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I bought a 2012 Odyssey EX new in December 2011...its been a great van and I have maintained it perfectly per manufacturers recommendations. At 99K, I took the van into the dealer for the timing belt and water pump belt replacement, had them tune it up, etc. It was a pretty expensive service repair ($1100) but I had heard horror stories about the belt and how if the timing belt failed the entire engine would be shot. Had the service done and the dealership told me I should be good for at least another 100K miles. At 129K miles, the Ody left my wife stranded on the side of a 6 lane highway, which is no fun! I had it towed to a local shop, and the mechanic told me that while they did not tear into the engine to troubleshoot, based on the sounds it was making, the engine was probably shot....they asked me if I had the timing belt serviced and I told them that I had, just 14 months ago. I then called the dealership and they told me to have it towed in and they would look at it...at just 130K miles I was understandably dissapointed to think I would need to spend $8K to replace an engine after having it serviced regularly. Once I got it to the dealership, they called me and told me they found the timing belt tensioner in the van...like someone had removed it and put it on the floor. The dealership is now telling me that because it is 2 months past the parts and labor warranty, I have to pay them to replace the timing belt and tensioner once again in order to determine if the engine is even repairable. Does this sound right? Super dissapointed to have ANY engine issues at such low mileage, and also dissapointed that the dealer seems to be trying to pin the issue on the first shop, who didnt dissassemble anything on the van. I am not sure what to do with the van at this point as I dont want to throw more money at a van that likely needs a new engine? Any thoughts? Would really appreciate any feedback you may have!
 

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wow...

That is the second story in recent months of a dealer replaced timing belt job failing.

if the belt came off on the freeway you have bent valves.

your engine is not destroyed, its just going to need about 2000-2500 in work to get it back in order.
heads have to come off, bunch of parts

Likely if the tensioner fell off because the technician did not use thread locker, and torque the bolts correctly they worked themselves out.
There was another post on here about that same issue.

you should get the dealer to own up on this one and provide some cost relief.
I would insist they pay for all labor, and you pay for the parts.

they were the last idiots under that hood for the job, and you likely would of been better off on the stock timing belt versus their poor work.

you draw more flies to honey, so negotiate with them.

regardless, you are out of pocket for some money and not having a good day.
 

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As part of a recall on my 12 Charger RT the timing chain and tensioner/guide were replaced. 2 years later I had a check engine light and the car was not running smoothly under heavy throttle. The dealership said they would cover the repair if the issue was related to the timing chain repair (no BS about being out of the 12 month parts warranty). Eventually I narrowed it down to the VVT oil control valve and replaced it myself.
Take a trip to the dealership and talk to the most senior person you can get ahold of.

After reading all these stories I don’t think I will keep my 16 EXL past 100k. Currently at 40k after owning it 4.5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
wow...

That is the second story in recent months of a dealer replaced timing belt job failing.

if the belt came off on the freeway you have bent valves.

your engine is not destroyed, its just going to need about 2000-2500 in work to get it back in order.
heads have to come off, bunch of parts

Likely if the tensioner fell off because the technician did not use thread locker, and torque the bolts correctly they worked themselves out.
There was another post on here about that same issue.

you should get the dealer to own up on this one and provide some cost relief.
I would insist they pay for all labor, and you pay for the parts.

they were the last idiots under that hood for the job, and you likely would of been better off on the stock timing belt versus their poor work.

you draw more flies to honey, so negotiate with them.

regardless, you are out of pocket for some money and not having a good day.
thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As part of a recall on my 12 Charger RT the timing chain and tensioner/guide were replaced. 2 years later I had a check engine light and the car was not running smoothly under heavy throttle. The dealership said they would cover the repair if the issue was related to the timing chain repair (no BS about being out of the 12 month parts warranty). Eventually I narrowed it down to the VVT oil control valve and replaced it myself.
Take a trip to the dealership and talk to the most senior person you can get ahold of.

After reading all these stories I don’t think I will keep my 16 EXL past 100k. Currently at 40k after owning it 4.5 years.
Thank you for your feedback I appreciate it
 

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I bought a 2012 Odyssey EX new in December 2011...its been a great van and I have maintained it perfectly per manufacturers recommendations. At 99K, I took the van into the dealer for the timing belt and water pump belt replacement, had them tune it up, etc. It was a pretty expensive service repair ($1100) but I had heard horror stories about the belt and how if the timing belt failed the entire engine would be shot. Had the service done and the dealership told me I should be good for at least another 100K miles. At 129K miles, the Ody left my wife stranded on the side of a 6 lane highway, which is no fun! I had it towed to a local shop, and the mechanic told me that while they did not tear into the engine to troubleshoot, based on the sounds it was making, the engine was probably shot....they asked me if I had the timing belt serviced and I told them that I had, just 14 months ago. I then called the dealership and they told me to have it towed in and they would look at it...at just 130K miles I was understandably dissapointed to think I would need to spend $8K to replace an engine after having it serviced regularly. Once I got it to the dealership, they called me and told me they found the timing belt tensioner in the van...like someone had removed it and put it on the floor. The dealership is now telling me that because it is 2 months past the parts and labor warranty, I have to pay them to replace the timing belt and tensioner once again in order to determine if the engine is even repairable. Does this sound right? Super dissapointed to have ANY engine issues at such low mileage, and also dissapointed that the dealer seems to be trying to pin the issue on the first shop, who didnt dissassemble anything on the van. I am not sure what to do with the van at this point as I dont want to throw more money at a van that likely needs a new engine? Any thoughts? Would really appreciate any feedback you may have!
So, you don't believe the first shop removed the tensioner to check it? You apparently believe the dealership removed it and either forgot or is lying? That will be tough to sort out.

