I replaced my timing belt two years ago on my Honda Accord crosstour as preventative maintenance. The “new” timing belt just broke and the engine is basically ruined. I have shown photos of the broken belt to three Honda service managers outside of tmy area and they all said they firmly believe the belt was the original belt. My Honda service manager says you can’t tell the age of the belt by just looking at it and won’t help with the repair. I feel ripped off.
I guess you take your receipt / repair order to whoever replaced this timing belt and see what they say.
They say they changed it and too bad for me but they won’t help. They are a Honda dealership.
I’m not 100% certain, but I believe some belts used to have a date code
Since the Honda service managers firmly believe the belt was original, are they basing it on a date code that they saw . . . or just based on the fact that their particular dealership has no record of the timing belt being replaced?
Probably because this happened 2 years after they replaced the belt. Many shops warranty the parts and labor for 1 year. They’re off the hook
Please look at the receipt and tell us if the shop replaced the tensioner and idler as part of the timing belt service . . .
It would be interesting to post the photo of the broken belt here. If the broken belt was the original belt, doesn’t that mean it is about 9 years old? I am sure that I can tell whether or not the broken belt is 2 years old or 9 years old. What is the mileage on the car today?
That is correct, and it’s probably more than just “some” belts–probably they all do, at least when new. Every time I have handled a used timing belt, whether it’s one that I replaced, or one that I picked up off the ground at the junkyard to examine for curiosity, it either had a date code, or all of the writing was worn off. Many other parts are date coded too, and I find it interesting seeing how long some parts have been sitting in a warehouse before I got them.
I would hope that on an interference engine, the timing belt job would include anything which is driven by the belt–tensioner, idler, water pump, etc. If they did not, it is entirely possible that one of the belt-driven components seized up, and that’s why the timing belt failed.
But, we have had a case or two in this forum where the OP refused the suggestion to replace the other components, and serious problems were the result. It would be interesting to know if those other components were replaced, and if not, whether replacement was suggested–but rejected–by the OP.
Like @db4690 said,you need to get your receipt and see what else got replaced with the belt. I’ve noticed a trend with Honda/Acura dealerships where they’re very reluctant to change the tensioner and pulleys when they change the belt. And that’s stupid because if one of those parts seizes, it will break the belt.
I had to get in a big fight with my Acura dealership about that because I had told them to replace those items and they chose not to and then didn’t want to re-do the job. I’ve seen several people on here over the years from around the country mention that their Honda/Acura dealership only changed the belt.
There is a lot to unpack here.
First, service managers love to badmouth the competition. They want your business, and they don’t care whether they have to say something as unethical as this to get it.
Second, your Honda service manager is correct that nobody can tell the age of a belt by looking at it. When I had my first timing belt changed on my '98 Civic after 90,000 miles, I inspected the old one, and it looked brand new.
Third, and most importantly, there are several possible causes of failure other than the belt just breaking. Whenever I get a timing belt job done on my car, I make sure that:
(A) They always install the full timing belt kit, including the idler pulley, the tensioner, and any other parts that come with the kit, not just a new belt; and
(B) They replace the water pump. (Actually, I get a new water pump every 180,000 miles, but most people get a new water pump with each new timing belt kit, which is probably for the best).
The point is: A failure of any of the parts connected to the timing belt can lead to a broken timing belt, so you’re not going to be able to prove the Honda dealership that did your timing belt replacement is at fault, and honestly, it most likely isn’t their fault. It’s probably just bad luck.
All I can say is:
… and the OP should vow to never again buy a vehicle that has a timing belt.
More and more mfrs have changed-over to timing chains, so there should be a decent selection of vehicles that don’t use a timing belt the next time that the OP is shopping for a car.
As long as you change the oil often enough, and never let the oil level get low, a timing chain can be expected to last for ~200k miles in most engines.
I’d like to see the person who can. You might be able to tell a brand new belt to an old belt…but one that’s 2 years old vs 9 years old…no way.
a) New Belt was just faulty.
2) The belt was never changed…they just took a gamble and just charged you for ot.
3) Improper installation. Every timing belt the correct method calls for feeler gauges to ensure proper tension. If installed too loose then it could slip. If installed too tight, then possibly premature failure.
Here is a photo of the broken belt. I had EVERYTHING changed when the belt was changed; tensioners, water pump, etc… the shop in Maine where it broke checked everything and reported that the only item that failed was the belt.
I also thought that there was a date on the belt. The dealer in Florida that I paid to replace the belt two years ago says they have emailed the Honda Corp to get the date but that was a week ago and they said they don’t know when they might hear back. They keep referring me to the shop out of state (Maine) where I happened to be when the belt broke.
Does this look like a two year old belt? Where would I find the age of the belt based on the number on it in this photo.
Much for any help you can all provide.
Your photo didn’t post
I’ve replaced a couple timing belts on my wife’s Accords…I don’t remember ever seeing a date on the belt. I either bought timing belts from dealer or from Gates.
I’ll suggest again that you actually get your receipt/writeup from that service and verify this. I told my dealership to replace everything too, and they didn’t, nor did they tell me they hadn’t replaced anything. It was only by reading the writeup of the service that I learned they hadn’t done what I told them to.
I have my receipt. Everything was changed. The repair shop contends that they replaced the belt as their invoice states. However, belt broke after only two years.
In that case it sounds like (assuming the dealership actually performed the work, which would be very hard to verify), unfortunately, you are in the very small percentage of people whose timing belt breaks before it’s supposed to (most of them would break well after the replace-date). That sucks in a very big way, but there’s really no blame to place on anyone - at least, none that would get you any help replacing your engine.
I’d sure like to know how they determined that.
Neither I nor anyone else is going to be able to estimate the age of the belt by looking at it unless the picture you post includes a date code. What I can see in the pictures you posted is apparent damage to the belt, which suggests the belt might have been damaged by a malfunctioning sprocket or pulley.
It is entirely possible they didn’t change your timing belt, or any other component in the timing belt kit, but the sad fact is there is no way, outside of finding a date code on the belt itself, to prove it now. Nor is there any way to prove the belt was the single point of failure. There are too many moving parts in your engine that rely on being nearly perfectly aligned in order to work together.
If I were to speculate (which has very limited value), I’d guess that, based on the picture of the timing belt’s teeth, one of the pulleys seized or fell out of alignment, but keep in mind that does not prove they didn’t change all the pulleys.
Having said all this, maybe you should talk to a lawyer. Sometimes the settlement you get isn’t related to what you can actually prove. If you find a good enough lawyer, maybe he or she can manipulate the circumstantial evidence into a moderate settlement that helps.
Thank you. That is helpful. I feel like I paid a lot of money for a preventative repair and the Honda part or Honda repair failed. It seems to me that Honda is responsible either way.