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Losing power occasionally after timing belt change

I have the timing belt changed on my 2001 Honda Civic EX two weeks ago. Right after the timing belt change I noticed that the car was more sluggish and did not accelerate as fast as before. Three days ago the car started losing power occasionally, especially when it was just starting and low speed. I could regain the power after about 30 second, and then it was fine. Could this be related to the timing belt change? If so, I should get the dealer mechanics to fix it for free, right? Thanks!


A fault with the timing belt would be happening all the time. It wouldn’t come an go. Does the check engine light come on?

The engine should operate exactly the same after the timing belt replacement as it did before the belt was replaced. If it doesn’t something is wrong and you should go back to the mechanic or dealer who did the work.

Changing the timing belt and the problem you’re seeing are completely unrelated. If the belt was causing the sluggish power it would happen ALL the time…Not just some of the time.

However…To replace a timing belt several things have to come off just to get to the belt. So maybe he didn’t put something back correctly. Take it back and have him check it out.

I have some update on this issue. My Civic broke down this morning on my way to work. I had it towed to a garage and the mechanics told me that the timing belt was off the marks. The tension on the timing belt was not right. Now I want to get a labor refund from the Honda dealer who changed the timing belt at the first place two weeks ago. Is that reasonable?


Oh, I forgot to mention, when I did go back to the dealer on Monday, they say they couldn’t reproduce the problem, hence no problem.

Is the engine OK. This is a interference engine.

I still don’t understand HOW it could run well SOME of the times. If the belt slipped it would stop running or run poorly ALL the time…NOT some of the time.

The mechanic recommended on the Cartalk site and some of my coworkers told me the timing belt slipped. “The markers are off” was what he said. He said the battery was “overcharged”, but everything else seemed to be fine. So my question is that can a new timing belt slip suddently? If so, what could have caused it? I am very puzzled indeed.

Some more background. I sent my Civic in a Honda dealer for a timing belt change (89k miles), oil change, and a diagnosis of why the SRS light on my dashboard is on all the time. They changed the timing belt, and told me my motor mounts were broken too, which they also changed. That was two and half weeks ago. The Honda dealer told me the SRS light was on because of a faulty driver site seatbelt buckle, which they changed a week and half later. However, the SRS remained on after that. Also around that time I started noticing the occasional losing power problem. When they rechecked for the SRS light, they told me it was because the alternator were bad and giving out a higher voltage to the batteray than it supposed to. Yesterday I went to a Getty garage both recommended on this Cartalk site and by some of my coworkers to change the alternator for half of the price what the Honda dealer wanted to charge me. But the Getty mechanic could not reproduce the “losing power” either. This morning on my way to work, my car started losing power and stopped on the road completely. The Getty guys told me that the timing belt had slipped.

My question is why would a new timing belt slip two and half weeks after it was installed? Am I right to suspect that the Honda dealer did something wrong when they put in the new timing belt?

the belt may have been put on wrong. the timing marks may have not been lined up when the belt was installed. is the engine a vtec? that mite explan why it ran ok sometimes… and if the belt was to far off it could bend valves

Yes, the engine is a vtec. Right now the car runs fine (knock on the wood) after the Getty mechanic readjusted the belt. I am trying to get some reimbursement from the Honda dealer. We will see what happens.


the belt may have been put on wrong. the timing marks may have not been lined up when the belt was installed. is the engine a vtec? that mite explan why it ran ok sometimes…

No it doesn’t. If the belt was put on wrong the car would run poorly ALL THE TIME…if it ran at all. 4 and 6 cylinders are a lot less tolerant to the timing belt being off by even 1 tooth. Several cars I’ve replaced timing belts on would knock severally if off by just 1 tooth…and not run at all if off by more then 1 tooth. I re did a timing chain on a V8 that was off by 4 teeth. Still ran OK…but lacked power at the high-end.