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Timing belt age

I recently bought a 2004 Honda Accord V6 with 60k miles from my mother-in-law who kept it in the garage in San Diego. My local mechanic says I should replace the timing belt due to its age. Honda website says replace it at 60k if driven in extreme heat or cold, but mentions nothing about age being a factor. How long do timing belts last in mild weather?

Every manufacturer’s maintenance schedule with which I am familiar specifies timing belt replacement–as well as many other maintenance procedures–with an either/or, “whichever comes first” proviso.

An example would be the modern-day interval from most car manufacturers for timing belt replacement at 105k miles or 105 months, whichever comes first. In fact, I would be very surprised if that exact interval wasn’t being used by Honda as of the 2004 model year.

105 months = 8.75 years, which means that your car is already overdue for this service by over 1 year.

Because nobody can predict when a timing belt will snap (with no warning whatsoever), and because interference-design engines like yours sustain very expensive damage when the belt snaps, it is not a good idea to gamble with this situation. When the belt snaps, you will be on the hook for repairs that will probably cost something like $1,500–$2,000, over and above the cost of the timing belt replacement. Do you really want to gamble like that?

I strongly suggest that you be pro-active and that you replace the belt a.s.a.p.

Ten years on a timing belt is too long. And since the engine in your vehicle is an interference type engine, if the belt should fail engine damage will occur.

The wife drives a 97 Accord, and I replaced the timing belt 7 years ago while the original owner still had it. So there was about 55.000 miles on that timing belt. Then just a few weeks ago the water pump developed a leak. Well, when the water pump requires replacement you also replace the timing belt.

When I removed one of the top timing belt covers I found huge amounts of rubber dust behind the cover. When I removed the other two covers there was rubber dust covering the front of the engine and behind the covers.

When I compared the old timing belt against the new one, the old belt was less than half the thickness of the new belt.

Needless to say, I caught the worn timing belt just in time before it failed and engine damage occurred.


I agree, Honda used to say 7 years, which made sense. You are well over the normal life for a timing elt. Change it and sleep well.

My 2005 Accord V6 owner’s manual says to replace the timing belt at 105,000 or 7 years, whichever comes first. Do you still have the owners manual for your car? BTW, the owners manual is both the book that is titled owners manual and the maintenance manual.

You’re overdue.
As a matter of fact, at 10 years old (the car) of San Diego heat, I’d want to do an inspection of all the other elastomers to. Tires, brake flex lines, cooling hoses, anything with rubber. Rubber breaks down with time… even faster in hot sunshine.

Toyota says 7 years. Rubber dry rots cracks and breaks. Your mechanic is trying to save you a bunch of money and grief. Did you get the service records? If so, compare them to the scheduled mtc in the owners manual. The have your mechanic due whats needed.

When I compared the old timing belt against the new one, the old belt was less than half the thickness of the new belt.

Good grief, what the heck did the teeth look like?

Here’s a visual. This belt was in our 97 Honda Accord and was 8 years old with about 85k on it at the time. This was right before I had it changed. The climate where I live gets about 30 degrees colder in winter and about the same temp in summer but with higher humidity.

I have owned many Chrysler products with timing belts and the owners manuals always stated a mileage for the belt replacement but no age requirement.

I am not arguing that a timing belt should not be replaced due to age, just that Chrysler didn;t specify one.

I don’t think Toyota spec’d an age limit on the timing belt of my Corolla in the owner’s manual, but they did in the car’s factory service manual, 7 years I think.

I just looked on Honda’s site at the online maintenance manual for the 2006 V6 Accord. It says to replace the timing belt at 105K miles/7 years.