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Friday, May 26, 2006

 

Back to your regularly scheduled programming

Well, I had a bit of maintenance done on the Focus. Had a local shop replace the timing belt (a lot of work and I felt it was worthwhile to pay someone to do it) and fuel filter (much easier to do if you have a lift). It's just passed 60,000 miles, and my manual says that's the interval to check the timing belt. And there usually isn't much difference in labor between checking it and putting in a new one, so I had a new one installed.

The Zetec engine in my Focus is supposed to be a non-interference engine, meaning that a broken timing belt will just leave you stranded but not do any permanent damage to the engine. Still, I've heard on the Focaljet forums that there have been a few cases of a broken timing belt on a Zetec engine apparently causing bent valves. Back when I had an Isuzu Amigo, I had a broken timing belt (still under warranty and before the time to replace it) force it off the road for a month while the dealer tried to scrounge up a rebuilt engine for it. Still, even getting stranded on the side of the road is a bit of a nuisance. If your car has one, don't neglect to change it according to the maintenance schedule.

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