Maintenance on Honda Accord

My parents, who are in their late 80’s, own a 2004 Honda Accord with 59K miles. It sits in a garage in Iowa for six months while they are in Florida during the winter. Today, they had it serviced at the local Honda dealer who recommended a new water pump, timing belt, drive belt and coolant for a cost of $695 plus tax. There is currently nothing wrong with the car - it’s running smooth - but the service dept said it would help them sell it some day to get this work done now. This seems fishy to me but they have an incredible amount of trust in this dealer. Is it typical for these items to go bad on an Accord around 60,000 miles? Would replacing all that help with the resale price? What would be the symptoms if these items were going bad?

I hate to be on the side of buyer beware, but any potential buyer can request maintennce records, I think you have to be honest with people, but you go for as is at this point, sell it as is.

Age affects a rubber timing belt as much as age. The car is due for this service. If the belt breaks, the car is worthless. There are no symptoms for a failing timing belt. When it breaks, the engine stops and often self-destructs with the valves hitting the pistons. A knowledgeable buyer will ask about the timing belt when your parents put the car on the market. The price quoted by the dealer seems reasonable to me.


Replace that timing belt. It is overdue by time.

Every 105K/7years

The timing belt should have been replaced at 7 years of age. Should the belt break while driving there’s the possibility that a $700 timing belt job (a fair price, by the way) will turn into a $2200 major engine repair.

The timing belt is nearly ten years old and past due. Doing a belt without the water pump is foolish. Changing coolant the same way and serpentine belt same way. These things deteriorate over time. Do you really want to put a 80 year old in a car with potential maintenance problems?

The price quoted is reasonable, this is maintenance, not repair. The bulk of the cost is labor, If you replace the belt and not the water pump and the pump starts leaking, you have to take the belt off to get to the water pump and pay all that labor again.

I’d pay $695 for a dealer to do this. Very reasonable price. The dealer will usually also replace the idler pulley, which is well worth doing. We did the timing belt in our Odyssey and had to pay $500 six months later to do the idler pulley.

Just to confirm, your parents have the V6 engine and not the 4-cyl. engine, correct? The V6 uses a timing belt and the I-4 uses a timing chain. The V6 belt is a year or two overdue. Make an apointment to have it changed next week. I had my 2005 Accord EX V6 timing belt changed last September and paid $800 to replace the timing belt, serpentine belt, water pump, and coolant. $700 is a fair price. I live in the Baltimore/DC area and that could account for the difference in price.

The dealer price is very reasonable. Honda motors with a timing belt are interference engines. This means if the belt breaks, the pistons will collide with several valves. The damage to the engine is significant and usually requires getting an engine from a salvage yard car and the costs will be near $3000.

The car is already past due for this service, so further delay isn’t a good option. The car is worth about $10K now and if the belt breaks the car with a non running motor is worth about $2,000 or less. As far as resale value, a knowledgeable buyer would like to see evidence (via a receipt) of the timing belt change and it would add to the value of the car.

Thank you, everyone for your feedback. They will have it fixed up, good as new, next week.


You’re making the right decision

Hang on to all the paperwork

If you ever need to sell the car, you can prove that the timing belt was recently replaced