02 civic timing belt

Good Day, I have owned a 02 Honda Civc for 18 months. The car had 28K miles on the odometer and maintenance records showing that all regular maintenance was completed on time at the time that I received the car. Later this year I will have 60K on the odometer. The maintenance manual indicates that the timing belt should be changes out at 110K miles or 7 years. The car is ten years old. I have a couple of questions:

  1. Does the age of the car justify changing out the timing belt and water pump?
  2. Does anyone have a ballpark estimate of what replacing the timing belt/water pump should cost for an 02 Honda Civic?

Yes, you should change it. Timing belts deteriorate with age as well as use. Normal Honda replacement cycle is 7 years. You can buy a kit consisting of belt, water pump and tensioner from Gates. Budget $750 or so for the complete job. Use a qualified mechanic; not Walmart or a tire store.

Not changing it can lead to extemely expensive repairs, should the belt break or the tensioner seize up.

Congradulations for reading your owner’s manual!

“maintenance records showing that all regular maintenance was completed on time”

This statement is apparently not true. Unless the timing belt was, in fact, changed back in '09 sometime. If it was changed back in '09 according to the regular maintenance schedule, then that resets the clock. If, as I suspect, it was not changed then you are about 3 years overdue. It says 7 years. Why would that be put in there if you were just supposed to ignore it?

As Docnick said, budget something in the neighborhood $700-900.

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cigroller wrote:
Why would that be put in there if you were just supposed to ignore it?

I wonder this every time the topic comes up (which is about once a week, as the regulars here know). The manufacturer wouldn’t require extra maintenance just for fun.

Thanks. I appreciate the information.

It should be noted that Honda OWNERS were getting tired of the “Fun” and Honda has switched to timing CHAINS running in an oil bath, a “life of the car” system…Today, the industry trend is in this direction…Consumers have simply rejected blown engines and or $800 “maintenance” bills…

I had mine changed out at 100k miles and about 10 years old (1997 Civic). Cost about $400 for pump and belt replacement from a local mechanic (not the dealer). This is a common maintenance job that most mechanics should know how to do, but I complete agree - a MECHANIC, not a guy who can change oil and tires and yesterday was flipping burgers. I would suggest you call around - you should be able to get a price over the phone for standard maintenance like this since there’s no diagnostics involved.

Caddyman is correct. And for MOST people who only keep their vehicles 150-200k miles then a timing chain is probably a cheaper option.

But for those of us who tend to keep their vehicles 300k+ miles…Timing belts are cheaper…Especially if you can change the belt yourself. While timing chains do last a lot longer then timing belts…over time a timing chain will eventually stretch. And with an interference engine…a stretched chain can jump a tooth…and cause internal engine damage. Luckily timing chains usually start to make noise before they get to the point where they’ll jump a tooth. So you can get it replaced then or get rid of the vehicle. If you want to replace the chain…expect to pay 4-5 times the cost of a timing belt. Parts are much more expensive but labor is really the killer (there’s a lot more work involved).

I would LOVE to see timing chains with NON-Interference engines. But with an interference engine I like a belt. For me it’s a much cheaper option.

My ballpark is somewhere between $400-$600 dependent on locale if you call around and past experience albeit long ago.

$800 seems way to high as the 4cyl is not terrible to change the belt on. If a mechanic has not done a Honda Civic or Accord timing belt something is really wrong as these cars have been in top 10 selling cars for years.

$800 seems way to high as the 4cyl is not terrible to change the belt on.

You have much skinnier arms then I do. The problem I had with my wifes 4-cylinder Accords was access. There were places I had to loosen a bolt…I couldn’t even get my fore-arm into. Those transverse mounted engines are just a pain to work on.

My pathfinders - Piece of Cake. While the timing belt technically was much more complicated then the Honda…But everything was easy to get to. The hardest part was removing the radiator.

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I bought my 2004 Honda Civic new with 5 miles only when i got it. I have over 200k miles now and i have
driven my car eveywhere. I haven’t changed the timing belt yet and i know my best friend drove her Honda element for 9 years and it has 230k miles and she hasn’t changed her timing belt. I’m getting paranoid and will be changing it soon. I don’t know if it’s luck or not but they recommend you change your timing belt at 60k miles.

Since the mid 90’s the recommendation on timing belts has been around 100k miles. Dealers (or people who sell/install timing belts) recommend 60k miles (obviously for selfish reasons).

200k miles…you’re on borrowed time. I may do this on a vehicle who’s engine wasn’t an interference engine…but your engine IS an interference engine. Your timing belt breaks…good chance in destroying the engine.

2004 is around the time that Honda went to timing chains on some of their engines. Are you sure you or your friend don’t have a timing chain???

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cuteone wrote:
I have over 200k miles now and i have driven my car eveywhere.

If your belt breaks soon, which is a reasonable possibility, I certainly hope you won’t come back here and complain about the $3,000 you threw away for no reason.

I obtained a couple of quotes from local mechanics. The prices were around the $600 range. The mechanic that I selected charged $630. He discovered a damaged valve cover when he went it. The total cost for the valve cover replacement and timing belt package installation was $665. I have put 100 mile on the car since the install and have encountered no problems. I plan on keeping the car for another seven years so I consider it a good investment. I appreciate the input the Car Talk subject matter experts.

Cuteone, you are a lucky one. I believe that all 2004 Civics have a timing belt (my wife’s 2004 does) that is normally changed at 110000. It is an interference engine, so you would be smart to have it changed immediately.

Sand11, you got a good price. Drive on.

I mechanic told me to always buy an OEM timing belt, especially on an interference engine like I believe this is. The gates water pump for the 2.2L Toyotas are known to seize up and break the timing belt. Fortunately the Toyotas are non interference. So go with top quality or OEM and don’t buy a Gates water pump.

If you’re not going to replace the timing belt, at least carefully inspect it for any cracks. 7 years is likely very conservative. My OEM Toyota timing belt is at 18 years old now but I’m not that worried because it’s non interference.

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Snowman , this is a 10 year old thread and the post that revived it has Canada Spam in it .

So it was you who flagged my post lol. Why because it had a link? Or do you not like Canadians? Honk honk! Freedom!

You got it


I wish they would add an option to be able to reply to a thread without bumping it to the top, and to make it the default on very old threads.