See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
The 1.3L engine utilizes a timing belt to drive the camshaft from the crankshaft's turning motion and to maintain proper valve timing. Some manufacturers schedule periodic timing belt replacement to assure optimum engine performance, to make sure the motorist is never stranded should the belt break (as the engine will stop instantly) and, in some cases (vehicles with interference engines), to prevent the possibility of severe internal engine damage should the belt break.
Although the 1.3L engine is not listed by its manufacturer as an interference engine (one whose valves might contact the pistons if the camshaft was rotated separately from the crankshaft), the first 2 reasons for periodic replacement still apply. Ford does not publish a timing belt replacement interval for this engine, but most belt manufacturers recommend intervals anywhere from 45,000 miles (72,500 km) to 90,000 miles (145,000 km). You will have to decide for yourself if the peace of mind offered by a new belt is worth the time and expense on higher mileage engines.
Whether or not you decide to replace the timing belt, you would be wise to check it periodically to make sure it has not become damaged or worn. Generally speaking, a severely worn belt may cause engine performance to drop dramatically, but a damaged belt (which could give out suddenly) may not give as much warning. In general, any time the engine timing cover(s) is (are) removed, you should inspect the belt for premature parting, severe cracks or missing teeth. Also, an access plug is provided in the upper portion of the timing cover so that camshaft timing can be checked without cover removal. If the timing is found to be off, cover removal and further belt inspection or replacement is necessary.