What is the best way to test to see if for timing belt has reason to be changed without taking the stuff apart?
You really will need to take something apart. A lot of times the top timing cover is just plastic that has few bolts that you can cap off and look inside. That's the best way because you can even look at the belt to see if the belt is shiny and all the leathering on it is still white or whether it's all worn off. Usually you get the top cover off and it’s not too much bother.
Some mechanics have those little borescopes and if you've got a hole, you can peek in and stick the borescope and look in it that way. But usually you get the cover off the one top pieces so that isn't that big of a deal.
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