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Timing Belt - how to tell if its been changed?

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Old 27 Sep 2010, 12:51 pm
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Location: The South
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Question Timing Belt - how to tell if its been changed?

My awesome fiance' bought me a 2001 PT Cruiser for my birthday last month. It was a total surprise. It has 107k miles so I am worried about the timing belt. How can I tell if it has been replaced? It runs very good and looks very good too - so I wanna keep it that way!

We have no history on this car, it was a repo bought at auction by a dealer. I know the dealer had a new clutch put in and his mechanic did not put any bushings back over the cables, they were just laying in position - I figured it out when I was going down the road and lost my gears! lol. I fixed the problem by buying generic bushings at a hardware store.

I have always heard that you should never buy a car made on a Monday or a Friday - this car was made in Mexico on Friday, May 12, 2000 @ 11pm... I'm okay with it though :-)

Being an early build, it has a 3 gang window switch in the dash - driver side is not working, and I have not been able to find a replacement. It also has a rattle and knock from the rear when going over bumps that is driving me crazy! The only other problem is the moonroof - my fiance' decided to close it the day after I bought it and it hasn't worked right since -- the mechanisms are plastic and I know he somehow broke 2 pieces. sigh.

I can't wait to start personalizing my PT, but first I want to make sure I do any preventative maintenance that will help ensure a long engine life. Any advice is majorly appreciated! Best oil? Air Filter? Things to look for and check out?

Thanks for any help or advice! Happy Cruising :-)

Dana's 2001 Limited
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Old 27 Sep 2010, 08:34 pm
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Default Re: Timing Belt - how to tell if its been changed?

It's kinda hard to tell but the best sings to look for is bolt heads that may have a scarring on them and the condition of the drive belts. Typically when a timing belt is done the drive belts are replaced. Also look to see if the patina on the timing covers matches the rest of the engine. Could indicate new covers. Other than that it's kind of a guess.
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Old 28 Sep 2010, 07:53 am
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Location: Felton, Delaware
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Default Re: Timing Belt - how to tell if its been changed?

Originally Posted by dana View Post
Best oil? Air Filter? Things to look for and check out?

Thanks for any help or advice! Happy Cruising :-)
Mobil 1. Buy at WalMart in 5-qt jugs - perfect because the PT takes 5 qts.
Consider doing spark Plugs & wires - RaceAndStreet sells the wires, the stock Champion plugs aren't bad - gap at 0.040.
There's a post on how to do the plugs/wires in the tech/performance forum.
Buy a dial tire gauge and use it. The pressure in on a sticker inside driver's door - I go 2-3 PSI above for better mileage.
Get a K&N air filter - they can be cleaned and re-used - about $45. (cleaning kit is $15).

The rattle/knock in rear -
Check the spare tire and exhaust hangers. If not, might be Watts linkage - not that expensive.
"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov"

'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 29 Sep 2010, 03:21 am
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
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Default Re: Timing Belt - how to tell if its been changed?

If you have the ability to pop the cover off to take a look at the belt itself, check to see if you can see 'ridges' on the outside of the belt indicating wear. If you can see or feel ridges through the belt, it's typically a sign that the belt has worn down or compressed from usage and probably needs to be replaced.
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2003 GT (6262, the works)
2001 PT MTX-Swapped/Turbo

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