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Just brought my (t)rusty 97 in to the local shop for brakes. It has about 125k miles on it. Always driven gently and has never had any engine problems. Shop owner says Nissan suggests replacing the timing belt/chain at 105k miles. How long do the belt/chain typically last on Pathies?

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I would suggest to get it changed due to the fact that the engine is an interference engine and if the timing belt breaks it has a 75% chance of warping valves!!! Much cheaper to get the timing belt replaced now than after major engine work has to be done. Always remember that preventive maintenance is the key to keeping an engine alive for a long time!!! But I would look at the bolts holding the timing cover on and see if they have marks from previously being taken off. If so take it to another reputable shop and ask to have the timing belt checked or have the shop show you the old one when you get it changed.
 

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Doing preventative maintenance now is way better than doing reactive maintenance later... e.g. when you're on some country road in 0 F weather and your Pathy craps out.

The maintenance schedule for your generation does indeed suggest replacing the timing chain at 105k miles, so it's not just the shop owner trying to pull a quick one on you.

Chances are, with the average driver, that the belt wasn't replaced at 105k miles. Like sepz said, look for any evidence that the belt was changed, be it physical evidence or paperwork from the previous owner. If there's significant doubt, have it changed.
 

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Definitely have it changed.....unfortunetely since its in the engine you cannot check it to even see if its worn.....better to change it out now than have it break and cause damage to your engine....you may also want to consider swapping out the water pump at the same time...besides the part the labor charge should be minimal
 

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While your mechanic is in there changing out the T-belt and water pump, have them change out the cam seals too!
They ALWAYS leak on these engines. You don't want to have to pay twice!
 

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Great point Metro i had forgot about that!!a reputable shop really shouldn't even charge any extra labor for changing the cam seals since they are pretty much staring you in the face when you tear it down.
 

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