One of the engines I looked up for reference was the 3.0L V-6 and that was listed as an interference engine. Most timing belts are quite substantial. They're not thin little belts like what drives the generator and power steering pump, so dry-rot is not that big of a concern. I have a 3.0L V-6 Mitsubishi engine in my daily driver '88 Grand Caravan. That has had one replacement timing belt in 401,000 miles, and only because the water pump run by it went out and was leaking water as fast as I could dump it in. I also have an '89 Grand Voyager with a freshly rebuilt 3.0L engine done by my students about seven years ago. That one currently has less than 80 miles on it. I'm not concerned with either one but I know those are not interference engines.
I don't want you hear that I caused you to have a problem but at 7,000 miles I would not even be thinking about replacing the timing belt. I also have a '93 Dynasty with 4,200 miles and my biggest concern with that is the automatic transmission. The car may go for two or three years without even having the battery installed, let alone driving it. As it sits unused, the transmission fluid runs down out of the clutch packs and the fiber plates can dry out. Once they start to crumble the chunks will chew up seals and then I'll have junk. Transmission specialists even soak new clutch plates before they install them. It's that big a deal. I'd give that more thought than the timing belt if your car sits for months at a time.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013 AT 8:40 AM