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Replacing Honda accessory belts, when?

1999 Integra, 80k miles in excellent condition

Dealership said that there are hairline cracks and change them all.

A Mechanic friend (don’t know much about Hondas) and I looked at those belts - it still looks like new.

PepBoys did the oil change - recommended the same. When i asked, they showed me what appears to be a surface level hair line cracks in the groves. Because it is in the groves, they are short. There are many of them & are parallel. While the belt is black, the groves seems to somewhat orange color.

Belts are tight and not making any noise.

Any experts here?

I speculate your belts are all original, in which case you have certainly gotten your money’s worth out of them. Belts can be tight and run silent up till the moment they break. I tend to proactively change my belts every three years or so to prevent being stranded somewhere with a broken belt. It is also a good indicator that if numerous shops are recommending the same service for the same reason, the problem exists. There is also one belt you cannot see that probably needs attention. If your car has never had the timing belt replaced, that should be done as well, along with the water pump and tensioner. If that belt breaks, it will destroy your engine. If the water pump fails or starts to leak, it will destroy your timing belt, which will destroy your engine. If the tensioner fails, it will also destroy your timing belt and, in turn, your engine. If you have the accessory belts replaced at the same time as your timing belt, you will pay no additional labor to install them since they have to come off anyway (unless the person writing the estimate is a double-dipping jerk). These are routine maintenance items which should not be ignored, particularly if the vehicle is in excellent condition.

Do you know when any of these belts have been changed in the past? I had my serpentine belt changed on an '03 Civic when I had a timing belt job done. If the belts are likely 7 years old or more I’d get them changed. It’s not a great idea to run the car until the belt breaks. Even with AAA you could be stuck for a couple of hours on the side of a busy highway just to save a few $$$.

You are overdue for a timing belt job unless you know for sure it has been changed. The timing belt you can’t see, but if it breaks your motor is going to be damaged. You have an interference motor which means bent valves and broken pistons when the timing belt breaks.

Your Integra has been through a lot, scionf.

I suggest replacing all belts, including the timing belt. If the timing belt breaks your engine will be toast. Is that what you want?

And quit going to Pep Boys. Find a good independent mechanic. It’s not hard.

If you have a 12 year old car - and the belts have never been changed - and you’re balking over changing 12 year old belts -> then I seriously doubt that the car is in “excellent” condition. Unless maybe you mean it looks good. Skip a couple of detailing jobs and use the money to take care of what really matters - the machinery.

No way a belt with 80K on it is going to look like new. I have mine replaced at 30K and keep the original in the trunk for a spare. That’s overkill but think about breaking a belt late at night which might require a tow, wait for parts, and the cost of replacing it anyway. Just foolish in my book to not do some preventive maintenance when the time is convenient rather than waiting. Suit yourself though.

The mention of the orangeish colored grooves rings a bell for me. I can remember seeing OE Honda belts on cars of this era that had that peculiarity. Only OE Honda belts, never saw it on anything else. That’s what makes me think they are original.

It would have made sense to change them when you had the timing belt done. How long ago was that?

Never, I should say.
Bought the car in 2004 with 38k. I didn’t do the timing belt.

Put your money into the timing belt + accessories betls that is due to snap. 8yrs/105k is the interval.

There will be no charge for labor during timing belt replacement on new accessory belts just parts.

I would not waste a dime first maintaining the accessory belts as they will be taken off soon when the timing belt snaps and you are facing the $2000-$3000 repair bill.