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Timing Belt 2000 Acura RL

How can I find out definitively?

Is this an “interference” engine–which will be badly damaged if timing belt breaks–or if I can wait, as mechanic highly rated on this site says. (He does not say it is not an interference engine. He says he does not know. That surprises me since he is said to be expert in Acura/Honda. But he does say that since I have 95,000 mi and book says 105,000 OR & YEARS I can wait. I’m worried about the 7 years. I must be 9 or so now. But he says he’s never seen one break. So, while I appreciate his not wanting to sell me a very expensive maintenance job ahead of time, I’m scared–at least until I know if the whole engine is at risk.

How can I determine if the engine can easily survive a belt break?

There MUST be a way to find out.

Anybody know where to l ook that up?

Here’s a link for you.

According to Gates…your engine IS a interference engine. Your owners manual should have that information also. I would be very surprised if it didn’t.

A mechanic who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “or” doesn’t seem highly qualified to me.

I agree with lion9car, and I would be very wary of this “highly rated” mechanic.
Bear in mind that his friends and relatives could have posted great ratings in order to drum up business for him, and the people who run this site would have no way of knowing that these ratings were not posted honestly.

You have to evaluate this mechanic on the basis of what YOU know definitively.
Since it is definite that this IS an interference engine, and also that replacement of the timing belt is grossly overdue on the basis of elapsed time, I would suggest that you avoid this mechanic. If his knowledge of basic stuff like this is deficient, there could be lots of other gaps in his technical knowledge.

The mfg recommends changing at 7 years because in that amount of time a broken timiing belt would be due to a defect in the belt itself or failure of a part like the water pump or tensioner. So you should be virtually 100% ok up to year 7.

At year 8 and beyond the likehood of a belt failure increases. Each year the risks of failure goes up. Noone can tell you the exact % that survive vs the % that break. At 9 years your belt will probably not break but it is much more possible than in year 7. How far do you want to push it? How much of a risk taker are you?

A 2000 Acura RL still has some book value. If the belt fails the motor is gone. Likely about $3,000 or more to repair or replace. If the car is rusty and on its last legs perhaps it is best to let it ride. If the car is in good shape the price of a new timing belt is worth it. Why wait another 10K miles if you are so nervous about it? After the belt is changed you don’t have this item to worry about for another 9 years or 100K miles.

Do you want to be the first customer of your mechanic who experiences a broken belt?