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Honda Accord

Accord 1989 with 14,740 miles. Today replaced spark plugs at Honda service. The service guy said we should get a Timing Belt job ($876), due to AGE it may crack/break and then the car will stop dead.

Hard to believe…or not?

Advice please.

Thank you.

Wow, 20 years old and not even 15K miles? That has to be some kind of record. Another thing that’s a record is the fact that the timing belt has lasted this long, assuming it hasn’t already been replaced sometime in the past.

Absolutely yes, if the belt is this old, it very well can break and leave you stranded. Additionally, I believe this car has an interference engine. When the timing belt lets go in an interference engine, the pistons smash into the valves and can cause big-time internal engine damage.

So, do you need the belt replaced? Unless it was already done sometime between now and 2002, then YES. However, that price seems a bit on the high side so shop around some first. Something more like $600 would be perfectly reasonable.

Thank you Budd. I made an error on the date .It is a 1998 Accord.Sorry for this error.
I suspect that your opinion probably still favors a change of the belt.

I use to buy Honda’s from those who let the timing belt replacement period lapse and when they failed and did engine damage, I was there to buy them. Tear the head off to replace the bent valves, and replace the timing belt/water pump. Drive it another five years, until one of the kids starting driving it. But that’s another story.

The price seems a little high for this job. Look for an independant shop to this simple service. Which should include a new water pump.


Yes, it does. 11 years is still plenty old for a timing belt, so it should be done ASAP.

Like Tester and myself suggested, the price is on the high side. Shop around for a better price.

…and, more importantly, the Honda Maintenance Schedule also “favors” a belt replacement at this time.

Actually, it probably mentions the need to replace the belt about 3 years ago–regardless of odometer mileage. If you don’t believe this, simply open the glove compartment, take out the Owner’s Manual, find the maintenance schedule contained therein, and read what the people who designed and built the car have to say about this maintenance procedure.

You have been very lucky so far, but if you continue to ignore this necessary maintenance, your luck could end in the blink of an eye, and could cost you…perhaps $1,500 for repairs…over and above the cost of the timing belt itself.

Thank you gentlemen. I will take care of it soon.

My dealer does the belt and the water pump (highly recommended under normal circumstances) for $600. You might want to ask if they are including the water pump which typically adds #250 to $300 to the price. At the kind of mileage you have I just don’t see that the water pump needs to be replaced. Normally people replace the belt at 105,000 miles and a new pump is in order. The reason for that is the belt job is almost entirely labor and the pump is easily accessible once the belt is off. If you don’t replace the pump with the belt and then it dies you will have to pay the labor charge again.