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'02 Civic Timing Belt Issue

I recently had my timing belt replaced on my '02 Civic. When it came back it made a noise when idling and increased speed of the noise when pressing the throttle.

I sent it back in to the garage and they said they thought it was the belts plastic cover at first. No. So then they thought it was the bearings they just replaced, so they replaced them again.

I picked up the car again only to find that they had no clue as to where the sound originated from. They said it was safe to drive, even on my road trip over 3000 miles.

What do you think it is? (the noise sounds like a hollow rattle)

Thanks for your help,


Really hard to guess. My first guess would have been the cover as well. In fact, it might still be the cover, and they just didn’t find it.

Just other thoughts, throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks, is the Tbelt a little loose and whacking against something? Did they leave a tool somewhere under the hood? Could a heat shield have worked loose and it just happens to have started making noise after they did the belt?

It’d help if you got under the hood and tried to pinpoint where the noise is coming from.

I think it’s one of the other belts that they had to remove to get to the timing belt. Either you got a bad (noisy) belt, or they didn’t tighten them adequately. I went through the same thing on my last timing belt job on my Civic.

If they haven’t already done so, replacing those other belts might solve your problem. Then again, it might not.

I decided to just live with the noise on my 1998 Civic and turn up the radio. At first, I thought it was a bearing on the tensioner, just like your mechanics did, but it checked out fine.

Some belt dressing might help, but it didn’t help me. It comes in a spray can at the auto parts store, and it might be labeled “belt conditioner.” It’s worth a try, but it’s usually a stopgap measure.

Belt Dressing Is For The Old V-Belts And Not Intended For Use On Modern Serpentine (Multi-ribbed) Belts. Nothing Should Be Applied To Them.

All anyone can actually do is throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks. So here’s one more - do you suppose that they replaced the timing belt tensioner as well as the belt? Bad belt tensioners rattle - often just before they go out entirely.

If the belt is whining it’s too tight and if it’s rattling then it’s too loose; maybe due to this.

If it was quiet going in, it should be quiet coming out…

Was the water pump replaced also?

One method that can be used to hold the tensioner pulley in place is to use a pin that lines up with holes in the tensioner bracket & front cover to allow the belt to be removed and the new one installed. If your tech used that method, did he/she remove the pin upon reassembly?

All of the accessory belts are removed for the t/b r&r, in addition to the p/s pump being swung out of the way with the hoses & reservoir still attached.

Any of those parts going back on the car is a potential rub or rattle…

My car is an '04 Civic 1.7l (SOHC-D17A2). My son and I did mine in our garage last fall.