Recommended maintenance on a Civic



I have a 2003 Honda Civic that has 101,000 miles. The recommended maintenance schedule calls for a new timing belt as well as routine maintenance at 110,000 miles. The dealer says this will cost $800+, most of it the timing belt. I have never had any problems with this car and change my oil religiously. I have also done the recommended maintenance every 10,000 miles. Please help. Is this a rip off, a necessity or something in between? I go to the dealer for my oil changes because they have competitive prices and are convenient. I haven’t needed another mechanic. Now I’m not so sure. This seems like a lot of money to spend when there is nothing wrong with the car. Any advice is appreciated.


Replacing the timing belt at this interval is highly recommended. The idea is to avoid serious problems if the timing belt breaks or wears out. And it is also recommended to replace the water pump at the same time, since much of the labor is duplicated. These parts don’t last forever.

Of course you can skip these replacements and hope your luck holds out another 100,000 miles. Maybe it will. Then again, …


After 100k miles it is HIGHLY recommended to replace the timing belt. Like the person above stated, a common procedure is to replace the water pump, thermostat and front engine seals (if leaking) which could be why the price is so high. Another option if cost is the issue is to get a quote from a reputable Honda repair shop for the same repairs.


It’s not the belt itself that’s so expensive, it’s the labor involved in changing it. Also, expect them to keep it for a while as they’ll need to let the engine cool down before they dive in there. They wanted atleast 3 hours of downtime on the engine before they got in mine. So, arrange to have them give you a loaner for the day, drop it off before/after you go to work, and feel good that the biggest maintenance cost is out of the way for a little while longer(another 100k miles or so)


Timing belts have a limited life. You are close to the end of its life.

When it goes, your engine will stop running NOW! No warning. It may (depending on the engine) destroy the engine when it goes.

It’s your call, but I would call it totally foolish not to replace it now.


on the honda, it WILL destroy the engine. I’m with the other guys. Change the belt right away.

800 is a bit high though - find a non-dealer mechanic to do the work.


It’s not a ripoff, it is necessary, and the vehicle will run perfectly fine up to the very nano-second the belt breaks. At that point, it’s going to cost you a lot more in engine repairs by neglecting it.