I'm not reading through the whole thread but.... do 500s have interference engines?
And I've broken a timing belt on another car (a Ford Escort) that didn't have an interference engine. There was no warning whatsoever; it just broke one day (when I was doing 70 on a freeway an hour and a half from home). Luckily that car didn't have an interference engine.
Yes, the FIAT 500 has an interference engine and a timing belt so it is imperative that you follow the recommended replacement intervals. Timing belts can break without any warning. Additionally, they can lose teeth which can cause them to slip and destroy your engine in the process. Pat Goss actually just did a segment about timing belts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq-UMNzJkJk
Timing belts fail usually due to parts failures first - so a pulley/idler bearings, tensioner, waterpump, improper tension or other issues. They are a very strong composite & not "made of rubber".
It's true ozone and environmental factors can affect the entire belt drive including the belt itself. But you'd have to get into some serious age or mileage abuse.
Most cars I've taken down have very good belts but marginal mechanical parts - some close to failure. It's usually a good time to service the engine proper, so other things are done with the belt changeover.
I like cam belt systems over chains & feel they make a lot of sense for the application.
IMO chains are response to what the masses think they need, or engineers need to show progress in engine design "see no belt". Reality is when the complex cacophony of parts go it's a disaster and the engine has to come out. Plenty of Audi and BMW stories to show for it.
Depends on the designs through the years (80's 90's to current) and even the type of car. Old school Porsche 928 longest belt ever, waterpump was the factor due to bearing seal, bearing wear, belt force, condition of cooling system water, heat and oil exposure. The tensioners would get grumbly too.
Audi TT is interesting because there were early belt failures. And I bought our 500 from a guy who got his engine done after a TT belt failure TSB/forgiveness =$5K. I have no idea why those were going south. Maybe be screwed up parts from the git go. I have all those parts here in a kit, I should have a look.
our cars have a cambelt driven water pump as well, so I would agree that the belt may be able to last 150k miles or 8 years something like that, but the water pump bearings are almost never safely and sustainably able to pass 100K from my experience on other makes/models.
Still, that being said, Fiat is routinely avoiding replacing belts until deep in to the middle 100k mile range (and pump/tensioner.)
I'll be changing mine WELL before that, perhaps at 100,000 miles no matter what. Accessory belt looked brand new at 50K when I installed my underdrive pulley set.
Well, I read all 5 pages of posts and no one has mentioned doing their own timing belt replacement.
Malena has 156,000+ miles and is now 7 years old. I have had it 3 years and added the last 96,000 miles on it.
The dealer (CJDR) has me on a list for when a water pump becomes available, then they will do the belts, tensioners and coolant change.
It's been 3 weeks and still no water pump available. My other mechanic/friend has replaced timing belts on Fords, Kias, etc. He wants to tackle the job and I don't see any reports of DIY job being done.
I see Amazon sells the locking parts to retain the timing between the cam and crank while swapping the belts and tensioners.
Just asking, as I have to still get to work and it's 100 miles round trip.
I would expect a Fiat TSB within about 2-3 years revising the timing belt schedule to something closer to 80K miles.
No way you are gonna convince me that the belts will last much past 100K safely.
All I can think of is the Chevy Aveo - the scheduled interval WAS 90K... then they shortened it to 60K... and we still see them breaking in less than 40K.
Not saying the Fiat will fail that fast, just that there is no way they will last past 100K
I'm at 148,000 on the factory timing belt. After 8 years of ohio winters and 148,000 miles the KBB value at trade in is $950. Is it worth investing a bunch of money in it or just wait til it pops and just part it out?
either or, we plan on doing the belt, water pump, and pulleys this spring.
Yes, this 500 Pop has been rock solid reliable other than brakes, and the darn right rear wheel bearing going bad every 20,000 miles. (just that wheel. No One can figure it out.)
Yep, that is the "call" isn't it? IIRC, Fiat says the system is good for 15 years or 150K miles. Basically another life of the car item. (When the belt throws, the car is dead.) Replacement comes down to, is it worth the cost of repair and have the car around another couple years? Or do you sell it for $2,000, or trade it in for $400?
On the wheel bearing, do you know what brand they install? Some brands are junk.
I was perusing the FIAT 500 app and discovered no mention of a t-belt service untill around 250,000km. This seems like a very long time. Any one have any info to confirm. I know we are all a long ways from this service but I found the huge interval a bit odd.
I’ve got 145,000 trouble free miles and I will be hitting 152,000 by June probably. Not sure I’ll bother doing the timing belt or not. Car is probably worth $1,000 It is in excellent condition. Wheel bearings and door handles have been the only issues for me.
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