2002 mazda protege timing belt inspection

Is there anyway to check the timing belt on a 2002 protege 2.0 dohc motor?

Has it been replaced? Check the manual and replace on mileage or time. Will either leave you stranded or it will kill the engine.

Bought car from dealer for my daughter had 72000 miles on it and dealer said it was replaced by former owner. I checked car fax and she was very good with her maintenance but I still would like to check it. Is there any easy way?

You cannot inspect it and gather any information. Many look still new and good condition even though they are due to be changed.

As andrew_j noted a visual inspection would be ambiguous at best.

If the belt was replaced at a dealer then any Mazda dealer can probably pull up all of its dealer service records using the VIN.

But it won’t pull up anything done elsewhere. So if Mazda has no record of it you can’t really draw any conclusion from that.

A Carfax tells you almost nothing - especially about past maintenance/repair.

A dealer says lot of things about cars. Some of it is true, some stretching the truth, some of it is downright goofy, and some may be bald faced lies.

If the dealer claims the belt has been replaced then ask them how they know this and to prove it.
Unless there’s paper to back it up you should always consider this as a job that has not been done.

According to what I saw on the Gates Belt site, yours is not an interference engine so if the timing belt breaks, the engine will stop but will not be damaged due to pistons and valves crashing. You could run as is for a while and deal with a stopped engine if it should happen with a phone call and a tow hopefully in the best of circumstances or possibly worse as the case may be.

I agree with others, that a used timing belt shows little or no visual wear and there is no commonly available method to check the belt for materials degradation. The teeth on my belts appear like new at 60,000 miles and there is some scuffing on the back side of the belts.

If you get a new belt, don’t forget any idler/tensioner pulley(s) or water pump if it is driven by the timing belt. If these fail, they can take out the new belt.

i have found if there is any doubt as to when/if the TB has been replaces or if the jobs was done correctly just bite the bullet and get it replaced.