Unknown history of timing belt - Should I do the timing belt service
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Thread: Unknown history of timing belt - Should I do the timing belt service

  1. #1
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    Unknown history of timing belt - Should I do the timing belt service

    I just bought my Odyssey 2007 with about 164K on it. The car runs smoothly when I drive it no major issues. One owner before without major issues in the car fax, However, I could not find the history of the car service (got from a small dealer).
    I try to find if the timing belt has been serviced before, so I called several dealers. Most people told me there is no way to see until opening the engine block and costs about 400-500 dollars. One dealer advised to check water pump and drive belt outside of the engine block, since it is often serviced with timing belt.
    My question is:
    1) Is this advice reasonable? Means if water pump is not original, is it ok for me to wait until 200k? What is the chance that water pump was broken and replaced only before ?
    2) Any other advice without cost 3-4 hours of labors?
    3) Would you recommend to do the timing belt again? (more than 800 dollars....)

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Quan

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  3. #2
    Registered User cybersaga's Avatar
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    The dealers that you called, did you ask them if they have a service record for that vehicle? If you can find the dealer it was bought from (sometimes there'll be a licence plate cover or keychain with the name, or card in with the manual in the glove box) they might be the best to ask. If you give them the VIN, they should be able to tell you if any service has been done there.

    But if that fails, I'd say to just replace it. I did this myself when I bought our 2009 last year. I couldn't find any service history on it.

    Even when opening it up, it may not help. If the belt looks rough, then you know it's old and about to go, but if it looks good, that doesn't really tell you anything.
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    you can not see the water pump on Honda J35 engine. Its behind the side engine mount and by the time you expose it, you did the entire timing belt removal procedure.
    You can "easily" remove, 30min-1hr, expose front cam timing belt cover and see the timing belt, however, you will not be able to tell condition of the belt by looking at it,
    short of actually seeing evidence of belt falling apart.

    If you don't know whether the belt has been replaced and are not a gambling man, then replace the belt and all associated parts. See timing belt thread on this forum.
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    First, listen to Cybersaga.

    But remember, if the first owner did the belt on schedule at 100K, you've only got about 34K miles before you have to do it again.

    Also, and unless you put a lot of miles on the van, this will probably be your last belt change. It will also put your mind at ease.

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    Registered User celicool's Avatar
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    If you remove all the bolts on the lower timing cover, it might be loose enough to allow you to remove the front and the rear timing belt cover(with all the nuts and bolts removed). I have never tried this so I can't say for sure. You will need to remove/loosen your drive belt first. You can have a better look at the timing belt when the front & rear timing covers are removed. Again, It is just an idea as I do not know if it is feasible.

    The normal removal procedure requires you to remove the lower timing belt cover first (if I remember correctly). Take a closer look at your timing belt cover, and you will know what I am talking about
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    Quote Originally Posted by celicool View Post
    If you remove all the bolts on the lower timing cover, it might be loose enough to allow you to remove the front and the rear timing belt cover(with all the nuts and bolts removed). I have never tried this so I can't say for sure. You will need to remove/loosen your drive belt first. You can have a better look at the timing belt when the front & rear timing covers are removed. Again, It is just an idea as I do not know if it is feasible.

    The normal removal procedure requires you to remove the lower timing belt cover first (if I remember correctly). Take a closer look at your timing belt cover, and you will know what I am talking about
    Don't take it personal, but pretty much all you wrote is wrong, I don't want to get into the details, because the info is in the timing belt DIY thread. I have done the TB job on j35 engine a few times, so I speak from experience.
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    Thank you all for your reply. As a newbie, I really appreciate your info.
    Today I took the car to one nearby dealer ship and was told that waterpump has been replaced. This info gave me some comfort about the possible status of the timing belt. But I found some info I did not know from one info leaflet. It says the dash board "wrench" signal. If timing belt needs to be serviced, the wrench light will be on with a specific number to remind the owner the timing belt service is due.

    Can I wait until the dashboard "wrench" light is on to remind me the timing belt issues? Is it reliable?

