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Timing belt replacement

The ‘maintenance’ light came on on my '02 Honda Odyssey and the dealership said it was time to replace the timing belt and water pump, even though it has only been driven 46,000 miles.

They said it should be replaced at 60,000 miles or 7 years, whichever comes first at a cost of almost $900.00.

What is the effect of time on the timing belt and should it be replaced now?

Timing belts have a time or miles limit. Rubber gets old just sitting around. Tyres over seven years should also be consider suspect. Seven years is about it. Remember that if that belt goes, so also goes your drive. With most cars it also means you are likely to have a damaged engine, which would make that $900 look cheap. The water pump should be changed at the same time since most of the cost of replacing it is the same labor you have to pay for the timing belt anyway.

However, I suspect that if you find a local independent mechanic to do the work. You will likely find they will charge a lot less, but they will not have the fancy coffee and big flat screen TV in their waiting area.

What does the maintenance schedule that came with the car say about this? Does the mileage and time match what the dealer is telling you? If so you should think about having the belt replaced.

I know it seems like a lot of money, but if the belt breaks the engine will suffer internal damage and the repair cost will be THOUSANDS, not hundreds.

An independent mechanic may be able to do this for less money. If you go that route find an independent who specializes in Honda vehicles.

The problem is that most (all?) Honda’s use “interference engines” which means that if the timing belt breaks, the valves will smack into the pistons doing grave damage to one or both. That makes timing belt replacement non-optional because the price of repairing the damage will likely be several thousand dollars.

I think you have little choice but to replace the timing belt. Your best bet is a local independent shop as the job is mostly labor, and independents usually have lower labor rates than dealers.

Not all vehicles use interference engines, and you might consider the use of one to be a negative in future buying decisions. You can check whether a vehicle you propose to buy has an interference engine and whether it uses a timing belt which will always require periodic replacement or a timing chain which doesn’t, at this web site.

You really need to open your owners manual. I believe the interval is 105k miles or 7 years, at least it was that for earlier models. Honda went to chains eventually so yo need to see what the book says. If it does say 7 years, then you need to have it done. $900 is a pretty good price if it includes the water pump and the oil seals.

REPLACE IT [/thread]

The Honda factory recommends that the timing belt be replaced at 105,000 miles, OR, at 95 months, right? Who knows your Honda engine more than the car maker? Of course, the Honda dealer wants you to have work done as soon as they can scare you into the need for it. If the dealer could convince enough people, they would be performing scheduled maintenance twice as often as the car maker recommends. The dealer makes money; but, what’s the benefit to you?

Thanks for your help and info, everyone-