Timing belt broke at 3,000 miles. Why?

Hi yes thanks! It’s a small state so I am still on the hunt for someone that would be willing to appear in court. I have been told by a lawyer that technically I can subpoena Honda and they have to appear so I could potentially use that if I had to. I am writing a demand letter to the orginal shop now and will send by certified mail. Was going to try to talk to these guys again in a friendly way but honestly I am sort of scared of that and also you know, the jig is up, they just need to give me my money already so ya, demand letter is next! (Might try to write a demand letter with a friendly twist)

Should I try to get photos of the other parts in the crankshaft set up like the crank sprocket?

At this point, your car question has been answered. Now you are getting into legal territory. Due diligence on finding a good attorney by asking around and checking the internet and BBB for a good lawyer. If you know anyone who owns a small business near you, ask them which lawyer they are most afraid of.

Then follow that attorney’s advice. The shop passed on the first opportunity to make things right with you so you do not owe them any further courtesy. They chose hardball so you need to get in the game with someone who can play hardball better than the shop.


Ok thank you.
I figured out one of the issues with the new engine. The air compressor for the ac is cycling on and off every 11 seconds. Also makes a weird squeaky noise when I turn it on and off. Is this dangerous? Read ac problems can cause engine damage. Honda told me they charged it before it left. Maybe over filled? It worked 100% fine in old engine no noise, is the air compressor in the engine?

A cycling AC compressor indicates the AC system is low on refrigerant.


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Thank you.
Breaks. Getting work, more into: seems to start after going down very steep hill using breaks. After breaks were replaced started quite and at low speeds. Today I was driving 50 mph and it was squealing. When I have my foot on break it goes away. When I turn to left goes away. Straight and right it squeals. Read that when breaks heat up from steep hill this can happen, maybe that coupled with I believe he might have put high performance pads on. Going back to that shop in the morning (finally called him because I am just getting this all over with and it’s really bad). Would like to know what to tell him so he doesn’t tell me.
Thank you

Last thing: new engine. Don’t know how best to describe this noise but it seems like a background vibration to the sound of the engine. It seems to vibrate more and then less on about 1 second intervals and is higher pitched the faster I go. Is this something rubbing?

Lots of great things in this chat, just read every post and have a little to add. Sounded like they didn’t change the belt and might’ve ran the engine and sanded the old marks off the belt so it doesn’t look like the old one, but then we got the “evidence” :wink: clearly was rubbing that plate due to negligence. I would’ve asked to see what repair manual or steps they followed (seems like they just stuck things bad where they were and didn’t follow even a simple YouTube video…but they’re professionals: someone who gets paid to do a job). Also might wanna check the wheel bearings to see if one is squeaking or it could be ceramic brake pads, if neither, see if there’s any cuts or deep grooves in the rotors (if you just drove they will be very hot…please don’t burn yourself…been there done that). As for the engine vibration and gas mileage, I can’t help much without being there, but I know your concern because my 2012 Kia Optima and lot of Kias vibrate like crazy especially when the compressor is on. Hope you sort everything out and update anything that happens:)

Maybe they tightened it too much

Have you asked for original shop for your money back or do they refuse?

Yup! I have given them the opportunity three (actually my husband also talked to them briefly about it too so I guess that’s 4 times they had the opportunity to solve this problem!) times to make things right. Only now am I forced to be at the position where I am asking for my money back, they have had every opportunity to realize it was their mistake and fix it. I am not a trained mechanic, I am just a regular lady on a car forum and we figured this out in like 2 days. They have a staff of trained mechanics who supposedly have been doing this for 30+ years. If they saw the evidence in front of them and didn’t realize something was off right away it is actually frightening that these people work on machines as dangerous as cars can be. I could have literally died because of their dumb mistake. (I only say that because I just read a legal case about a lady who’s timing belt broke, she got out of the car to pick of some car piece and got hit by car) Thank god I was able to pull over safely. I was broken down on a state highway that had no shoulder, with no phone service trying to make it across traffic with my dog to find a phone to call a tow on a 90 degree day and literally that was the best of all these days so far. It astonishes me that people can be so completely devoid of ethics, empathy and moral code.

Seem like small claims court. Upside you may get the cost of repairs .

Sorry about this. I’d leave an unemotional Yelp and other review of events, timespanj and refusal to do anything.

It sounds to me like you have an easy case. You really only have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the shop failed to install the timing belt correctly (e.g. installed the guide plate backwards) or that they supplied defective parts. You have the necessary evidence–the physical guide plate, print out a copy of the belt routing diagram with the guide plate highlighted, and pictures of the failed engine.

In the event of a faulty installation, I am not sure that the shop’s warranty period matters, as negligence cannot be disclaimed away. In the event that the timing belt itself, or any other part which the shop supplied was defective, you should still be within the time and mileage warranty for this type of work.

