My Z car hasn’t been driven more than 6000 miles since the timing belt was replaced along with the water pump, engine seal, and pulley studs. However, this was eight years ago. My mechanic is freaking out about the possibility that the belt will break and destroy my pristine engine, which is serviced once a year, even though I don’t drive it. All of my visible belts look like they are in new condition, but my mechanic says I’m skating on thin ice. He also wants to do a major tune up, even though the car run perfectly. I hate to spend the $1500.00 he wants to do all this work, but now I’m afraid to drive that car at all. What do you think? Mike
Rubber parts, including timing belts, deteriorate with age. Eight years is the generally accepted time limit for timing belts, regardless of how few miles have been driven, so I think that your mechanic is correct about the belt.
However, a major tune-up (whatever that might mean) is not warranted if the car has been driven only 6,000 miles. Have the oil & oil filter changed, but decline things like air filter replacement and spark plug replacement in view of the few miles driven.
The accessory drive belts may have deteriorated, but if they break, you will only be inconvenienced.
If the timing belt breaks, it will cause major damage to your engine.
Better safe than sorry.
Surprisingly show cars tend to cost more to their owners than daily drivers do. $1500 is peanuts for a true show car. A former boss of mine/family friend spent about 13 years and close to $60k getting a 1957 Ford Skyliner into “very good, but not quite concours/Barrett-Jackson condition”. He just recently started on a 1957 T-Bird. This is not a hobby for the faint of heart or light of wallet.
VDC is right, the timing belt needs to be changed since it’s 8 years old.