2009 Honda Accord maintenance

I have a '09 Accord which looks and drives like new. It has 44,000 miles on the odometer. When I got the oil changed at the dealer the other day, they told me I should have the timing belt changed. Their advice is 7 yrs. or 100,00 miles whichever comes first. Of course when they do this work, they change out the water pump. the tensioner and the belt so the cost adds up very quickly somewhere in the neighborhood of $900. Do I really need to do this now especially with such low, gentle miles?

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If you take a look at the Honda Maintenance Schedule (likely to be sitting in your glove compartment), you will find that you are 1-2 years overdue for this very important maintenance service. As you should note in the verbiage of that maintenance schedule, there is an odometer mileage/elapsed time value for that type of service, with the additional proviso of “whichever comes first”.

Regardless of the odometer mileage or how gently you have driven the car, it is past due for this service on the basis of elapsed time.

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The price sounds reasonable to me, especially considering that is a quote from the dealer, who probably has the highest labor rate and the highest parts costs

The Honda V6 engine timing belt is changed at 7 years or 105,000 miles in normal service, and at 60,000 miles in severe service. I had it done in 2012 on my 2005 Accord V6 for $700 at the dealer. Another couple hundred bucks for this service is reasonable. You did not say so, but I’m sure they will put new coolant in because the old coolant had to be drained to replace the water pump. On the off chance you have a 4-cylinder engine, it has a timing chain and does not need to be changed. I’m sure the dealer would only recommend this service on a V6, though.


It’s your call, but if it breaks, you’ll probably be paying for a new engine, which doesn’t seem worth the risk to me.

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Yes, the work needs to be done. And $900 isn’t out of line if it includes the water pump, tensioner, and front cam and crank seals. You could probably get it done for a little lower price at an independent mechanic though. In general, for a 2009 vehicle, you’ll probably get better bang for your buck by using a well-recommended independent shop. Try to find one that specializes in Toyotas or at least Asian cars.

The least expensive shop, by far, was the dealer when I replaced the timing belt. They said they would inspect the oil seals, tensioner and idler and determine replacement at that time. They did not replace seals or wheels and I never had a problem. The least expensive price I got for seals, wheels, belts, coolant, and water pump was $1200 vs the $700 I paid for belts, coolant and water pump.

YES!!! Timing belts are made out of rubber which deteriorates over TIME. So, follow the owner’s manual, and do exactly as the dealer suggests. The $900 is about right Don’t skimp on this job.

I assume you have the 3.5L V6 engine? Yes, you should have the timing belt changed, as well as the tensioner, idler, and water pump. This is an interference engine, and will incur serious damage if the belt fails, either due to the belt itself wearing out, or due to a failed tensioner, idler, or water pump. $900 is not unreasonable for a professional mechanic to do this job.

I disagree on the water pump. Normally it is a good idea to change the water pump with the timing belt and tensioner. But in this case, the water pump has only spun for 44,000 miles. Changing it now is really overkill. I always hit the 105,000 miles before the 7 years in my Hondas so I always changed the water pump with the belt. My independent mechanic always did my belt, tensioner, and water pump for $600.

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Turn your thinking around a bit on the question. Let’s say you have some other idea as to how long a car might safely go until needing this critical work done. Now that you have that point in time, or point in miles in mind, ask yourself if you plan to own the car at that point. If the answer is yeas, why not do the work now and never have to worry about the worst case scenario - a failure. Here is a story on this subject from a CarTalk partner site you may find of interest.

Yes, replace the water pump and belt. If you dont do the pump and it fails in 3-4 years you would have to do the belt again. So its wise to replave both.

Since labor is the greatest part of the cost by far, it pays to all those things when the belt is done. In industry we have “stacked” maintenance which is done on a variety of items when the equipment is shut down. Where we live, many garages offer changing the winter tires over with an oil and filter change. At Midas you get the whole thing done for just $65 plus applicable taxes.

A friend of my wife who is very petite, also has her other tires stored at her favorite garage since she can’t lift the wheels into her car.

It’s not necessary to replace the timing belt just b/c you are replacing a faulty water pump. I doubt most mechanics would replace a timing belt if it was still within spec for time and mileage. On my Corolla, while a water pump job isn’t exactly a walk in the park – still have to remove the front mount and lift the engine a little – a water pump-only job is a considerably easier, less time consuming job than replacing both the water pump and timing belt.

The belt is like $27 dollars. Again, it’s saving labor. Labor. Labor. Labor.

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You don’t want to mess with a interferance engine, or you’ll be looking for a replacement from a junk yard. I see so many botched timing belt hack jobs where engines have jumped time because of cutting corners.

I just replaced the timing belt on my 1999 Honda Civic at 180,000 miles. It had been done once before. This time, retired, with more time and less money to spend, I did it myself. On this car the water pump is driven by the timing belt, so it takes all the many steps of disassembly and reassembly to access either component. For the small cost of a new belt and a new water pump and a new tension pulley I replaced all. Labor, labor, labor! The cost of the parts pales in comparison.

I helped a friend replace the water pump on his Corolla decades ago. Piece of cake - right there on the front of the engine in plain sight.

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Maybe the water pump replacement situation is different on the Accord. On my Corolla , if you wanted to replace the timing belt beyond just the the water pump you’d have to remove the crankshaft pulley (a difficult job for a driveway diy’er), then the lower timing belt cover, then a bunch of other stuff in the crankshaft pulley area and keep track what order they came off in and which orientation, then do all the stuff required to remove, replace, align, and tension the timing belt. Then check the timing belt alignment marks again. So it’s quite a bit more work to replace the timing belt beyond a simple water pump only job.

Yes it is. That’s what I did on my 1999 Civic recently.

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