It's interesting that the first shop had the engine running ("sounds it was making"), but the dealer needs to replace the TB to assess the damage. Presumably they aren't asking for too much to reinstall the tensioner.

The reports from the two places don't mesh for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, you don't believe the first shop removed the tensioner to check it? You apparently believe the dealership removed it and either forgot or is lying? That will be tough to sort out.

It's interesting that the first shop had the engine running ("sounds it was making"), but the dealer needs to replace the TB to assess the damage. Presumably they aren't asking for too much to reinstall the tensioner.

The reports from the two places don't mesh for me.
Is it possible the tensioner fell off the car and was placed in my van by the towing company? The first shop was not paid anything to tear into my engine, and indicated they could do that for a few hundred bucks, but told me they hadnt...which makes sense as why would the do anything for free...Do you think it possible the tensioner fell off the van?

The stories dont mesh with me either...all i know is there was no tensioner in my van when i left it on the side of the road. I suspect the dealer because there would be motive...a desire not to address a bad PM that led to massive engine damage. Thoughts?
 

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If the tensioner came loose, it still isn't going to fall out of the vehicle without busting out of the TB cover first. If the first shop only started the car the tensioner must've been attached somewhat to tighten the belt to turn the engine over. Someone must've pulled the tensioner?!?!. Sounds like a dealer scam, imo.

Sure hope you get this sorted out.
 

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Is it possible the tensioner fell off the car and was placed in my van by the towing company? The first shop was not paid anything to tear into my engine, and indicated they could do that for a few hundred bucks, but told me they hadnt...which makes sense as why would the do anything for free...Do you think it possible the tensioner fell off the van?

The stories dont mesh with me either...all i know is there was no tensioner in my van when i left it on the side of the road. I suspect the dealer because there would be motive...a desire not to address a bad PM that led to massive engine damage. Thoughts?
If the tensioner fell off, I would figure that was the cause of the breakdown. I assume your wife traveled at least a few hundred feet before getting onto the shoulder. I can't imagine any tow operator walking back a distance, onto the traffic lanes, to look for and pick up the tensioner. But, those are assumptions and speculations on my part. I've heard of stranger things happening.

Was your car given back to the tech who did the TB job, as a comeback?

But, is your engine running, or not? A seasoned tech might be able to tell from the sound the likely source of the problem. But the kind of tech you need is more like a gerontologist. Dealers tend to have techs who are more like pediatricians. Yeah, both doctors, but different experience.
 

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If the tensioner came loose, it still isn't going to fall out of the vehicle without busting out of the TB cover first. If the first shop only started the car the tensioner must've been attached somewhat to tighten the belt to turn the engine over. Someone must've pulled the tensioner?!?!. Sounds like a dealer scam, imo.

Sure hope you get this sorted out.
part of the tensioner hangs out the back of the cover.
it could theoretically fall off outside the cover if both 10mm bolts came loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If the tensioner came loose, it still isn't going to fall out of the vehicle without busting out of the TB cover first. If the first shop only started the car the tensioner must've been attached somewhat to tighten the belt to turn the engine over. Someone must've pulled the tensioner?!?!. Sounds like a dealer scam, imo.

Sure hope you get this sorted out.
thank you for the feedback...considerinng the low mileage on the engine and the fact that the dealer service folks were the only people to tear into the engine I have the same suspicion....just not sure what my next move should be.
 

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thank you for the feedback...considerinng the low mileage on the engine and the fact that the dealer service folks were the only people to tear into the engine I have the same suspicion....just not sure what my next move should be.
Careful. Verify location of tensioner before leveling accusations. I haven't done one in over 5 years, so I'm not familiar with whether it can be removed without first removing covers.
 

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If the tensioner fell off, I would figure that was the cause of the breakdown. I assume your wife traveled at least a few hundred feet before getting onto the shoulder. I can't imagine any tow operator walking back a distance, onto the traffic lanes, to look for and pick up the tensioner. But, those are assumptions and speculations on my part. I've heard of stranger things happening.

Was your car given back to the tech who did the TB job, as a comeback?

