Timing Belt replacement

My wife’s 2005 Elantra has approximately 30,000 miles on it since she mainly uses it to go shopping and scoot around town. My question is whether I should change the timing belt because the car is 8 years old and the belt may be reaching its limit due to age, or stick to the recommended 60,000 miles as suggested in the manual. I’ve received conflicting answers from the service managers at a couple of Hyundai dealers.

If I’m not mistaken I think the car’s engine is an interference type and I’d hate for it to spit out it’s valves (or do whatever an interference engine does when the belt fails) since my wife loves the car and will give me grief if I ruin it. Any thoughts out there? I have a 2008 Elantra with 35,000 miles and though it is newer, I guess it also has an interference engine and the same question may apply to my car as well.

TIME plays havoc with rubber , constantly flexing, parts.
I vote ;
change it.
Especially now that you’ve brought it up. The mere mention of it now is a clue.

Just last week I lost my serpentine belt which we thought was ok at last oil change inspection.
But I guess its thickness had worn over time and at one point of turning on tha A/C I heard a bump/hesitation that seemed odd. Two miles down the road…no power steering, battery warning, engine light…all told me ''no more fan belt.
sure enough it was now in shreads. We surmise that the jolt of the A/C engaging cuased the worn out belt to jump over maybe a groove or two continuing to work until that hanging two grooves became sliced off and flailing into the rotating pulleys and remaing belt tearing all the belt to pieces. That flailing belt broke a wire harness too.
A new belt and wire repair later and there were no additional problems ( all pulleys still good )

Timely timing belt maintainence ( not just by looks ) is going to keep YOU from major engine damage .

The answer is to check the Hyundai Maintenance Schedule, which should be in your glove compartment, either contained in the Owner’s Manual, or in a separate booklet with an appropriate title. The reason why I say that is because maintenance intervals on modern cars are always stated as, “X miles or X months, whichever comes first”.

When it comes to timing belts, the interval is usually 105,000 miles or 96 months, whichever comes first, but some Hyundais have had shorter intervals for both odometer mileage and for elapsed time. The, “whichever comes first”, proviso is for drivers like you who accumulate miles much more slowly than most.

Rubber, which comprises most of the timing belt, dries out over time, so elapsed time is just as important as actual odometer mileage when considering when to change it. Hence, the manufacturer’s listing of, “X miles or X months, whichever comes first”.

You are correct that you don’t want to experience a snapped timing belt, both from a monetary perspective and from a safety perspective. Check the exact wording in the mfr’s maintenance schedule, and act accordingly.

I looked up Hyundai recommended maintenance for this car. Timing belt inspection is recommended at 30,000 miles and replacement at 60,000 miles for both normal and severe service. There is no mention of age. Hyundai asks for the year and mileage; you might expect they would say to replace based on age if it is a consideration. Check your manual again, and here’s the maintenance schedule at their URL:


Check the build tag on the door jam and you may likely find that the car is closer to 9 years old.
There are other factors besides age and miles involved.and that involves oil or coolant vapor in the belt case from minute leakge, temperature extremes, and so on.

Personally, I’m not big on allowing a belt on an interference fit engine to languish in the belt case for 8 or 9 years. It’s an expensive gamble.

Belt inspections don’t really mean that much unless it’s dry rotted to oblivion. Most belts that snap may have looked like new just before they gave up.


I would be shocked if I were to read someone here advise you not to change your timing belt now.

I asked the same question a couple of years ago and followed the advice of the many here who know much more about these things and I’m glad I did.

Performing regular maintenance and checking in here from time to time for advice keeps my 2002 Toyota Tundra running as good as new.

I’m going with the obvious here and recommend that you change the belt. I checked my neighbor’s timing belt on her Kia just a couple of months ago while changing her drive belts. I pulled the belt over to get a good looked at it and it snapped. I advised her to go and buy some lottery tickets along with a new timing belt, water pump and coolant.