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Timing belt replacement maintenance schedule

My owner’s manual for my 2001 Honda Accord EX V6 states that the timing belt should be replaced at 105,000 miles or 7 years which ever comems first. The problem that I have is I only have 27,000 miles on the car and I wonder if the 7 years rule still apply with my low mileage. Honda service department states that it does. I would appreciate any information/advice on this subject. Thanks


The service dept is correct in its interpretion of the maintenance schedule. A 7 year-old vehicle with ZERO miles on the odometer would still need to have the timing belt replaced. Rubber parts deteriorate with age, even if they are not used excessively.

Unless you want to gamble that you will be the exception to the rule, I would advise having that belt replaced, along with the water pump. When the belt snaps (with no warning whatsoever) pistons and valves will collide, thus causing major internal engine damage. That will be VERY expensive.

Since rubber deteriorates with time regardless of miles driven, get this done. Spend a few hundred to replace the belt, or you can spend up into the thousands to correct the severe engine damage that would result from the belt snapping.

Not only does the timing belt need to be replaced based on time or miles (which ever comes first, oil has the same kind of requirement. With as little driving as you do, you should be doing oil changes based on time not miles. Read that manual carefully.

The simple answer is 7 years. You can extend the seven year interval by an indeterminate amount. Rubber (elastomer) degrades very little at room temperature. It degrades with time spent at an elevated temperature and as mileage accumulates, the wear and flexing factors become more significant. If your miles have been spent at high speed, then the time element is reduced in significance and can be extended. On the other hand, if your 27,000 miles was spent at low speed in bumper to bumper traffic, then the time element is more of a factor as the belt will have been hot for a longer period of time.

If you know how your 27,000 miles was spent, then you might be able to extend the 7 year limit. I can’t say how much as I have no data showing material property (mainly hardness) loss relative to time and temperature for your particular timing belt material whatever it might be. Elastomers harden with time and temperature with other properties degrading as well. The establishment of this data is possible and would require a lengthy and expensive study for a variety of times and mileages at low and high speed with various elastomer compounds.

Apparently enough data has been established for your vehicle mfr to provide a reliable and long enough time limit to preclude engine failure and and a belt change frequency that will not provoke customer dissatisfaction.

If this data were made available by vehicle, timing belt or elastomer manufacturers, the possiblity of it being misinterpreted or used wrongly is large. Therefore the simple answer is 7 or whatever years and 105 or whatever thousand miles.

Lacking data, you can only guess how long you can extend the time limit on cam belt life. Next time you might want to buy a car with a timing chain to avoid the expense of changing a rubber timing belt. Timing chains can last 200,000 miles more or less. Our latest car has timing position sensors that will indicate with a Check Engine Light when the chain needs attention if it does not break first.

so what you are saying is wait till it breaks?

or you will do the MATH,to figure it OUT,so they are safe.SILLY!


I want to thank everyone who replied with the info/advice. I will have the timing belt changed out and just hope that the Honda new timing belt has not been sitting on the parts shelf for 4 or 5 years. Thanks again Glenn

The dealership probably replaces several timing belts each month. The possibility of a belt on their parts shelf being “old” is pretty remote.