Honda CRV timing belt failure



At 96,000 miles I took my 2000 Honda CRV in for a timing belt replacement. Five days later, at 65 mph on the freeway my car looses all power. Had it towed back to the Honda Dealer and the timing belt had shredded. The dealer tells me there’s no damage. He did a compression test of the engine and everything is fine. He throws in other free services for my inconvience, like a valve adj. Is this engine really OK? How can there really be no damage? Am I being taken for a ride?


When the engine died was there any prior loud noises?

The recommended change is 105k miles.

Regardless, your new belt shredded. That may have been due to a bad belt
or improper installation or a seized idler tension pulley.

If your engine is a non-interference type engine, a broken timing belt will not cause damage.

If such is the case, your engine will be fine.


You can Google “Gates timing belts” and find a site that has a complete list of interference and non-interference engines…


According to the Gates Timing Belt Guide

The 97-01 CRV 2.0 4 cyl is an interference engine with a timing belt driven water pump. Was the water pump replaced at the same time as the timing belt? Since it’s an interference engine the odds are good that damage occurred. I hope the dealer is going to back up their work in writing and provide a warranty for their work. You may want to get a second opinion.

Good luck,

Ed B.


If the new belt shredded within 5 days then there’s about a 99%+ chance they screwed something up in some way to cause that belt to shred. Loose tensioner bolt or whatever; who knows.

If this is an interference engine then it’s possible that some valve damage could have been done.
Usually the intake valves are the ones to bend as they are larger and will make piston contact whereas the smaller exhaust valves will not. How much those valves bend is debateable; some bend a lot and the engine will not run and others bend slightly and the engine may run but not as it should.

I hope they’re not throwing in this “free valve adjustment” in an attempt to cure a bent valve problem. When a valve bends due to a broken belt what will happen is that the valve adjustment will usually become excessively loose…

Proceed carefully with this and don’t put a lot of your faith in things they tell you just yet.


Thanks so much for your responses. You guys are great


As others have mentioned, your CRV has an “interference” engine. The odds that no damage was done when the timing belt failed are slim to none. If the dealer replaced the belt and it subsequently failed, the dealer is responsible for all repairs associated with this failure. Good luck.


I disagree that there was necessarily damage to your interference engine. Typically it happens however on my Jetta GLI 16V with an interference motor a similar event occurred. Another dealer who performed the fix under repair warranty(VW) stated no damage and the car motored on for another 100k not a single issue with lots of power.


you’re right in that it is certainly possible to have a t-belt break on an interference engine and not have any damage as a result.

It is also possible to get struck by lightning and survive, but that doesn’t mean it’s a common thing.

The odds are you have some damage. The fact that it runs, and you apparently don’t hear any loud clacking coming from the engine, improves your chances that the engine is OK.

However, in my opinion they owe you a teardown diagnostic of the head, and a new head if there’s any damage. Assuming they do that diagnostic and find nothing, make sure you have that claim in writing so that in 10,000 miles when you go back to them with bent-valve problems you have proof that they caused it and then lied about it.