Timing belt change at 7 years and for $1K? (2003 Odyssey)
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Thread: Timing belt change at 7 years and for $1K? (2003 Odyssey)

  1. #1
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    Question Timing belt change at 7 years and for $1K? (2003 Odyssey)

    I have a 2003 Odyssey now 7 years old 48K miles. I called the dealer to schedule the 45K service and was told that the timing belt needs to be changed at 7 years. Is this correct? I thought the timing belt lasts 100K miles? Is there a time limit on the timing belt also?

    Also the bill for the timing belt change is ~$1K. Is this reasonable?
    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Registered User andyf80's Avatar
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    Correct - 7 yrs or 105k which ever comes first.

    I don't have my service records in front of me, but it was cheaper than 1k, but the previous owner had a private shop do the TB/Water pump at the same time and bought their own parts.

    As I recall in the $700 range.

    Good luck and let us know if you have any questions.

  4. #3
    Registered User New Dad New Van's Avatar
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    I won't tell you not to replace the timing belt but I think 7 years and 50K miles is early IMO. Most will tell you that if the belt breaks the engine is toast.
    2001 Odyssey LX
    2003 ACURA EL Touring

    UNOFFICIAL 2001 ODYSSEY THREAD: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/showth...664#post384664

  5. #4
    Registered User wormguy's Avatar
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    There is a lot of debate about this. None of us wants the responsibility of telling you to do the wrong thing, of course. The engine is an interference type, which means that if a belt breaks it is highly likely that the engine will suffer serious damage as a result of moving pistons contacting non-moving valves that protrude into a combustion chamber. Other posts report repair estimates of several thousand dollars as a consequence, usually enough to justify installing an entire replacement engine. (Perhaps ironically, if the replacement engine comes from a used vehicle, it is recommended to change the timing belt on that engine before installing it.) So it is a justifiable expense to change the timing belt preemptively to avoid a potential catastrophic loss of money (and time).

    Usually, when the timing belt is replaced it is a good time to replace the camshaft and crankshaft oil seals, the water pump, and the automatic tensioner/pulley and idler pulley. Most people replace the water pump, but many choose not to do the tensioners and/or oil seals on the first timing belt replacement if they seem okay. This accounts for some of the cost variability among different shops.

    I changed the timing belt (+ water pump + tensioners + spark plugs) in our 2001 model at 125,000 miles a couple months ago for a parts cost of $400, but it took me more than 9 hours. (Estimates from local shops/dealers were between $700 and $1000). Contrary to what others report here, the old belt did not look new, it was drier and more flexible than the replacement belt, and there were some strands sticking out of the middle layer of the belt here and there. Also, my crankshaft oil seal was leaking, though not onto the belt. So replacing the belt in my case was probably the right thing to do at that time, but one never knows.

    Based on the information in this forum, belt failure is very rare at lower mileages, but the effect of time is hard to judge. If you are in a mild climate you should be able to go much longer on your belt than someone who lives in a desert or winter climate. But belt life can also be shortened by a coolant or oil leak, or exposure of the belt to the elements through leaking or damaged timing belt covers. Without inspecting the belt you cannot really know if this could be happening.

    I'd say, if an inspection of the belt (by looking under one of the upper timing belt covers) reveals that the belt is not dirty, oil- or coolant-soaked, and there is no obvious clicking noise from the pulleys, and you have no coolant loss or cooling issues (which could result from a worn water pump), you could probably safely wait at least a couple years before getting the belt + water pump replaced. If you live in an extreme climate or are risk-averse, just get them replaced now and sleep better at night.
    - WormGuy
    2001 Honda Odyssey, 135K miles

  6. #5
    Registered User andyf80's Avatar
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    Good Advice - It's a gamble to wait, but it's triple the cost if you end up being wrong.

    After reviewing my service records:
    The previous owner paid in labor $432.19 + 307.27 in parts

    total = $739.46

  7. #6
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    What kind of weather do you have locally?

    Dry or humid?

    If your humidity is usually low like 10-30 percent then go ahead and replace it at the next oil change. If your humidity is usually high, wait till 70k.
    2001 Honda Odyssey
    131k Dec 09
    135k Jan 10
    137k Feb 10
    140k March 10 EGR,Valves, IAC
    143k April 10 Fluids PS, ATF, Oil(18k change), BK

  8. #7
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    Question

    Thank you so much everyone for providing info/suggestions.

    Winter here is cold and dry so I probably will go ahead and have it done. Just out of curiosity I may take a look at the belt myself. So ...

