Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2005 honda pilot timing belt and motor mounts replacement

Our pilot is 8 years old but has only 64, 000 miles on it. The dealership is recommending we change motor mounts and timing belt. Although the motor mounts don’t seem to be broken and nothing is rattling we have to change the motor mounts due to the fact that the engine is moving more than an inch. Having said that in 6 months we have to put the pilot in long term storage for 3 years. Should we change the timing belt now given the low mileage and the long term storage situation?

Timing belts should be changed when either a certain amount of mileage or time has been reached - as defined in your service manual. I believe the time upper bound is often 7 years.

Having said that, if I were in your shoes, I would definitely not change the belt now, but rather drive it for another 6 months, store it for 3 years, and then change the belt. Others will disagree with me.

On a slightly different note, putting a car in storage for 3 years is rarely if ever a move that will save you money. It’s been discussed many times on this forum. If saving money is your goal, you should run the numbers - as you’ll likely be surprised.

We are military and have to move overseas, this car is paid off and we want to have at least one vehicle to drive around when we come back before purchasing another. We’re not taking it with us because we’ll be driving on the wrong side of the road and everyone recommends getting a used car there with the steering wheel on the right. So yes in many ways it is about saving money. Thanks for your post!

3 years? Sell it now and buy something else when you return.

I agree timing belt when you return, nit now. Now a better question, how are you going to store the pilot?? This will make a lot of difference in how reliable the pilot is when you get back home.

We have to find a facility to store it properly for us. We’ve never done this before so our research into best companies for long term vehicle storage is just beginning. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Good Grief. The Car’s 8 Years Old, Now. Pay A Business To Store It, Probably Buy A New Battery In 3 Years, A Timing Belt And Motor Mounts, And Maybe Tires Shortly After That And You’re Approaching The Value Of The Car . . . Unless These Pilots Will Become Collector Cars In Three Years.

I say, get your storage estimate and all other estimates, today’s resale value, and crunch the numbers. You may reconsider.


All in all, I would say sell it now, invest the moiey and buy something newer when you get back.

My brother went to England and stored his Honda Accord in the basement of his condo, which he retained (real estate values go UP, unlike car values). He ended up staying there for 6 years and now the car probably won’t even start when the gets back and its value is very little. I gave him an estimate as to the minimum to make it street safe and even marginally reliable. It came to $1450.

I own a 2005 Honda Accord EX V6. Honda says in the maintenance manual to change the timing belt at 105,000 miles or 7 years, whichever comes first. It’s time. I had mine replaced in September after 7 years and 2 months at 104,000 miles. The dealer also replaced the serpentine belt, water pump, and coolant for $800 out the door. The car runs better than it did before the replacement.

If that belt is 8 years old, you are on borrowed time. Here is what a Honda timing belt looks like at 8 years old.

If you store it, I suggest that when you get back, you have it TOWED to the dealer for the belt change and make sure the dealer does not start the engine to put it in the bay, it must be pushed in. Just because the engine isn’t being run doesn’t mean that the belt isn’t still rotting away, along with the rest of the rubber on the car, like the engine seals and the tires.

If you’re still following this thread, my vote would be to sell it. Battery, tires, fuel and brake system issues are all distinct possibilities after being inert along with 3 more years of depreciation piled on; driven or not.

I’m not following the reasoning behind changing the motor mounts.