Replace timing belt if no repair history?

Just picked up a 93 Elantra 5-speed cheap. Learned that regular replacement of timing belt is crucial to the maintenance schedule.
The vehicle has only has 114,000 kms. But..no maintenance history. I'm a
little paranoid about not knowing whether the previous owner did or didn't replace the timing belt.
Should I just get it done? And be done with it? If it has in fact been done is there a sticker or something that might have been affixed somewhere in the engine compartment?
Thanks,
rib ******************************
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It's possible that a sticker was installed.
When these vehicles were introduced, I saw numerous failures at about 25k miles (40k km). My advice is that if you can't tell when the timing belt was last replaced, replace the timing belt, the balance shaft belt, and the timing belt tensioner. And be sure to stick to the guidelines after that -- every 4 years or 100k km at the latest. Some people even do it at 80k km just to be safe with this engine. And it WILL bend your valves. I've seen many failures, and about two managed not to require replacement of the valves. Many required new heads. And some required complete engines.
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I'm going to follow up on this advice and just 'git 'er done' as Larry the cable guy would say.
I'm curious, though, if you've got an opinion on the root of what looks like a design issue. Is it possible that engineers had more clout than marketers? I suggest this possibility under the assumption that engineers might have prioritized design and performance over owner commitment to maintenance...and won out?
In short, is the timing belt design just fine if it's replacement interval is not neglected? Or is the design inherently flawed from the get-go?
*** rib
On Fri, 3 Jun 2005, hyundaitech wrote:

Bob Ashley ******************************
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My personal opinion is that there's an inherent design flaw. (Actually, this is a Mitsubishi - designed engine. They had the same problems with very premature failure. They even had a recall.) If you look at the timing belt on the camshaft sprockets, you'll see that the timing belt only wraps about 1/4 of the way around each sprocket, thus distributing the entire load of turning the camshafts over a small number of timing belt teeth. How the belt fails is that the points where the teeth attach to the backing begin to crack and the teeth strip off the belt.
To my knowledge, Hyundai (and Mitsubishi) have done their best with revising the timing belt construction to minimize this issue, but failures are still significantly more frequent than the engines which only have one camshaft sprocket.
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On Sat, 4 Jun 2005, hyundaitech wrote:

Okay, so now I'm a wee bit jumpy about this vulnerability. Besides, sticking to the replacement interval guidelines, can certain driving habits help to minimize this vulnerability? I'm thinking about gear shifting and clutching or possibly braking actions or cold starting on the part of the driver. Would aggressive downshifting put strain on the timing belt for instance?
Can or should the timing belt be "babied" on a day-to-day basis? I'm already pretty conservative.
Thanks for any tips.
*** rib
******************************
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Stress on the belt is probably a complicated issue, so I'm not sure how different rpm's or acceleration rates would affect the stress.
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My personal opinion is that there's an inherent design flaw. (Actually, this is a Mitsubishi - designed engine. They had the same problems with very premature failure. They even had a recall.) If you look at the timing belt on the camshaft sprockets, you'll see that the timing belt only wraps about 1/4 of the way around each sprocket, thus distributing the entire load of turning the camshafts over a small number of timing belt teeth. How the belt fails is that the points where the teeth attach to the backing begin to crack and the teeth strip off the belt.
To my knowledge, Hyundai (and Mitsubishi) have done their best with revising the timing belt construction to minimize this issue, but failures are still significantly more frequent than the engines which only have one camshaft sprocket.
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I just bought a 2005 Elantra, are the timing belts any better on the newer models???
thanks, Chris.

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Your 05 Elantra has only one camshaft sprocket. The second cam is driven by a chain running around both cams. I've never seen a premature timing belt failure on any 1996 or newer Elantra (all of which have similar engine and belt design).
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On Fri, 3 Jun 2005, hyundaitech wrote:

Took the car into the shop today. More or less, I just handed over hyundaitech's instructions. The mechanic agreed that replacing not just the belt, but also the balance shaft belt and the timing belt tensioner was the smartest and safest thing to do.
Thanks again hyundaitech. You made me a better informed consumer of auto repairs.
****************************** rib
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Take no chance, get new belt and avoid much sorrow and expense. Seamus J. Wilson
..

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So it is written, so it shall be done.
Thanks, beefing up support for this prescription.
*** rib
On Fri, 3 Jun 2005, sligo wrote:

Bob Ashley ******************************
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Well crap, my 1998 Elantra has over 60K miles and havnt replaced the timing belts... I guess i need to get that done. Whats the normal average proce for it? The engine is the 1.8 DOHC i believe..
Shawn

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It's a great idea to replace your belt, Shawn, but you shouldn't have the fear of imminent failure referred to for the original poster. Your engine and belt are of a different design that I've never seen fail prematurely. Still, the recommended interval is 4 years/60k miles, whichever comes first.
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Dumb thing to ask
Did HMC used Goodyear for OEM Belts, all my Belts say Goodyear..
Matthew

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I don't think they used anything GoodYear, with the possible exception of the timing belt. GoodYear does make high quality belts, in my opinion.
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MATTHEW C ZANK wrote:

Quoting my old high school chemistry teacher "there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers" -BG
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