CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Timing belt replacement

I have a 2003 Honda Accord LX with 115,000 miles. I was told by friends you need to replace the timing belt at 100,000 miles. I brought my car to my mechanic and he told me the 03 Honda accord has a timing chain and doesn’t need replacement - Is my mechanic correct?

Your mechanic is wrong. Your Accord utilizes a timing belt not a timing chain.

You are overdue for timing belt/water pump replacement. If the timing belt fails it’ll destroy the engine as it’s an interference type engine.

Tester

If you have your owner’s manual, you should refer to your maintenance schedule.

It will tell you when you should have replaced the timing belt.

He could have looked under the hood. The plastic cover on the front of the engine would have given it away. No plastic covers; no belt.

Gates, A Leading Automotive Belt Manufacturer Has A Listing And Recommended Interval For The 2003 Honda Accord 3.0L V-6. The Replacement Interval Is 105,000 Miles.

You are just about right on miles, but as Tester points out you are overdue. Your car, depending on the manufacture date can be anywhere from just under 7 years old to just under 8 years old. Since age is detrimental to belts, your’s is too old to trust.

Do at least the belt and water pump and consider a tensioner / tensioner pulley, idler and engine seals. Any part in the timing belt system that fails can be catastrophic and at any rate requires that basically the whole job be done over, again.

I just put a timing belt on my Dodge Caravan and replaced everything under the timing belt cover except sprockets, including timing belt, tensioner / tensioner pulley, idler pulley, water pump, crankshaft seal, camshaft seals, and flushed and refilled the cooling system and replaced the two accesory belts outside of the cover. I was nowhere near my recommended 120,000 mile mileage interval (only 65,000 miles), but age was the deciding factor for me.

Do the job right and you should be good for another six years or 105,000 miles.

CSA

Your mechanic may be right. Which engine do you have? The V6 3.0 used a timing belt and the 4 cylinder 2.4 uses a timing chain for the 2003 models. That’s what my info shows.

Great mechanic. Keep driving and enjoy your car without that expensive engineering fault.

Honda finally woke up and put timing chains in the majority of their vehicles sold (4 cylinder cars/suvs). Sadly their nice V6 lingers on with a timing belt.

Wrong answers from “top contributors”? Caveat emptor. On the other hand, the advice here is worth what you pay for it.