We have a 2003 Honda Pilot


#1

Honda is recommending that we change the timeing belt at 90k miles. Do we change it now or let it go longer?


#2

You did not state your present mileage. Under no circumstances go longer than Honda recommends. Althugh Hoinda timing belts are very good, their change recommendation has a sound basis.

Most timing belts on other cars call for 60,000 miles or so between changes.


#3

In your Owner’s Manual, you should note that there is an elapsed time schedule for timing belt replacement, as well as an odometer mileage schedule for replacement. It should read something like “Replace timing belt every 90,000 miles or six years, whichever comes first”. I would strongly suggest that you adhere to this schedule, as your engine is more than likely of the “interference” type.

If you don’t replace it, you will likely be one of the people who posts the following question on this board with some frequency:

“While I was driving on the highway, my engine suddenly made a very loud noise, the engine stopped, and I couldn’t get it re-started. My mechanic says that the timing belt snapped and it destroyed two valves and nicked a couple of pistons. Is this serious?”

Yes, it is serious, and yes, it costs a whole lot of money to repair. Preventive maintenance, such as timing belt replacement, should be considered to be necessary–unless you relish the idea of being stranded and having to pay…maybe a couple of thousand $$ for repairs that could have been avoided.


#4

Honda engines tend to be Zero valve clearance, so if it slips any, you have some serious valve damage.
It’s preobably a V6-24V impossible to get at engine, so even more work than normal.

Were it an old low compression I4-8V, jeneric Japanese lugger, then you could ignore it till it broke and change it then, no harm wouuld occur other being late for the company board meeting and waiting for a tow truck.