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When to get rid of a car

If the timing belt goes out in a 98 honda Accord with 162,000 miles (that my college-age daughter is driving) shuld we fix it or junk it?

Why wait for it to “go” and have to replace the bent valves too? Replace it before it breaks and save lots of money, your daughter having to wait for a ride in the rain and darkness, and a lot of peace of mind.

Has the belt already broken?? If so, the engine is trashed and the car is totaled…If you are postponing this maintenance, have it done NOW! Shop around, times are tough and cash talks…

To clarify what MG McAnick stated, this car–like all Hondas that I know of–has an “interference” design engine. This means that a snapped timing belt will result in pistons and valves colliding with each other, and that means a LARGE repair bill. The net effect of this situation is that it will cost more to repair the car than it is worth.

If you replace the timing belt proactively, you will save lots of money in the long run. Once the belt snaps, you might as well scrap the car. If you do proactive maintenance, you can save the car for more years of service.

Certainly worth replacing the belt, this car could have several good years in it.

I only get rid of a car when it no longer serves my needs or becomes too unreliable to use as required.

But, you still need to do required maintenance or your risking a breakdown at the worst possible time. It would suck to have a timing belt break late at night on the interstate some 20 miles between exits.

The engine in this car is an interference engine, which means severe damage to the engine if the belt goes. I doubt it would be worth fixing after the fact. But, it would be cheaper to just do the belt and know that it will not break on you. This car may last her through college, which would pay for the timing belt many times over in car payments that she will not have to make.

1998 is not very old for an Accord, which is a long lived car. As others point out get an estimate from a good independent mechanic to replace it; I would replace it as well as and the water pumps and tensioner.

Budget $700 or so. If the rest of the car is not neglected, it’s well worth to do this.