Need to convince my mom to change her timing belt


Hi All,

My mom has a 99 Honda CRV with almost 92k. I’ve been suggesting to her to take care of the timing belt lately, and I looked in her owner’s manual and I believe it is supposed to be done at 106k.

But Isn’t it also supposed to be done after 6 years, regardless of the mileage? I didn’t catch this when I read. Does anyone know off hand?

Is mom endangering her engine? Needless to say the car is 9 years old therefore the belt(s) are 9 years old as well. That seems like an awful lot of wear even if it isn’t exactly at 106k.

I just want to do what any responsibile son does by making sure his mother takes care of the car. I would hate to see it get ruined, it was always the family car growing up and we love it so I just want to do the right thing even if it means annoying the crap out of her until she spends the $$$. What should I tell her?



Well, she has a choice. Have timing belt/water pump/tensioner replaced now and get another 106,000 miles/6 years out the vehicle. Or run the risk of the timing belt/water pump/tensioner failing and doing substantial damage to the engine.

As is said, “You can pay me now! Or you can pay me later!”



if you want to give her a birthday present, ask to borrow her car one day, take it to the mechanic, and have a new timing belt put in. while it is there, usually the water pump and the tensioners get replaced too.

shop around for prices, and see what it is going to cost.

on the other hand, is your Mom going to be offended about you touching her car??


I’m afraid with this engine, you can only scare her with being stranded on the side of some lonely highway. The CRV’s are one of the few Hondas that don’t have an interferance engine.

EDIT: Oops, nevermind!


you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. the belt should have been changed already.

interference engine or not, wht happens if the belt pops while trying to beat 90k pounds of loaded kenworth through an intersection.


What is an interferance engine ?


An interference engine means if the valves are not moved properly the pistons will make contact and demolish the valvetrain and possibly damage the pistons. A broken timing belt will cause the valves not to move and some or all of them will get smashed by the moving pistons and instant breakdown. Usually damage of this type in a Honda engine ranges $1500-$4000+. The belt change costs around $500+.


GreasyJack is incorrect about the 99 CRV, it is interference in design. So beyond the lonely highway scare an expensive repair bill.


Her CR-V has a interference engine, meaning if the belt goes the engine will trash itself.


Wouldn’t it be ironic, if on her way to Vegas, to do some gambling,…?


Sounds like a mother’s day gift idea to me.


See if it helps to tell her that she will need to have it done not that many miles according to the miles. Then she will have another 100,000 before she will need another one. Chances are she will have a different car by then for other reasons. If she fails to have it done in time, she will have a different car a lot sooner.

Frankly I really like the idea of arranging to have it done for her. It would make a great early mother’s day present.


hmmmm no one ever seems to mention that side of it…(the intersection bit) I guess it can still be a safety issue with a non-interference engine.


Mom, “Oh, son! You shouldn’t have!”


I’d love to but i’m a broke college student and can barely even afford to keep my own honda running. At least it doesn’t need a new timing belt.


Hmm… I thought the gates catalogue had it as a non-interferance application… I’ll double-check.

Ah, I misread!


A friend of my wife made a panic call to our house at 1 a.m. because her daughter’s truck “just stopped”, and she was asking what to do. I advised her to call the AAA and have the truck towed to a nearby garage operated by a friend. This truck did not have an interference engine, and was promptly repaired the next day. Personal safety is a good reason to replace the timing belt.


no bros or sis to help with the cost. how about dad?

the cost to change a timing belt and water pump at a local mechanic should be around $400 to $700. how many siblings do you have, this is a really appropriate issue to try to explain to mom.

i know, a college student usually finds the funds to go out with friends doing extra curricular activities during the college years but… chat with your sibs and see if they can pitch in, mom would be really surprised at your maturity (and concern)

for more discussion points with your mom, google up: “interference engine damage” read through some of the posts and print off one or two for mom to see/read. she might be a believer.


Here’s what can happen when a timing belt/chain fails on an interference engine.



that link go to a sign in page, it don;t work.