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Belts and Hoses--When to replace?

I have a 2003 Mazda MPV with 55,000 miles on it (and no problems). As it approaches its 6th anniversary, I would usually replace the belts, radiator, and heater hoses. However, the manual does not recommend replacing these items at any point–just endless inspections.

So am I just wasting money and expensive rubber? I have to get the coolant changed, should I let them inspect the rubber and go with their recommendation?

A caveat–my partner grew up with a 5 year replacement guideline for these items, so I am already in danger by that measure.

If today’s (or 2003’s) rubber components are improved enough to void this guidance, I’ll go with inspections. We just don’t want any trouble. We will keep this vehicle for another couple years tops.


5yrs or 100k is a good number. I like to replace them before they get iffy.

Can you find a rough price for doing the belts and a rough price for doing the hoses? Knowing that would help.

It does seem like belts last much longer than the old days.

I normally keep inspecting the belts for any cracking or fraying, and replace as necessary.

However, if I were to take your car on a long trip, I would change them all to avoid roadside problems ruining my vacation.

I worked in Saudi Arabia, and there they changed all belts and hoses every 2 years. Getting stuck in thedesert at 105 degrees is just too risky.

I have a 2001 MPV with 120K on it, and just had the 120K service done by my trusted mechanic. He did not recommend changing the hoses or belts, until some evidence of cracking or fraying. It appears the products are that good. I will continue to defer to his judgement.

Note that my 95 F350 still has original hoses and is doing just fine, so I do have some positive experience level associated with inspecting and watching.

At 5 year intervals is a reasonable interval. Now, you can change them at your convienence. Later, it could be at your inconvienence.

Does your car have a timing belt? If so, just get the belts replaced when you get the timing belt replaced. When you do it that way, there should be no additional labor cost since they have to remove and reinstall the belts anyway.

As for the hoses, I would go with 10 years or 100,000 miles and I would combine it with a coolant change to minimize the labor cost.