When should I change the timing belt on my 2003 Mazda MX-5?
I have a 2003 Mazda MX-5. The timing belt was changed in 2013 and the recommended change is every five years or every 50,000 miles. It has now done 94,000 miles. I could do with changing the car but worried the belt will go before I can exchange it. What would you recommend and how much is the car worth? It's 1.8-litre.
The first thing to mention is that this is a non-interference engine, which means that if the timing belt goes before you have a chance to change it the pistons won't smash into the valves and basically scrap the engine - but that's not to say you should run it until it the belt goes! For a bit more info, we spoke to Garath Smith, a specialist at The MX5 Restorer. He said, 'Our price to supply and fit a new cambelt including tensioner and idler pulleys is £170 plus VAT. But it's also a good idea to change the water pump at the same time, this adds £70 plus VAT to the job.' Depending on how much you want to spend, there are a couple of other jobs that you might consider doing while you're there, such as the cam cover gasket and the front and engine oil seals (but only if they're leaking). For more info, check out www.themx5restorer.co.uk.
Answered by Keith Moody on