Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Honda civic timing belt question


i have a 200 honda civic with about 65,000 miles …
i’m the original owner …
car was purchased new in 2000 …
car is now 14 years old

owner’s manual says change the timing
belt at 7 years or 105,000 miles

am i tempting fate by not replacing the
timing belt now ?? … like i said
the car only has 65,000 miles and
has been well maintained but it’s 14 years old


Really? You answered your own question.

 <blockquote>owner's manual says change the timing

belt at 7 years or 105,000 miles
And actually it states whichever comes first.

Of course you’re tempting fate. You’re seriously overdue. I hope you’re aware that you’ll need to throw away several thousand dollars unnecessarily for an engine replacement or repair if it breaks.

You have an interesting definition of “well-maintained”, I might add.

I believe those are what’s called “interference engines”, which means that if the timing belt does break, it’ll sound like popcorn underneath the hood as the valves slam against the pistons. Causing you to need a new engine or a very expensive repair job (couple thousand dollars).

So, I would be reluctant to risk it.

If it were non-interference, it wouldn’t be so critical.

“owner’s manual says change the timing belt at 7 years or 105,000 miles”

What is ambiguous about that wording (which also includes the words, “whichever comes first”)?

“the car only has 65,000 miles and has been well maintained”

I’m sorry, but I beg to differ.
When you delay timing belt replacement by at least 7 years, your car is NOT “well-maintained”.

So, to answer the OP’s question, not only are you tempting fate, but you are also ignoring very clearly-stated advice from the folks who designed and manufactured your car. Because this car has an “interference design” engine, you would be VERY foolish to continue to ignore the advice that Honda provided.

The belt might continue to stay in one piece for a few more years, or it could self-destruct tomorrow–with no warning whatsoever. Do you really want to gamble when a snapped timing belt will result in repairs that are at least double the cost of simply replacing that over-aged belt?

This post is a good example of why the term “well maintained” can be very ambiguous.

Not only does “tempting fate” leave you open to a breakdown which can occur in a nano-second with zero warning it can also be potentially lethal.
What happens if that belt snaps in high-speed, rush hour traffic and the last thing you see in the rear view mirror is the nose of a Kenworth that has been tailgating you… :frowning:

It’s a bit of a gamble to continue on w/out changing the timing belt. The rubber material degrades with time, irrespective of the mileage. As mentioned above, the best course is to follow the owner’s manual. That said, somebody has to win the lottery. You could get lucky. Your timing belt could well go on for a few more years with no problem. But if you loose the gamble, the repair bill will probably be very expensive. Like $5,000 to $10,000 expensive. Or more. And a lot of grief.

I presume what motivates this question is the expense, often $500 or even $1000. In your case you might can save some $$$ b/c you might wish to make another gamble, somewhat less risky, and not replace the water pump and tensioner and idler pulleys while replacing the timing belt. I’m not recommending this course of action, but in my opinion if you simply must save $$$, that’s a better option than not replacing the timing belt at all.

I’m going to be “snarky” . . .

Some people interpret 7yrs/105k as “Do the belt at 105k or 7yrs, whichever makes you feel better”

In this case, OP might feel better if he waited until 105k, at which point the belt will be 20 years old, and rotten. If it doesn’t snap or fall off before then

LOL . . . ?!

@runnerdude ,

If memory serves, the 2000 Civic is a 6th generation Civic, which has an interference engine. Yes, you’re tempting fate. You’ve been tempting fate for seven years.

To be fair, with my 1998 Civic, I only keep track of mileage for maintenance purposes. I don’t bother tracking time periods, but then again, I put enough miles on my car that it isn’t going to make much of a difference. You, on the other hand, don’t seem to put many miles on your car.

In terms of vehicle ownership costs, when someone like you owns a car and doesn’t drive it much, many ownership costs become fixed costs instead of variable costs. When that happens, you should ask yourself if owning a car is a smart financially sound choice. You’re averaging less than 5,000 miles per year. You should be getting a new timing belt every seven years. If the cost is too high, you might consider selling the car.

replace immediately. I have a 2000 Civic with 233k miles. Runs like a champ. Chain was not introduced until 2006 MY