    How do I go about inspecting the belt? Almost the entire engine compartment is covered with plastic shells. I suppose they need to be removed? If so, how? Thanks again!

  9. #8
    Registered User Walt43's Avatar
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    FWIW our '00 timing belt was replaced in June of this year with 99k on it. So, 10 years old and it still looked good.
    '00 Ody LX with 109k
    '99 Corolla VE with 103k (stick)

  10. #9
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    Mine also looked really good and I did it at the mileage not year but it was only a little over 8 years old. if you can't tell by my name, I live in New Hampshire if looking to compare climates...
    Last edited by OdyinNH; 09-16-2010 at 07:23 PM.
    Mike
    2000 Odyssey LX
    Trans at 82k -- Tru-cool trans cooler
    DIY Timing Belt at 104k
    Hidden Hitch & Airlift 1000's

  11. #10
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    Originally posted by 2003ody2
    Thank you so much everyone for providing info/suggestions.

    Winter here is cold and dry so I probably will go ahead and have it done. Just out of curiosity I may take a look at the belt myself. So ...

    How do I go about inspecting the belt? Almost the entire engine compartment is covered with plastic shells. I suppose they need to be removed? If so, how? Thanks again!
    Cold and dry will take its toll on rubber parts of your vehicle. Consider getting your coolant hoses checked while you are at it.

    As for getting access to the timing belt, Look up the process to change it. There should be a cover on the side. You won't be able to really tell by looking at it unless there is obvious dry cracking in it.
    2001 Honda Odyssey
    131k Dec 09
    135k Jan 10
    137k Feb 10
    140k March 10 EGR,Valves, IAC
    143k April 10 Fluids PS, ATF, Oil(18k change), BK

  12. #11
    Registered User yeungun's Avatar
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    Too bad you don't live close to me. 99-04 t-belts are my favorite to do. It would probobly only cost you half the going rate.
    98LX, 01 EX-L

  13. #12
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    Originally posted by gregersonke
    Cold and dry will take its toll on rubber parts of your vehicle. Consider getting your coolant hoses checked while you are at it.
    Maybe yes, but I'm pretty sure I read somewhere once that it was 03 (ground level ozone) that caused rubber belts to fail....so unless you store your van in a vacuum, 7 years sounds about right,

  14. #13
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    I JUST got off the phone with a Honda dealer quoting a 2003 Odyssey [102k] timing belt job. $672. Now, he told me they NEVER [ducking for cover] replace the water pumps on 2nd Gen Odyssey, because they are not "under tension"(??) and generally don't fail. Many of the smaller shops will do the job for about $450, and a friend of mine did his own and called it "easy" (quite subjective I'm sure) in comparison to most.

    My point was the water pump and price. Sorry to ramble.
    MindEddy

    2006 Odyssey EX-L 6cyl- 125k
    1996 Odyssey LX 4cyl - 180k
    1998 Accord EX 4cyl VTEC - 222k
    1988 Ford F150 - 300ci - 150k

  15. #14
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    I'm a full-time auto technician, and I cannot imagine doing the timing belt job and not replacing the water pump. Perhaps, if I was about get rid of the vehicle at the auction...maybe. But if I was getting rid of it, I wouldn't be doing the TB job at all, I suppose. Anything that contacts the TB (or any properly fitted belt) IS under some tension. But what if the seal on the TB-driven water pump develops a coolant leak soon after the job? I've seen plenty of timing belts get replaced EARLY because of WP leaks, so to bet that the existing pump/seal will go the distance for the new TB is asking for trouble. In fact, on my wife's '03 Ody w/107,000 miles, I replaced the pump, idler pulley, tensioner pulley and tensioner. The oil seals were bone-dry, so I left them alone. I also threw a thermostat at it, while the coolant was drained (cheap insurance), and fitted new Alt-A/C+PS belts, since the old ones had to come off anyway. Not all timing belt jobs are created equally, as you can tell. Make sure you're comparing apples-to-apples as you shop for quotes. Be suspicious of lowball quotes and cut corners. Yeah, you can do it cheaply if you skip most of the "optional" steps. Watch out for cheap, white-box-special, Chinese, no-name aftermarket (afterbirth) parts. Genuine Honda TB parts are competitively priced. Don't cheap out on such critical stuff, and say "see you in another 100k"

  16. #15
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    Shop around for a better price. You don't need to go to the dealer. If you live in NJ, this dealer will do everything for $390 Honda Service Specials Available at Hamilton Honda
    2002 Odyssey 160K, 1st tranny rebuild at 129K
    '89 Honda Goldwing
    '89 Mercedes 190 2.6L

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