Timing Belt replacement time?

My 2000 Civic DX has approximately 45,000 miles. I am being told again (the first time was a couple of years ago) by the dealer to get ready to replace the timing belt and water pump for $1200. It is not clear to me whether the AGE of the car or the MILEAGE is the chief guideline for this maintenance. I am a city dweller…not a lot of highway driving.

Age or mileage , whichever comes first . Your car is due .

Age is just as important as mileage, and your car is well beyond old enough for a new timing belt.

It should NOT, however, cost anywhere near $1,200.

$650-800 is more like it, even with the water pump, etc. Do you know a good independent mechanic?

If the belt breaks the engine will suffer internal damage which will make the cost of a new timing belt seem like pocket change. I’d make an appointment somewhere if this were my car.

Service intervals like this are based on mileage or time, whichever comes first. I believe you are due for a timing belt job.

Not so long ago, I got the job done on my '98 Civic at Goodyear for about $550 (with a water pump). You should be able to get it done for less than $1,200.

I replace my water pump with every other timing belt. You should be able to keep the same water pump and get it changed next time to save a little money.

Yes, as genex said, the belt is old enough (even with low miles) that you should replace it. And, according to the Gates Company booklet, this is an “interference” engine. If the belt breaks, then the pistons will slam into the valves, causing major engine damage.

Usually, when timing belts are rplaced because of mileage limits, it is a good idea to replace water pump (and some otheer related pieces), too. Those parts are likely enough to be at end of life, and most of the labor in replacing them is covered in replacing the belt. However, with only 45K miles, maybe you can forego that. I’d look at the cost difference. (If the additional cost were only $75 or$100, I’d replace the pump.) I hope some experts here add their advice.

Speaking of cost, you do not need to have the dealer do this job. An independent mechanic will probably be a lot cheaper (enough to cover the water pump!).

Have you read what your owner’s manual says? It sounds like you haven’t, for some reason.

It is due by age (8yrs or 105,000 miles whichever first).

$1200 sounds like NYC or SF Bay area prices. Call some independents, this car is beyond common so all mechanics have likely have performed this task.

Agree; it’s several years overdue and you don’t need to spend that kind of money; $600 max should be the cost at a good independent shop.

Car maintenance should not be a mystery.
The answer to this question can be found in the Owner’s Manual, if the OP will only bother to open it and read it.

That being said, the timing belt is overdue by 2-3 years for replacement.
The OP should shop around for a price that is more realistic than the price quoted by the dealership.

And, the OP should read the maintenance schedule contained in the Owner’s Manual in order to see what other vital maintenance items have been skipped over the past 9 years or so.

Thanks to all of you for your replies. I now know what I need to do!

When you have it done, expect to leave it overnight and try to arrange a loaner for the night. When I had mine done I asked if I could leave it overnight, due to me working during the day. They told me the mechanics like to have a cold engine to work on when changing the belt