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2014 Touring with 114K. Was driving one day and pulled out onto road. Immediately start hearing a sound that at the time I thought was a limb stuck underneath the car. Slowed down and after about 30 seconds or so it stopped and I went on my way. Once I got home, something told me to check under the hood. See 1st pic below of my serpentine belt that had partly disintegrated (sorry pic is somewhat out of focus). It was still holding even in this state! Picked up a belt for under $10 at Auto Zone but after researching how much a pain it was to change it, decided to take it to my local NTB shop to replace it. 2nd pic is shiny new belt. Just curious if anyone else has experienced anything like this? I probably should have checked it more regularly I guess and I'm very lucky that it didn't completely snap and leave me stranded. Maintenance schedule doesn't specifically list a replacement interval for the belt but something everyone should take a look at periodically.


 

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At 114k miles, it honestly doesn't surprise me it was in that state, but you're lucky it held on! Mine erupted on me while doing 65mph on the highway. I think I was around 90k miles at the time.
 

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There is a wear indicator on the tensioner. You need a mirror to see it; the hex on the release arm (to get the belt off) should be between the two lines. If it is beyond the loose one the belt is out of spec and should be replaced before that happens.

Checking that, and using the mirror to look at the back side, where the ribs are, for cracks or other deterioration should be done every time the oil is changed. Note that if this belt failed the stretchy one that drives the water pump may or may not be in similar condition and you have to take the serpentine one off to change the second one. As a result I do both at the same time since the $30 or so for the other belt is worth not having to do it twice, never mind that if the stretchy one breaks you have no coolant circulation and that's a "stop the car RIGHT NOW or you will eat an engine" sort of problem.
 

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Billholton,
I don't know who told you it was a difficult job to change the belt. I found it easy and I am 70, but been repairing my own cars since I was 18. At 19 I had the engine out my first and rebuilt it from the crank bearings up.
I have only one belt on my m6, drives the alternator, ac compressor and the flat back of it the water pump. The steering is electric so no hydraulic pump to drive.
My SM said they only check the belt, there is no fixed time by Mazda to change the belt, but he did say they tend to snap in the 80k miles range and recommends changing it mid 70k miles.
I changed mine at 62k miles as the smooth side was looking a bit cracked. Better to be safe than having a cooked engine just when you don't need it, middle of nowhere with snow on the ground at night. You seem to change your engine oil halfway through its life of 12k in the US, so change your belt early and buy a Mazda one not a Chinese knock off, even though the Mazda ones are Chinese they are made to Mazda specs and checked one would hope.

Is it a case of can't cook won't cook?
A decent set of combination ring/ open end spanners (and a socket set optional) with a few decent screwdivers , pliers and you can do most jobs. I bought my tool kit from Sears and Roebuck, their Craftsman brand in the 80's and is still going strong. Buy decent tools, don't abuse them and they will last a lifetime. Why mechanics need huge toolkits which they never stop paying for I don't know. They still mess up repairs and take shortcuts and perhaps don't use half the stuff.
I would recommend anybody changing the belt themselves to paint the chassis member near the crank pulley after they have finished with old engine oil, it will stave off the rust and salt spray. That applies any time you take off any undertrays.
Could save you body work repairs.
 
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