But, is your engine running, or not? A seasoned tech might be able to tell from the sound the likely source of the problem. But the kind of tech you need is more like a gerontologist. Dealers tend to have techs who are more like pediatricians. Yeah, both doctors, but different experience.
The feedback I initially got from the dealer was to bring it back and if they found it was the timing belt they would make it right. That came from a tech, who i assume had not contacted his manager. Then the manager tells me they dont know how the tensioner ended up in the car and that I now have to pay $600 for a new timing belt and tensioner before the dealer can even determine if the engine can be repaired...I dont understand how they can tell me I need to buy another new timing belt and tensioner just to tell me if the engine is destroyed.

The guy who did the service told me i should expect to get another 100K out of the van at the minimum....dealer says the guy has done 100s of theses belt changes....everyone makes mistakes, but one thing is clear to me...I did my part by servicing the engine...ive read of people getting 300K out of an Ody....so something doesnt add up. On top of it all...what do I do with a 9 year old minivan with a shot engine? If its on me, I dont want to pay to drop another engine in it as its only worth $5500 at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Careful. Verify location of tensioner before leveling accusations. I haven't done one in over 5 years, so I'm not familiar with whether it can be removed without first removing covers.
I am not familliar with any of this...not a mechanic. What I do know is that there were no parts in the car before or immediately after it broke down...even if the first shop did remove the tensioner, they didnt cause the engine to fail in the first place?
 

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wow...

That is the second story in recent months of a dealer replaced timing belt job failing.

if the belt came off on the freeway you have bent valves.

your engine is not destroyed, its just going to need about 2000-2500 in work to get it back in order.
heads have to come off, bunch of parts

Likely if the tensioner fell off because the technician did not use thread locker, and torque the bolts correctly they worked themselves out.
There was another post on here about that same issue.

you should get the dealer to own up on this one and provide some cost relief.
I would insist they pay for all labor, and you pay for the parts.

they were the last idiots under that hood for the job, and you likely would of been better off on the stock timing belt versus their poor work.

you draw more flies to honey, so negotiate with them.

regardless, you are out of pocket for some money and not having a good day.
Why should the customer pay for the parts when the mechanic screwed up ? I would not pay a dime and would want other costs covered , ie.. tow costs, rental car, lost wages etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If the tensioner fell off, I would figure that was the cause of the breakdown. I assume your wife traveled at least a few hundred feet before getting onto the shoulder. I can't imagine any tow operator walking back a distance, onto the traffic lanes, to look for and pick up the tensioner. But, those are assumptions and speculations on my part. I've heard of stranger things happening.

Was your car given back to the tech who did the TB job, as a comeback?

But, is your engine running, or not? A seasoned tech might be able to tell from the sound the likely source of the problem. But the kind of tech you need is more like a gerontologist. Dealers tend to have techs who are more like pediatricians. Yeah, both doctors, but different experience.
When I tried to turn it over on the side of the highway, the traffic noise was too loud to tell if it was running...it was making a sound when I tried to start it but there were hundreds of semis passing me three feet to my left.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If the tensioner came loose, it still isn't going to fall out of the vehicle without busting out of the TB cover first. If the first shop only started the car the tensioner must've been attached somewhat to tighten the belt to turn the engine over. Someone must've pulled the tensioner?!?!. Sounds like a dealer scam, imo.

Sure hope you get this sorted out.
Thanks and I sincerely appreciate the feedback...
 

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When I tried to turn it over on the side of the highway, the traffic noise was too loud to tell if it was running...it was making a sound when I tried to start it but there were hundreds of semis passing me three feet to my left.
You wrote this in the first post.
"I had it towed to a local shop, and the mechanic told me that while they did not tear into the engine to troubleshoot, based on the sounds it was making, the engine was probably shot... "

I assumed it was running and the tech at the shop heard it. Please explain what you actually meant to communicate.
 

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Then the manager tells me they dont know how the tensioner ended up in the car and that I now have to pay $600 for a new timing belt and tensioner before the dealer can even determine if the engine can be repaired...I dont understand how they can tell me I need to buy another new timing belt and tensioner just to tell me if the engine is destroyed.
They are not wrong, just going by the book as they usually do. A new TB is needed before testing of the engine can be done.

However, reality says with 99.99% certainty the engine is damaged. The TB failed at freeway speed, plus cranking after that. It's inconceivable how the engine could have survived undamaged.

Save your money on any further diagnostics, dealer or otherwise. Locate and install a used engine. (Have a new TB kit installed at the same time. It's a quick job with the engine out of the van.)

The van is worthy of at least that much, whether you decide to keep it or sell. On the other hand if you sell it with a toasted engine, it's worth only slightly more than scrap.

Edit to add: I like the suggestion above to negotiate with the dealer who did the original TB job. But they won't even talk until the damage is assessed. You would be down $600 right off the bat. After that, they might cut you a deal on the $3,000 cost to repair the engine.

In my experience, getting a "deal" from a dealer costs more than paying an independent shop from scratch. (It hurts to leave the dealer with no liability, but that will soon pass once the van is running again.)
 
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