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Honda timing belt change recommendation

Shopping for a 90s Honda for a newcomer to the U.S. Have a 97 Accord in my sights with 194M miles and no maintenance history or manual. I have been told every six years or 105,000 miles, which means it’s possibly overdue or due soon. Have an estimate for $850, which includes the timing belt, water pump, flush and fill cooling system, which is beyond my friend’s means. Owner asking $1500. Should he gamble on the timing belt lasting several thousand more miles? Anyone with Honda timing belt advice please respond.

With no known maintenance history I’d assume the belt needs to be replaced ASAP. At $1,500 you could gamble and just drive until it breaks, but then the car is done, because if the belt breaks the engine will be damaged, and would cost too much to repair.

$850 is about the going rate for a good timing belt job, as you describe.

With a new timing belt, water pump, etc, the car could last another 100K miles or more. That SOHC Vtec engine is a good one. As it is now, every time you start the engine it’s a gamble.