Should I change the cam belt in my Alfa Romeo 156?

I have a 2000 Alfa Romeo 156 1.8 Twin Spark, which I bought three years ago. It seems to be an excellent example, as the only problem I have had with it was the expiration of the original Alfa battery a couple of years ago, after a long period of not using it. The bodywork is also in really good condition and I've had it serviced every year since purchase. My question relates to the cambelt. I had this changed in May 2010 when I first owned it (at which point it was overdue) and at that stage the car had done 69,800 miles. I know the recommendation is for a change every three years or 36,000 miles. I am now on 96,000 miles. How important do you think it is for me to now change the belt again? I've had an estimate from my garage for approx £380, which I feel is reasonable. However I really can't afford it at the moment as things are a bit tight. But I definitely couldn't afford to replace the car if the engine went. Do you feel I am safe for a few more miles or is this something I really should do now?
Change the belt, tensioner, tensioner bolt, all small pulleys and waterpump together. If it snaps or comes off that's your engine wrecked, effectively turning a beautiful looking car into scrap.
Answered by Honest John on

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