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I have a newly acquired 2004 Arctic 2.5 special edition. At 18yrs old, it has only done 26,000 miles.
Should I change the timing belt on account of age rather than mileage?
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Spending the kid's inheritance .............
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Timing belts on low mileage cars should certainly be changed on age rather than mileage.

Having said that, I believe that the Mk2.5 engine is non-interference so a mishap with a timing belt would be inconvenient rather than engine destroyer !
 

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Having fun topdown in my MX5
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So they say but I still wouldn't want it to snap whilst driving up a smart motorway, they never snap whilst in the garage Murphy's law.
Not MX5 related, but many years ago I had a Ford Escort, and one Saturday I went to visit some friends, about a 200 mile round trip, and as I reversed into the drive at the end of a long day, the car cut out and refused to restart. I got it towed to the garage, and was told it needed a new timing belt, but despite being an interference engine, there was no damage whatsoever. Lucky or what!

In contrast, my parents had a Fiesta with the same engine, owned from new, and serviced in accordance with Ford's service schedule, which some time later had the timing belt fail at relatively low speed, causing quite a bit of damage to the engine.
 

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It is regarded as good form to change the water pump while in there.
Also, probably obvious, the timing belt tensioner but that might even come with your belt.
However, use a Mazda pump.;)
Back in the day, there were a few second division versions around.
Some had plastic vanes painted silver (!) which over time could actually weaken & break off with antifreeze chemical erosion.
 

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Aedificantium in viridi Apparatus
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I have a newly acquired 2004 Arctic 2.5 special edition. At 18yrs old, it has only done 26,000 miles.
Should I change the timing belt on account of age rather than mileage?
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100% yes.

Bear in mind that even when stored in relatively ideal conditions many of this type of component do have a shelf life, usually 10-12 years if stored away from excessive temps at both ends of the scale and away from UV light.
 
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Aedificantium in viridi Apparatus
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Blimey that's made me check my Arctic and I didn't realize that it was ten years ( 20,000 mls) since I had mine changed, how time flies.
Sounds like a job in the pipeline Bill.
 

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Aedificantium in viridi Apparatus
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The trouble is Elaine has only just stopped grumbling about the cost of the last timing belt , wasting all that money on my toys and whims now I'll have to go through it all again, it's a good job I'm thick skinned and deaf.
Yes Bill, I think we all have to be a bit like that from time to time.
 
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