Not only that, but if the timing was thrown off enough the engine wouldn’t have just ran bad or shut off, it could’ve locked up and sent your car into an uncontrollable spin out that could’ve caused more damage to the car and possibly take multiple lives. I’d consider the shop extremely lucky and if it were me I’d take just fixing it or paying for an engine any day over being blamed for murder.

You are going to be questioning everything on this car from now until the end of time. Why not just trade it in on a new one and sleep better at night?

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@old_mopar_guy you are either psychic or you are just reading the undertones of my other questions. Yes I am literally terrified this car is going to kill me at any minute now and am findint it hard to feel safe. Unfortunetly I owe $14,000 on it and just paid $5000 for a new engine. I already tried to trade it in before the engine and the dealership told me they would give me $3,000 sooo that a loss of $11,000. Even now I don’t think I can get close to what I owe. I just bought this car last year. Also put $3000 into breaks, struts, shocks, tires, winter tires a couple months before this happened.
But in terms of all the things I have been still worried about with the engine and breaks on here, I actually brought it back to the dealer service Friday and they did find that some engine mount something or other that has something to do with the eco mode has dislodged which is part of the vibration and why it felt likw the transmission was clunking so I was actually noticing something. Also they said some engine hood thingy was super loose and vibrating a lot. Don’t know if they are just trying to make me happy now but they are going to replace that for free and I guess plugged the other thing back in. I have to have them write this stuff down for me.
The breaks are really an issue too. It is getting so bad that I am going 50 and it is just squealing. Totally stops when I put my foot on the break. Only happens when everything is hot. Brought it back to the mechanic that did that job. First told me it was rocks, said he took them out, checked the shims, all should be fine. Moment I started driving heard it and now he says it’s in the back, that my back rotor is rusty and the rust built up between the the rotor and the heat shield is causing noise. Said it started after breaks in front were done because the back breaks were doing all the work and now they aren’t. Does any of that check out??? Don’t know who to trust anymore. I like this guy but he did charge me $900 for front breaks, pads, calipers which is INSANE so I didn’t go back to him and that’s why this other place did my timing belt. Break guy wants to charge me an hour ($78) to get the rust off the back of the rotor and I really want him to do it for free mainly because I paid waaaaay too much for the front breaks. But I don’t want to get into with another shop. Here is a buisness idea for anyone: automotive woman’s advocate. I would pay someone one million dollars to just deal with all this for me and be honest.
@Emurry8448 I agree with you. The more I learn about this the more I realize how dangerous this all was.

The brake explanation does not check out. Any rust on the contact surfaces of the rotors is scrubbed off after the first few stops of the day. As for what the dealer offered you in trade, go to CarMax and see what they offer you. Make like Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes. Say nothing about the engine change or any of the other issues.

I meant to google that, that’s lot illegal to not disclose you have a rebuilt engine? It honestly I don’t know that it’s rebuild, might just be used. Do you have to disclose you have an engine that didn’t originally come with the car?
Also, I reeeeeally want to believe this other guy is not as curupt as the timing belt guys, and also not finding very google YouTube videos about breaks online. The break pad makes contact on both sides of the rotor? Not just one? So there are two separate pads, either side of the rotor? And if that is the case, is there any space in the center of the backside of the rotor that could build up rust?
And in another installment of random declarations by me: Car mechanics should be mantitory for one year in high school so everyone knows at least the basics of this death trap they drive around everyday!

Wow! That’s a bad design for that Timing Belt Guide/Disk. Very easy to put that on the wrong way … being lulled into thinking the disk curls inward (like the larger “dome” immediately above looks like a “finishing” cap of some kind!).

That part should’ve been a symmetrical disk with a solid core and soft, machined edges that could’ve been installed either way … like a narrow metal “donut”.

I blame Honda for a bad part design - and one that encourages damage. Putting that disk on with the curled edges facing you is counter-intuitive. And I can see how a distracted (or lesser-experienced) mechanic could make that mistake.

I’ve read this whole thread and I get it … the mechanic looks like he’s covering it up … and he probably IS … but I think he’s also a victim here (to some degree) - because of the bad part design. In the end, though - his shop is responsible for not knowing the correct way to put that Guide disc on (AND not double-checking the work before firing up the engine).

Bad situation for everyone, unfortunately… But if I’M drawing the “blame pie” here, Honda gets 60% for “encouraging mistakes” with their poor design.


Looking at those two pictures again - if we’re saying that’s shredded rubber from the belt in those holes around the circumference of the disc … the first picture seems to show the rubber fragments reaching inward (in the picture, at least) toward the curled edges of the disc. This is what would happen if you were using a cheese grater to extract lemon zest (let’s say). You rub the lemon on one side, and the lemon fragments build up and protrude out the grate holes on the other side. If this is what the picture is showing, then the disc/guide WAS installed correctly … but the belt (for some other reason) “walked” toward the disc and was “grated” by the holes in the disc.

Is THIS a possibility?

You don’t need to disclose anything. I wouldn’t. Remember, it’s Caveat Emptor ( let the BUYER beware) not Smhdotm ( seller must have diarrhea of the mouth).