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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I bought a 2011 Soul+ with 198k miles on it. Even with those miles it looks to be in mint condition and runs like new. I love it!

But here's my predicament. I cannot figure out how to determine when the last timing belt replacement was performed. My understanding is that if that belt breaks the engine is toast. The smart thing to do is simply have it replaced now but living on a small fixed income that is a HUGE repair bill. So I've been trying to determine when it was last replaced. Carfax was no help. The dealer I bought it from was no help. The local Kia dealerships have no record of this car.

Anyone have any ideas on how to determine the age of the belt that I've not thought of?
 

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There's no good way. If you don't have records or paperwork you can't tell just by looking at the belt. As far as money, which can you better afford - replacing the belt or repairing/replacing the engine? That should be a no-brainer. Buying a car with 198k miles on it, unless you have paperwork you can almost bet no one spent the money to replace the belt and just pawned the cost off on to the next person, which is now you. Why? Because no one - including you, now - wants to pay the $400-1000k bill to change the timing belt depending on the car (this problem is not limited to Kia), so they just trade the car in and never do the maintenance.

I have had a timing belt break on me before while driving in my 95 Miata. If I remember right California specs were change it at 60k or 75k and non-California was 105k. I was only at maybe 102k so thought I was good. Wrong! Luckily the 1.8s are not interference engines, so other than being stuck on the interstate in the middle of nowhere and having to pay for the tow home, it was no harm no foul (I did all the work myself including all kinds of "while you're in there" stuff like water pump, cam seals, etc).

My advice: drive straight to Kia and have the belt changed.
 

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I would go ahead and have it changed. Shop around, you can probably find a better deal at an independent shop. My 2010 was about $250 at a local place, not sure what the dealership charges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MUCH thanks to both of the above responses. They are certainly useful.

I did a bunch more detective work this morning and ended up talking to a Kia dealer in Rhode Island who did a maintenance inspection on it 2 years ago when it had 51K fewer miles on it than it does today. They said the customer was advised at that time to replace the timing belt but declined to do so. The next service record comes from an unspecified shop and the mileage is just 63 miles after the dealer recommended a timing belt change. Unfortunately it does not show what work was performed but I'd bet money on it being a timing belt replacement.

So bottom line is the belt most likely has 51K miles on it. My understanding is they should be replaced every 60K to 90K so it's almost there. So, yes, the wise thing to do is simply replace it. In my younger days I'd have the cash and quickly proceed with paying the tab. But being retired on a small fixed income it will have to wait a bit. At least now I think I probably have a little slack before it's critical, so that's good. Hope my theory about the timing of the last replacement is in fact correct!

Again, much thanks for the info and thoughts. This forum is great.
 

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My 2011 just hit 80k miles.

I should probly change the timing belt. Anybody swap one out on the soul?
 

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So bottom line is the belt most likely has 51K miles on it. My understanding is they should be replaced every 60K to 90K so it's almost there.
If your numbers are correct, you should be OK for a while.
But, otoh, you said it yourself.

So, yes, the wise thing to do is simply replace it.
Yes it is. But I understand the lackaloot issue.
I'd suggest shop around your local Indy mechanics for a price, but also someone you can trust to do it right.
Do it as soon as you can. If it breaks it will cost a lot more.
Good luck with it. (y)
 

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Shop around at local shops, a proficient mechanic can do this job under an hour, Kia 4 cylinders are about the easiest cars to do this on in the last 2 decades anyway (some 70s and 80s cars were this easy also)
 

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My 2011 just hit 80k miles.

I should probly change the timing belt. Anybody swap one out on the soul?
My buddy got this incoming Soul project with 87k miles on the clock. We'll definitely do the timing belt replacement and other maintenance stuff. The previous owner mentioned it throw a code but he can't remember so we have to check it out. We'll just finish installing the set of tires from 4 Wheelonline onto the truck this week before we can take the Soul in.
 

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I put in a label on my timing belt cover written with the mileage and date after I replaced it.
Most of the shops will do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I put in a label on my timing belt cover written with the mileage and date after I replaced it.
Most of the shops will do the same.
Thanks for the response, which had me excited. So I rushed out and checked for a label but unfortunately it seems not all shops are as conscientious as yours. There was no label. In the next week or so I'll have to bite the bullet and get it done.
 
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