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I have 98 mercury tracer with 103,000. Runs good, no problems. Should timing belt be replaced and if so should I go ahead and replace water pump while everything is off for future maintenance problems. and costs. Or wait and keep driving since no problems at present.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Alan, Yes, if your vehicle is equipped with a timing belt and not a chain then it should be replaced at 100k miles and it is recommended that the water pump be replaced due to high mileage and saving on labor cost in the long run. Fuel, coolant, and transmission services are recommended at 100k miles as well.

Karen Davis, Service Manager at Smith Stokes Yes, if the timing belt has not ever been replaced, it would be recommended and that is the best time to do the water pump. It will definitely save you some labor down the road. Generally the pump itself is not that expensive so its a good idea to go ahead and take care of them together especially with the miles you have on it.

Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management Alan Hall, I suggest that you check the owner's manual or call your dealership to find the recommended mileage for changing your timing belt. It is a good idea to change it before it fails. Many technicians also do recommend replacing other components that sometimes wear at the same time. It will usually save money in the long run since this is somewhat of a labor intensive job. For prices, I do recommend calling a few different places for a quote. If you're having trouble finding a quality technician, ask neighbors, friends and coworkers who they trust. Suzanne

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