Does Mazda 3 Have A Timing Belt Or Chain?

June 21, 2022

If you’ve landed here asking “Does Mazda 3 have a timing belt or chain?” then firstly, great question! The difference between a timing belt or a chain is fairly significant and can directly affect your back pocket. Many people consider pricing when looking to buy a car in Brisbane, but not everyone properly considers the lifetime costs, which can be a bit of a nasty surprise down the road that you could probably do without.

To get straight to the heart of the matter: Only the very first turbo-diesel Mazda 3 from around 2007 (to about 2009) has a timing belt and the rest have a chain. This benefits you mostly because, when it comes to timing belts, they do tend to need replacing throughout the lifetime of the car, whereas chains (provided you take good care of your car) can tend to last for the life of the vehicle. For this reason we fit the vast majority of Mazda 3’s with a timing chain and have done for some time.

If you’ve ended up here not sure why you’re asking “Does Mazda 3 have a timing belt or chain” purely because you were told it was important but might need some further context then read on!

The reason it is so important is because the timing chain is an essential part of your engine connecting the camshaft to the crankshaft. This in turn allows the engine to intake air or an air/fuel mix and exhale the exhaust gasses. It’s a pretty important function for any combustion vehicle!

Your camshaft is generally what controls the intake and output, while the crankshaft is the part that “makes it go” so to speak. As you can imagine, this involves a lot of strain on the timing chain or timing belt, which makes durability very important.


So why do timing belts exist in the first place? 

Well the simple answer is that they’re cheaper to produce and historically have been a lot quieter than chains. This made them a staple in car manufacturing from the 60’s onwards. However with that said, chains have come a long way since, with reduced noise and better integration into the engine. 

We can’t claim that belts aren’t still on average quieter, especially if you’re buying a used car, but if you’re looking for new cars in Brisbane then the difference is pretty much negligible. You can rest easy that your engine won’t be clunking on down the road waking up the neighbours as you head off to work in the morning.

So how does this affect the Mazda 3?

The Mazda 3 edge has always been a family car with a little bit of extra thrill built in. Performance is key, while still maintaining a safe, family friendly vehicle that has that little more than you’d expect under the hood. As would be obvious, this means that quality engine parts are key to giving it a good life expectancy. When it comes to our newer models in particular, this makes the chain a no-brainer whether you’re looking at an E Skyactiv G M Hybrid Engine (for a Sedan) or an E-Skyactiv X M Hybrid Engine (for the auto model or the hatch variant). Either way you can expect peak performance and a timing chain that won’t need to be replaced at various intervals throughout the life of the car.

So whether you’re looking at a Mazda 3 G20 Pure (hatch or sedan and auto or manual), the G20 Evolve/SP (hatch or sedan and auto or manual), a G20 Touring (hatch or sedan and auto or manual), G25 GT (hatch or sedan and auto or manual), G25 Astina (hatch or sedan and auto or manual), X20 Astina (hatch or sedan but auto only), or a G20E Evolve (also hatch or sedan but auto only) then you can be sure you’re getting value for money.

So does Mazda 3 have a timing chain or belt? In all cases (except for a few older models that you now know to keep an eye out for) the answer is absolutely yes and unless the quite small difference in noise is an issue for you then it will last you longer without hitting your back pocket (unlike a belt).


If any of the above information has helped you to make your decision on buying a car, then by all means please feel free to contact one of our friendly and highly qualified experts. Here at Grand Prix Mazda Aspley we’re always keen to help you along your journey as you consider this and the many other questions that might need answering as you decide where, when and what to buy. Come and experience the Aspley Mazda difference today!