I have a 1996 Honda Civic with 205,000 miles on it. I bought it with 130,000 miles on it and I don’t know if the previous owner ever changed the timing belt. I have never changed the timing belt. Is the car so old that I should not bother changing it at this point? I can either sink about $700 (the estimate I received) into it or just let it die if the timing belt breaks.
In either case…the timing belt is well past due. The belt should be replaced about every 100k miles.
If the belt breaks there’s a good chance it’ll kill the engine…A running car is worth a lot more then one that’s dead…
As for the $700…you should be able to get it done a lot cheaper then that…Was that price from the dealer??? Find a good local independent.
My Civic has 207,000 miles on the odometer, and I plan to get my timing belt changed when the time comes. I plan to keep my Civic going until it has at least 300,000 miles.
$700 seems a little high. I got mine done, along with the water pump and all the other belts replaced at the same time for about $550 with a 10% off coupon at Goodyear. I paid for it with a Goodyear credit card, and was able to pay off the balance in six months with zero interest.
I dunno, $700 is probably fairly close to the mark IF it’s an Si with the B16 engine. That’s a dual cam motor and they usually charge more for those than the single cams.
The previous owner probably changed the belt, because it’s pretty rare for a belt to last 205k. That said, it’s due again, and you should get it done unless you want to spend a lot more than $700 buying another car when this one breaks.
Look at it this way…
Car payment could easily be $300/mo. So if you get it fixed…and the car lasts 3 more months…you’re ahead of the game…8*)
If breaking down at any time, date, weather or distance from home does not concern you then drive on. Also if you don’t care if your vehicle turns to instant junk not if but when the belt snap again drive on.
Otherwise call around for estimates. I think it you can get it done for less but not sure where you live which drives price.
There is really more to this issue than “letting it die”.
For some reason that I cannot fathom, people seem to think that their timing belt will snap while the car is idling in their driveway or some other safe and convenient location.
In fact, the odds are that the belt is more likely to snap while you are driving.
Imagine that you are on the interstate, in the middle or left lane, in the midst of 18-wheelers going 70-75 mph. Do you really want to take the chance that you and your passengers will survive the attempt to get to the shoulder with no engine power, no power assist for your steering, and little reserve in your power brake booster?
Or, how about if it snaps while crossing a busy highway or a RR crossing?
Would you like to be in the position of having a dead car in the worst part of town, at night?
Personally, I would go ahead and change the belt, tensioner, and water pump, but your sense of risk avoidance may be different than mine.
This is your decision. Your Civic is living on borrowed time.
When the belt breaks the motor is trash and the car is worth only what a salvage yard would give you for parting out the rest of the car.
'96 Civics with good bodies are generally cars that hold up very well. IF the body is rusted I’d just run in into the ground. IF the body is nice and the interior is nice I’d replace the belt and enjoy a nice car for a few more years.
As much as I like VDCdriver’s scenarios, timing belts like to fail in the middle of winter when the rubber is stiffer and more brittle. Now imagine it breaking out in the middle of nowhere during an ice storm. That happened to me, but that was 20+ years ago. Now we all have cell phones so you might get rescued a little quicker than I did.
The timing belt will break at the most inconvenient time, but, based on the age and mileage of your Civic I suggest you drive it until it stops running, for whatever reason, then junk it.
is this your only vehicle?
Let it die and start bumming rides