1999 Honda Accord Timing Belt replacement

I have a 1999, 4 cy/5 speed manual shift Honda Accord that has just over 60,000 miles on it. It is in mint condition and driven approximately 10 miles per day and kept in a garage both at home and work. My question is, "When do I need to replace the timing belt. The manual says 100,000 miles but the Honda service department rep says that since it is a '99, even with the low mileage, I should replace it now.

I have had the car serviced every due date since I bought it new, but since this is an expensive item to replace, I want to make sure it is a necessary one. At the same time, I don’t want to risk and incur even more expense should the timing belt go out.

I would be most interested in your thoughts and suggestions.

Much appreciated,

Leann from Denver

You are well past due and you past the due date on this one by at least a year or so. Rubber breaks down by age beyond mileage so its whichever is first. There is time period documented in your owners or maintenance manual.

If you plan on keeping the car it makes little sense to hold off on performing this maintenance matter as you will motor on for eight years without another change. If your planning on trading in the next few months you can play your chances.

The manual says 100,000, but if you look carefully it should also say something like 7 years which ever comes first. Even if you can’t find it in the manual, consider it mandatory.

i honestly and openly encourage you to find a good local mechanic who specializes in hondas.

not a dealership.

ask friends, co workers, and relatives who they use.

a good local mechanic will save you $$ in the long run, and you can trust them.

I agree with Mr. Meehan. Based on elapsed time, the timing belt was due for replacement about 2 years ago. The timing belt is largely composed of rubber, and rubber deteriorates just from sitting, even if a significant number of miles has not been covered by the car.

The cost of the timing belt replacement, while not insignificant, pales by comparison with the extensive internal repairs that your engine will need when the belt snaps. And, as one of the more astute members of this board likes to say, your engine will run perfectly right up until the milisecond after the belt snaps. So, if you were hoping that the belt would give you an early warning of its demise, that is not the case.

Call a few well-reputed independent mechanics and price the replacement of the timing belt and the water pump, and then get a price quote from the dealership. After determining your best value for this job, get it done right away, before the engine self-destructs without warning.

the belt is probably almost 10 years old at this point because odds are your '99 model car was more than likely built in 1998.
(check door tag for mon/yr build date)

it should have already been changed; unless you like high stakes gambling.

I own a 1999 Accord LX with a 5 speed stick as well (and love it). Nine years is long enough for a timing belt. I recommend that your replace the water pump along with the timing belt. If you do both at once it is MUCH cheaper since the timing belt drives the water pump and must be removed in order to access it. Most dealers will not charge any extra labor for the pump, just the cost of the part. I paid about $600 for both at my dealer.

 I have 155,400 trouble free miles on my Accord so yours is just getting broken in.  Good luck.