How do I know when to change timing belt?

in Motoring
30 replies 24.4K views
Hello, mechanic-savvy moneysavers. I have been reading about how to keep a car in good maintenance shape, and one thing I read got me worried: that if you fail to replace your timing belt and it breaks, that can kill the entire engine and total the car or at least be ridiculously expensive.

I have been given a car for free, by a stranger (don't ask - I prayed for it and God provided), back in May. It has been very well maintained and all service records are with it, and it's had all major services etc. but it says nothing detailed about timing belt replacement or not. I got it at about 80,000 miles and it's now 96,000 and I have read that the timing belt should be replaced at 75k.

So I don't know whether that's been done or not. Can I ask the mechanic at my next service to check, I mean, is it obvious to see whether it's old or new? Or should I replace it anyway? (money is very tight, though!)

Would really appreciate your advice, many thanks!
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