Timing belt change

I have a 2001 PT Cruiser with 114000 miles. The manual says a timing belt change is due at 120,000. However my trusted mechanic says it is not absolutely necessary to change the belt at 120,000. The change will be expensive and money has been tight. Suggestions?

It’s your car and your risk, not the mechanic’s. The belt is obviously not designed to snap at exactly 120,000 miles; nearly all car components have a safety factor built in. However, on some makes, such as Volkswagens and Chevy Aveos, the belts have been known to snap BEFORE the change out period.

Your manual will also have a TIME interval for changing out the belt; I’m sure it is not more than 9 years. Please check the manual.

If you are asking this panel whether it is OK to not change the belt, the answer will be NO. However, postponing it a few months is OK if you’re tight for cash right now.

Your trusted mechanic is wrong. The owners manual schedule must be followed as normal maintenance. The mechanic may be saying this because your engine is a non-interference type but the belt still needs to be changed. If it fails at 75mph on the interstate you could be in a lot of trouble if there was a lot of heavy traffic around you. Belts wear out by age and use (mileage) so always follow your owners manual instructions for maintenance. The timing belt could last another 10K or break in the next few miles. Is that a gamble you want to take?


A mechanic who tells you something like this should not be completely trusted because he’s dead wrong.

Belts are also under time constraints along with mileage. (and 120k miles is really pushing it)
Since your vehicle was probably built in 2000 and 6 years is about the limit this means you’re about 3-4 years past due.