I have a 1992 Honda Accord LX (4 cyl.). Purchased it used in the late 90’s and had the timing belt replaced (by dealer service dept.) at 79,000 miles in June 2002. I now have about 140,000 miles on the car. Dealer service dept. recommends changing the belt again. Is it time to do that? Should this decision be made on mileage, number of years since the last replacement, or what?
General rule is mileage or seven years, whichever comes first, so your dealer’s recommendation is not out of line. Timing belts can fail due to age as well as miles, and you simply cannot tell a good one from one going bad.
In 92, the belt change interval was 6 years, 90k miles. Since the engine stayed the same throughout most of the decade, either better belt quality of research changed the interval for the later belts to 7 years or 105k miles. You dealer probably put in the 7 year belt, 7 years ago so he is right on.
Its years or miles whichever comes first. For you, the years are coming first. Rubber doesn’t age well and this is an interference engine. If you like the car and plan on keeping it for more than a few more years, you really should get it changed.
The decision should be made by opening your owner’s manual to the relevant section.
After 9 years it’s about 3 years overdue in my opinion. This is an interference fit engine and if the belt snaps (which can occur in a nano-second with no warning) then you find the cost of repairing the engine is far more costly than a timing belt job.
Another point could be that if the dealer only replaced the belt and not the tensioners and water pump then the dealer was in error and provides another reason why it should be done now.
At 8 1/2 years, you are overdue for a timing belt replacement. Your car does have an interference engine, meaning if the belt fails, there is a very high probability you will have severe engine damage. I suppose if this car is not particularly important to you, you could see how long you can make it and just scrap it when the experiment is over with (you will need a wrecker to take away the remains from wherever the car stops running), but if you want to keep the car running, you should have the timing belt changed, along with the water pump and timing belt tensioner.
Thanks everyone (almost) for your responses. I’ll be getting it done asap. Now for another question: (I’ll probably not get too many replies about this, but oh well…)-
How about putting in a NAPA timing belt & kit instead of a Honda (dealer) belt, etc…? I have a friend who works at an independent shop (seems like it may be ‘connected’ with / to the NAPA store in town. He says NAPA parts are just as good as Honda parts and they’re cheaper (he says). What’s your opinion?
I have found NAPA parts to be very good quality.
Honda does not manufacture the belts that they sell in their parts dept, nor does NAPA manufacture the belts that they sell. For all we know, the Honda-brand belts may actually come from the same factory as the NAPA-brand belts.
Personally, I would go with the NAPA belt since it would save you some money.