92 honda

92 honda civic lx broken timing belt. 100k mi. is it worth fixing

Overall vehicle condition, maintenace history?

What did the “event” sound like? Quiet stop or lots of knashing and banging?

Has anyone checked to see if the cylinders hold pressure? This can be done without the belt intact and could tell you whether you’ve sustained valve and perhaps piston damage.

Will you be doing the work yourself?

If the car’s worn and tired and when the belt broke it sounded like a garbage disposal with a spoon in it, and if you have to pay someone else to do the work, forget it. Otherwise, you may have a chance.

did not make any noise at all just quietly quit…good thing is it landed right in front of the place I was going. lucky me. no have not checked cylinder pressure really don’t have a clue of how to do this. you see I’m not the mechanic.
I then had the car towed home.

“Is it worth fixing?”

It depends. Please tell us why, oh why, you didn’t have the timing belt replaced years ago.


There is no dramatic noise when a timing belt breaks. The engine just stops running. If you’re lucky, as you obviously are, it happens in a convenient place. But that doesn’t minimize the damage to the engine, which may be significant.

Why did you have the car towed home? Are you a mechanic?

Forget I asked that. Obviously, you’re not a mechanic. Too bad, because now you’re going to have to pay to have your Civic towed to a a mechanic, and the mechanic is going to tell you it will cost a lot of money to fix your car.

You have to decide whether or not the car is worth fixing. My guess is you won’t want to spend the money.

I wish you luck finding a replacement for this car.

This is an interference engine, so there has almost certainly been serious engine damage. You can’t decide for sure if it’s worth fixing until you find out the extent of the damage. Chances are good that it won’t be worth it.

Out of curiosity, how many miles and years did you have on the timing belt? I’m guessing it was overdue for replacement, of course.

I’d argue that if the valves had kissed the pistons the engine would have made some noise while stopping. The lack of any noise is a good sign that there probabbly was no damage sustained.

However, looking at the OP’s additional post it’s entirely possibel that the engine died from something other than a failed timing belt anyway.

Why, fthom13, do you suspect think it’s the timing belt? Just a wild guess?

Other than the timing belt, is the car in good condition?

When was the last time you had the timing belt changed? (There might be a warranty on the belt that covers any incidental damage.)

well the towing service guy claims he used be a mechanic and my friend who looked at suspected timing belt. The car would turn over but no piston action when we checked. Looked at the distributor. miles 175k But do you think it could have been something simple like a coil…but I don’t know enough to guess anything. oh gees I bought this car 4 years ago and everything had been updated then. My friend gave me a ver good deal…$500.00 and it ran like a charm. I was lucky. Well now I am in process of selling the little green bean and have had many many responses to my ad. I think I buyer today. I placed the ad as car needs work does not run may be a timing belt. good for a kid who wants to be a mechanic. By the way you two are great and very helpful I love your show and listen as often as I can. Thanks for listening…I’ll let you know when I get another car. Right now I’ll be on 2 wheels for a while. Looking for another good deal on a car.

I’m going to assume a misunderstanding. I’ll assume you meant that the engine would turn over but there was no camshaft action (rather than “no piston action”) as verified by no movement in the distributor. The crankshaft drives the camshaft which drives the distributor.

If I’m incorrect, pleasd don’t hesitate to tell me.

Nope, in that case it’s definitely the timing belt. Sorry.

yes that’s right no camshaft action. yikes…can you tell I’m just a girl with car problems but really I’m trying to learn and understand this. You two are amazing Car Doctors!!!

Well the good news is the kid wants to buy the car anyway he needs a project to work on. I guess it could have been worse I could have just junked it or donated it .

I’m sure I will call on you again for advise in the future. when I’m looking for a new car I’ll send you a note to ask if its worth buying.

I didn’t even know you were a girl. Gender is totally irrelevant.

As a matter of fact, I have a number of good friends (colleagues) who are female who are doctors.
three or four are MDs
one is a PhD computer engineer,
three are PhDs in nursing,
there are more, but to me they’re all just “Deb, Kathy, Barb”, or whatever.

I should have such brainpower!

By the way, Cick and Clack rarely visit the forum. We’re just a bunch of good-for-nothings with too much time on our hands.