I have a '99 Honda Civic with 144,000 miles, purchased last November with 128,000. My mechanic says the timing belt should be changed based on the mileage. The previous owner said the belt was changed at 90K, but had no proof. Should I bite the bullet and get a new belt?
Mileage or age; 144,000-90,000=54,000 miles, MAYBE! The car is a 1999, which makes it 11 years old. The first belt change should have been at 7 year, or 2006 latest.
In view of the unknowns and the fact that the water pump and belt tensioner may not have been changed, I would change all three now! Budget $700 or so for this job. This way you can drive another 7 years or 90,000 miles in peace.
Make sure your mechanic knows what he is doing.
$600 for new belt, pump and tensioner or $3000 for a new motor
I’m with Doc. Preventative maintainence is dictated here.
Looks like the previous owner put about 13k/year on the car. If telling the truth, the belt would have been changed in 2006 (7 year/105k mile recommendation, looks like they went on years) Best guess is the current belt has 4 years and 54k miles on it now. It should be good for another 3 years or 51k miles.
Depends on how much you trust the previous owner. Unfortunately, according to Gates http://www.gates.com/part_locator/index.cfm?location_id=3598, this vehicle has an interference engine, so a broken timing belt probably means a new engine rather than just a towing and belt replacement bill. If you plan to drive the car for many years, you’re probably going to need to do the belt anyway. Why not do it now? On paper, that will set you up until you get to 18 years old/234,000 miles – at which point, you might reasonably choose to just drive the car until the timing belt breaks, then scrap it.
Some shops are really nice and will look stuff up for you. If the previous owner knows where the timing belt was done give them a call w/ the person’s name & vehicle info. They might just pull the info for you (if it exists).