I have a 2002 Hyundai XG350 that I purchased new in January of 2003. Mileage is low ( 43,500) and 99% of my driving is in town with an occasional (2 or 3) highway trips a year (not over 100 miles) . The maintenance book says to change the timing belt at 60K miles or 4 years. I have had the car for 9 years…My question is…have I waited too long? I am not having problems with it at this point…Thanks , BIG AL…Thanks for your help!
You need to make it a priority to get it changed soonest. Even though your mileage is low, the belt also deterioriates due to time, and you are well over Hyundai’s time estimate/recommendation.
You will not have any warning when it breaks, so getting it done is important if you don’t want to be either inconvenienced or suffer other engine issues when it does break.
As You Are Probably Aware, “60K miles or 4 years,” Doesn’t MeanThat It’s Ones Choice To Change It At Either Limit, But Rather It Means To Change It At Whichever Occurs First. In Your Case It Was 4 Years And It’s Been Twice That Long !
“I am not having problems with it at this point…”
. . . You probably won’t have any problems at all and probably no warning that it’s about to break.
Besides stranding the car and driver, a broken timing belt does catastrophic engine damage to a majority of cars, as most are of an “interference engine” design. When the belt lets go the pistons and valves collide and the minimal damage is usually bent valves.
Should you be fortunate to have a non-interference engine design and the belt brakes, car and driver will still be stranded, but the engine will just free-wheel to a stop, usually with no damage. However, in certain traffic situations this can be dangerous.
SHOOT AROUND FOR PRICES for the belt and other service. Some of the differences in costs per dealer and other shops are stunningly different!!
Need to find out exactly what they propose to do. Choices are: timing belt alone (usually cheapest); timing belt kit including tensioners; kit plus water pump. There may be some other choices.
I recommend at the age of your car, go ahead and do the whole she-bang–timing belt kit w/ tensioners, any seals that may need replacement and the water pump. Reason is that labor is only slightly higher to get it all done, and if you have to go back and get any of the other stuff done later, your labor costs is effectively doubled.
In the big picture, a skilled independent will usually beat a dealer price, but not always. Price range in my area runs $700 to $950 for my recommendation (#3).