Timing Belt - Acura RL

I am getting conflicting advice.

Dealer says NOW!!! Independent mechanic, specializing in Honda/Acura and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ON THIS SITE says it can wait 10,000 mi. (two years for me). (I read some comments on this site that Honda rates the belts very conservatively & they will last much longer. But I do not want to kill this interference engine.)

Car is year 2000–has 94,000 miles.

Factory book says 105,000 or 7 years.

And, what should this cost–inc. balance belt, tensioner, water pump, and all rubber belts?

Can any good mechanic do this well? Or is it hard to do it correctly and should I stick to dealer or independent who specializes in this make? So can I look around for lower price than $1000–that’s a problem these days.

mike, we have had this sort of question many times. Yes, Honda has very good timing belts with a decent safety margin.

HOWEVER, the change interval in your manual says 105,000 MILES or SEVEN (7) YEARS, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST! That means you are 2 years overdue, since rubber deteriorates both with age as well as mileage. Your independent mechanic is partially right, the belt is not about to snap tomorrow morning, unless it’s -40 and the car is parked outside!

This type of thing happened to me when I drove my brother-in-law’s car to his new location in a very cold part of the country. On starting up the engine in the morning outside the hotel, although it had run well for 1500 miles, the fan belt just snapped without any warning. If it had been a timing belt the engine would have been ruined.

So, I would do all the needed things (belt, water pump, tensioner) reasonably soon, but you don’t need to go to the dealer; a good independent maechnic should be able to save you at least $300 over what the dealer would charge. Your mechanic probably does not realize how little you drive.

The car is a 2000 model. This means it was likely built in the summer/fall of 1999.
Odds are the belt was manufactured long before that.
This means, at a minimum, the belt is approx. 9.5 years old. It should have been replaced about 3 or 4 years ago in my opinion.

The cost can easily run a grand and yes, tensioners, water pump, etc. should be part of the job.

Any decent shop can handle a job like this, but I would not consider the shop listed on this site as “decent” at all by making a hokey recommendation about allowing this belt to continue on for another 10k miles.
This belt was on borrowed time years ago.

It’s entirely possible a belt can last the entire lifetime of a car without ever being changed. Many people go to Vegas every day honestly believing they’re going to be returning home filthy rich also.

A “conversatively rated belt” on a Honda that belonged to some good friends of mine broke at 3 years/59k miles; leading to some expensive engine damage. So much for conservatively rated.

I have a 2000 Acura 3.2TL and I had the timing belt (and tensioner and water pump) changed in '07 at ~78K miles, so I was due with respect to years. IIRC, it cost me $700 at an independent Honda/Acura shop.

Although I know of one other 3.2TL ('99) owner who went over 200K on his original belt, I would get your timing belt service done ASAP.

Are you near me?

I’d like to find that price $700. What shop?

I’m north of Phila.–near Jenkintown, Montgomery pr Bucks Co.

Any advice? I can’t tell where you are.