Do I need a new timing belt?

I now own granny’s 1998 Honda Civic. It only has 25K miles. My mechanic says I need to replace the timing belt and water pump because they are 10 years old. Is he right?

He’s only about 90% right but five of that last ten percent are walking right now.

Surely Granny was prudent enough to keep the Owner’s Manual, so I suggest that you open the glove compartment and read the maintenance details contained in that booklet. In case you don’t want to go to that effort, I will answer the question for you:

Yes, it is actually overdue for replacement as a result of the belt now being at least 10 years old. Unless you want to risk major engine damage in the event that this dried-up belt snaps, I suggest that you have this replacement taken care of right away.

Incidentally–there is absolutely no warning before the belt snaps. One minute the engine is working normally and the next minute your engine has stopped, with very expensive damage to valves and pistons.

Thank you - I will use Mr. Bushes refund when it comes to replace the timing belt. Until than, I will garage the car.

Thank you - I will use Mr. Bushes refund when it comes to replace the timing belt. Until than, I will garage the car.

That all depends on whether or not Granny ever had the timing belt replaced. If you are still using the original, get it replaced.

By the way, you might not need to wait for W’s rebate to get the work done. Go to Goodyear and apply for a Goodyear credit card. On a repair of this size, you can get a payment plan with 12 months with zero interest. You should be able to get a new timing belt, timing belt tensioner, water pump, and get the other belts replaced at the same time for about $550. Also go to to check for coupons that might give you a discount. Also ask them to check and, if necessary, replace the crank case seal while they are doing the work. This way, you can pay about $50 per month and pay it off before they charge you interest and if the President sends you a check, you can pay the whole thing off.

Goodyear isn’t the only chain where you can get this kind of deal, so check around at Goodyear’s competitors too. In fact, you might get a better deal elsewhere.

Actually, it is your refund. Mr. Bush is merely the politician who is helping to push the process along.

If it is financed with borrowed money, it’s our children’s money, as is the additional interest it will cost.

Isn’t that the nucleus (or is it nuculus?) of the current administration’s fiscal policy? Borrow and spend, borrow and spend.

They apparently believe that this is better than the traditional “tax and spend”, which means actually having the money in the treasury before you spend it. How else could you blow a huge multi-billion $$ surplus as they did?

At least they gave a name to this policy:
Leave no child a dime.

Reaganomics (stimulate by tax cuts) worked because 1) the US was not fighting a hideously expensive war, 2) the existing budget was not running a huge deficit and 3) there was considerable potential for growth to be realized with tax cuts. These 3 facts of life seem lost on the current administration.