I recommend replacing the timing belt, tensioner and idler pulleys every 60K miles. All the parts cost about $70.
posted by Paleoindian at 2:10 PM on September 5, 2007


That seems a bit early, but at some point it isn't a bad (nor inexpensive) thing to do if you plan on keeping the car for a long time. Unless there is some issue with this model car, I would think something like 100k is more realistic, although not as bullet proof conservative. If you are planning on selling in the near future (one year?) this is a repair to leave to the next owner. It's all about the odds. Others can advise, but only you can decide.
posted by caddis at 2:50 PM on September 5, 2007


100K is a very, very long time for a rubber belt. Especially one that will destroy your engine if it fails. 'Realistic' as a lifespan is not exactly accurate. I'd say "realistically as much as you can expect to get from one". Not exactly the same emphasis.

Timing belts can last 100,000 miles, but that is certainly not the norm for a scheduled service. I'd get it replaced anyway (and the ancillaries that Paleindian suggests). It will not necessarily hurt you from a resale point of view if that work is already done anyway, as it suggests better care of the vehicle if you can produce a 'well, we didn't need to, but we wanted to get it done, you know?" kind of story when you present the sheaf of receipts at sale negotiation time (assuming a private sale - dealers don't give a rats arse).

If you are keeping the car more than a year/10,000 miles, I'd definitely get it done.
posted by Brockles at 5:14 PM on September 5, 2007


I have a 2003 Hyundai Accent and went through this with my dealership about two months back. When I went in for the 60k service, they presented a list of repairs that were needed, and they implied that the repairs were required. When I pressed the mechanic he said that the belts are reccommended at this mileage but I did not absolutely need them at this time. He said that he would feel better if I had the timing belt replaced as a preventative measure, but it was ultimately my choice.

I did not get the repairs done and have not had any problems yet, but do plan on getting the suggested replacements within the next few months.
posted by JennyJupiter at 6:12 PM on September 5, 2007


It will not necessarily hurt you from a resale point of view if that work is already done anyway, as it suggests better care of the vehicle if you can produce a 'well, we didn't need to, but we wanted to get it done, you know?" kind of story when you present the sheaf of receipts at sale negotiation time

Oh, please. Good luck adding the whole $500 or so repair cost to the resale price of the vehicle. Only a sucker would pay full freight on that. It might get you 30% of the cost with a savvy buyer.
posted by caddis at 6:29 PM on September 5, 2007


It might get you 30% of the cost with a savvy buyer.

That's 30% more than if you didn't bother and left it in there to see if it snapped, isn't it? And a whole lot more in your pocket than a replacement engine would leave you with.

If you care to read the post again and digest the words, it was the implied care of the ownership that may help in a resale situation - the fact that maintenance was undertaken without being forced to. It 'suggests' something - a solid maintenance record- rather than proves it, which could be used to help improve this perceived resale worth, for as much, if not more, than the cost of this individual repair. It was demonstrating a general 'good practice' method of awareness of resale rather than any claim that 'you'll get your money back!'. Nothing save classic car collecting will be anything other than a loss, and I didn't suggest anything other than that.

Good maintenance, and service history, is always an aid to keeping resale prices high or is that only 'good luck' too?

A 'savvy' buyer will generally pay what the car is worth, or less if he is able to manipulate the situation to his advantage. You will always get less than average price with this kind of buyer, as you would with a dealer. A 'savvy' seller will get more than the car is worth for exactly the same reasons. Smoke and mirrors are much in evident with selling cars, and anything you can do to bolster your hand can be worth the investment. Why on earth do you ignore something that may give perceived value just in case you get a knowledgable buyer? They are a hell of a lot less frequent than you perhaps imagine...
posted by Brockles at 7:39 PM on September 5, 2007


Thanks everyone; sounds like it should probably be done without too much waiting, and that consumer protection laws are the reason for the weird wording in the manual. (Anyone who is still checking on this thread have any pointers to the particular laws, or discussions about them?)

Interestingly I am asking because I am (probably) about to buy such a car that is just short of 60k, and hasn't had this done yet -- so this is part of my quest to be a somewhat more knowledgeable buyer :-).
posted by advil at 11:22 PM on September 5, 2007


Well, from the perspective of the potential buyer, this becomes an important and necessary service item soon to be needed, so of course its cost must be deducted from the asking price. :) Good luck in your negotiations.

(Bruckles: If you invest $600 [for sake of argument as it is divisible by three] in a repair that you most likely would not have needed prior to selling your vehicle and you get an extra $200 in the sale price, then you paid $400 for peace of mind that it won't break prior to the sale. That seems steep to me. I am not accepting that you will make up the $400 in perceived care of ownership value. Conversely, I doubt advil will be successful in knocking $600, or whatever a fair price for the repair might be, off of the price of the vehicle. I would think that anything approaching half would be a successful negotiation on the point. If buying it from a dealer, then it might be possible to get them to do it prior to you leaving with the car as their cost to service it is less than your cost to buy it elsewhere.)
posted by caddis at 1:23 AM on September 6, 2007


First point - absolutely. The perspective shifts entirely if you are on the other side of the fence. Stands to reason, innit. :)

in a repair that you most likely would not have needed prior to selling your vehicle and you get an extra $200 in the sale price, then you paid $400 for peace of mind that it won't break prior to the sale.

On a sub $1000 dollar car, yes. On one nearer $3K? No.

Yes, it could be considered as 'likely you won't need', but if you are keeping the car for a year, your personal gamble massively increases (still from the initial POV of the seller). Hindsight and calculated risk doesn't really count here. It COULD fail. That is the risk you are managing, not that 'it may not'- that's relying on luck.

I don't think that $400 (especially on a car worth easily 5 or 6 times that ) is a whole lot to spend on ensuring reliable day to day personal transport and tangibly increasing the chances that the engine won't fail. You clearly take an awful lot more risks, and hold a hell of a lot more trust in the 'it probably won't break' theory than I do. I've known timing belts last 100,000 miles. I've also known ones that looked perfectly fine, but broke well before that, some as early as 60-70,000.

It is about risk, not getting your money back. There is no way to manage vehicle maintenance to make it financially viable in terms of resale - You will lose money on your car. Fact. You just balance risk against cost, reliability and longevity of the car in question. This is not an investment as such, in pure monetary terms, it is preventative maintenance and reducing the odds for peace of mind. That's worth $400 to me, and I suspect more so to people with less mechanical knowledge of the risk than me.
posted by Brockles at 5:40 AM on September 6, 2007


Bit of a long-term followup: we did end up buying this car, and got the price knocked down a bit because of the closeness to 60k. It has recently passed 60k (took a little longer than I thought) and we got the timing belt replaced; there was (as far as I know) no sign of wear, but it seemed like the best thing to do (mainly based on Brockles' answers). Basically, I tend to worry about cars that I own, and I decided that since 60k presented a specific time to do it, it was better to do it now, than spending the next 20k miles wondering whether it should have been done already, every time I or my girlfriend drives somewhere. Thanks everyone!
posted by advil at 8:53 PM on March 5, 2008


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