Timing belts

Does a 2002 Honda CRV contain a timing belt or timing chain? If a chain, should it ever be changed and if so, at what mileage? The vehicle currently has 195,000 miles and I am planning a cross country trip. I’d hate to deal with this on the road, or worse, from a hospital bed.

The answer is sitting in your glove compartment. Just take out the manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule (contained in either the Owner’s Manual or in a separate booklet with an appropriate title).

If the vehicle has a timing belt, it will be listed as one of the required service procedures at one of the following mileage intervals: 60k, 90k, 105k. If there is no reference to the need to replace the timing belt at one of those intervals, then you can assume that you have a timing chain, which rarely needs to be changed.

However, if a vehicle has a lot of miles on it, as yours does, it is possible for the timing chain to need replacement. Luckily, a timing chain normally gives an audible warning of the need to change it–unlike a timing belt that snaps with no warning.

Given the odometer mileage on your vehicle, I really hope for your sake that it has a timing chain, but if you do have a timing belt, I suggest that you have it changed YESTERDAY. And, since it appears that you have never looked at the maintenance schedule, I would suggest that you bring the vehicle’s service up to date, as per the maintenance schedule, prior to embarking on that cross-country trip.

Honda ended timing belts for CRVs in 2001, so you are OK. If you take normal maintenance precautions there should be no issues making the trip. There can be unanticipated break downs, so a cell phone and an auto club membership for tows are always a very good idea.

Assuming Jay is right (likely he is) that timing chain is likely good for the life of the car. If it is starting to go it will let you know by slowly increasing noise that will become a real bother before it brakes.

I appreciate your response, in spite of the assumption that I have never read the manual. Indeed, the info in the manual began my confusion. The manual states this vehicle has a timing belt. My mechanic thought it had a chain. The main Honda info number looked it up in their manual and said a belt. The Honda service manager said exactly what you wrote, a chain that probably will last the life of the car and give a warning noise if it is weakening. Again, thanks for the reply.

Thanks for your response. The manual stated the vehicle had a timing belt, thus prompting my question.

Did either you or your mechanic look at the engine ?