  10. #8
    Registered User cybersaga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quanli71 View Post
    Can I wait until the dashboard "wrench" light is on to remind me the timing belt issues? Is it reliable?
    That light just counts miles. When a specified number of miles have passed since the indicator was last reset, then the light turns on.

    It's only reliable if it was reset at the time the timing belt was last replaced.
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    If the wrench icon is not on then it's certain that the maintenance minder was reset. What's not certain is if the belt was replaced when it was reset. You can just do an oil change and reset the light (or do nothing and reset the light for that matter.)

    Water pumps rarely leak or have a problem on these. I don't know of anyone here who had to go in there JUST to replace a water pump. I can't think of a mechanic on the planet who would go in and replace a water pump and NOT replace the timing belt unless it was some oddball manufacturing issue that caused the water pump to go bad long before timing belt change time (like 30K or something.) Did they say at what mileage the water pump was changed? If it was anywhere close to timing belt change time you could probably be pretty confident the belt was changed when they were in there. Again, though, you're just betting on the the odds at that point.

    If you're a DIY'er, since you know the water pump was changed you could simply go in and just put a new belt on and do nothing else. Check for leaks on the hydraulic tensioner and then go on with life until the next timing belt change interval.
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    I consider myself lucky that my 164k Touring's carfax has listed all maintenence from honda dealer. It states that the TB was replaced at 119k at the dealer - kinda late I would say. But I wouldn't go for the change if I wouldn't have had that carfax in hand anyway.
    With all honesty I hardly believe that TB has not been changed in your car. And now since it was proven the water pump is not original to the car there is no way it has been left unchanged, as others stated.

    There will be other stuff to worry about in this mileage and age of the car.
    My high pressure line in power steering just gave up fairly messing up my driveway. $150 from the dealer with discount and $80 for labor as I needed asap.

    Throw the VCMuzzler and enjoy the car as is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oliwer78 View Post
    And now since it was proven the water pump is not original to the car there is no way it has been left unchanged, as others stated.
    I can agree with that, but the other problem now is: when do you schedule the next change? Do you assume it was done exactly on time (according to the manual's maintenance schedule) and hope it wasn't done early for whatever reason?
    Last edited by cybersaga; 10-28-2016 at 09:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quanli71 View Post
    Thank you all for your reply. As a newbie, I really appreciate your info.
    Today I took the car to one nearby dealer ship and was told that waterpump has been replaced. This info gave me some comfort about the possible status of the timing belt. But I found some info I did not know from one info leaflet. It says the dash board "wrench" signal. If timing belt needs to be serviced, the wrench light will be on with a specific number to remind the owner the timing belt service is due.

    Can I wait until the dashboard "wrench" light is on to remind me the timing belt issues? Is it reliable?
    Can you please explain, did they look up the records and found that the pump was replaced, or did they say they physically inspected the pump.
    If they found records, then I would say you are golden, but then why dont the records say Timing belt was changed too?

    If they say they physically inspected the pump, then I call it BS, not only is it nearly impossible to look at, its age is also indistinguishable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxud View Post
    If they say they physically inspected the pump, then I call it BS, not only is it nearly impossible to look at, its age is also indistinguishable.
    They could tell by the brand of the pump if it's not OEM. But if it's not OEM, it could be a no-name Chinese one, which are a bit of a gamble from what I hear.
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    I would recommend you just bite the bullet and have the timing belt replaced, along with all the other parts that are normally changed with the timing belt. It's not worth taking a chance - a failed belt wil cause catastrophic engine damage. Even if you inspected the belt that would not help, as it might look perfectly new but still be close to failure based on mileage and age. Even if your timing belt was changed before, you are close to being due to have it replaced again anyways. Just do it. It's not worth the risk and uncertainty.

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    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    The amount of work required just to "inspect" the pump is nearly the same as needed to replace the belt. Many times during a timing belt change they will just inspect the water pump and if it's not leaking they don't always replace it. It's possible the belt was changed and the pump inspected. However, the OP says they told him it was "replaced." I think it's highly likely the belt was replaced in this case. It's a tough call, though.
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