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Discussion Starter #1
Hi again, people,

I heard one can "inspect" the timing belt without much work. I noticed a little peep hole in area of pass side, engine bay, near belt areas. has a rubber snap cap type plug, is this the one? How do you look inside, as I couldnt really see much through this hole....

Oh, van has only 74.000 on it, and I understand timing belts are recomended at 105,000 according to owners manual......

Thanks!
 

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The tiny hole is not for timing belt inspection, but for aligning the engine at #1 top dead center. You won't see much in there, unless a camshaft oil seal or the water pump is leaking catastrophically and has sprayed oil or coolant all over the area (in which case you would want to get the belt replaced and deal with the source(s) of the leak, of course).

To inspect part of the belt you could remove one of the upper timing belt covers. They are held on by only five bolts. The front cover will probably be easier to remove/access. You have to move some wire bundles out of the way and possibly remove the oil dipstick as well, but you could remove it in less than 15 minutes.

The larger question is what would be served by inspecting the belt this way. You could see contamination on the belt, such as dirt, oil or coolant, but it is not clear that you might not see that the belt is close to failing. Many here report that their belts look 'like new' at >100,000 miles, though mine did look visibly older and was more flexible than the replacement I put on at 125,000 miles. However, failure of the timing belt would likely result from something internal to the belt, in between the plies, or due to weak 'teeth' that might break off.

The replacement interval is 105,000 miles or 7 years, whichever is first. In this subsection of the forum (99-04 Odyssey) these vans are between 6-11 years old. If yours is an 03 or older, you could be due for a belt change even though you have only 74,000 miles. The idea is that the rubber reacts with the air over time and becomes brittle. Many people on this forum wait past 120,000 miles as I did, but the longer you wait, the longer you risk a failure of the belt. If you take it to a shop you are looking at between $500-$1200 depending on shop rates and how much additional work is done. Many replace the water pump, oil seals, tensioners, spark plugs, and accessory belts at the same time. Many on this forum have done the job themselves and can get away with less than $400 in parts, depending on how much will be replaced.

You're in Florida, a relatively warm, humid climate. You might be able to wait for several more years before getting this done.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, worm. This helps. Yeah, it is a 2002, and 8 yrs old. Maybe I can go about anothr year max.....not worth pushing this kind of stuff, eh?
 

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Its the death of the engine, and by extension the van, if it fails.

My 2002 went to this year just fine, changed at 111k. Belt still looked new.

I'd agree you can wait another year or even two. There are reports around here somewhere about near-catastrophic failure at like 165k or somesuch. Amazingly it didn't wreck the engine, and it sounds like the belt was all but shredded.
 

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Depends where you live and your van has been living. Dry weather areas like death valley and the southwest will rot your timing belt before the reccomended interval. Humid areas like on the coasts, and near water will last a bit longer and its not unheard of to go an extra 20k-30k without problems. The only issue one might run into is if coolant isn't changed you might suffer premature water pump failure, among other things. .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SuperDad said:
Its the death of the engine, and by extension the van, if it fails.

My 2002 went to this year just fine, changed at 111k. Belt still looked new.

I'd agree you can wait another year or even two. There are reports around here somewhere about near-catastrophic failure at like 165k or somesuch. Amazingly it didn't wreck the engine, and it sounds like the belt was all but shredded.
Wow, superdad, good to hear that! You really put me at ease, Man!! Now I can devote my time to the stupidity engineering of the Dang SRS light.......
 

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You, and no one, should take my comment that the near-complete failure of the belt at 165K not being fatal to the engine as the normal failure mode for the belt.

That is definitely the exception, and trying to wait until you hear nasty noises as the belt is ground up is a REALLY bad idea.

:)
 

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I'm curious - hopefully most owners aren't waiting too long and seeing catastrophic engine damage from timing failures, but in the case of these vans, when such has happened and the owner has posted, what has been the cause of the failure?

I ask because the failures I've seen in the Nissan and Audi worlds (where I've spent the bulk of the last 15 years) have not been belt failures per se (such as torn teeth, etc) but rather failures of the tensioner assemblies. Those tensioners failed, causing the timing belt to jump teeth or actually come off, and presto - valve salad.

How about in the Ody world? When timing failures have led to engine death, has it been a failure of the belt itself, or of associated parts?

Just trying to get a feel for all of this - Honda isn't really new to me in general, but the Ody is:)
 

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T-belt failures across-the-board for all Honda models are rare, very rare. I've only heard about the occasional broken belt that wasn't replaced at the recommended interval.

Examples include guys on some of the Accord and Civic forums who went well over 200,000 miles on the original belt and showed up asking how to rectify the broken belt as their first ever post on the forums. Thankfully, most of those veteran forum members were polite and straightforward in revealing to them that they waited way too long by doubling or tripling the interval between service.

In short, I'm figuring that going over the recommended change mileage a little isn't bad, but I will be replacing mine at 105,000 miles.

OF
 

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Facing that delima myself. Only about 52,000 miles and 7 years on my 2004 and am now getting the mail from the dealer about changing it since the van is now 7 years old.
can't find any notes that indicate a failure due to time (instead of mileage) and mine is only at 50% of the recommended distance.

And the dealer rates up hear in Canada are highway robbery. Figure they want something like $1000 to do this job. Seeing if I can pick up the parst kit from one of the US dealers which average about 30% of retail to help lower the cost
 

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The dealer said HEAT was a factor in the failure of the belt.
So if you're taking a long trip, I would get it changed, especially if it's hot.
If it's just short trips, you can probably push it longer.
Definatly change the tensioner and w-pump too. Not sure why humidity would be a factor at all.
The timing belt area in an engine stays pretty darn dry with all that heat.
As for changing it yourself, better first read the current thread about the "botched timing belt" and later "how to remove the engine", quite the saga.
 

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Facing that delima myself. Only about 52,000 miles and 7 years on my 2004 and am now getting the mail from the dealer about changing it since the van is now 7 years old.
can't find any notes that indicate a failure due to time (instead of mileage) and mine is only at 50% of the recommended distance.

And the dealer rates up hear in Canada are highway robbery. Figure they want something like $1000 to do this job. Seeing if I can pick up the parst kit from one of the US dealers which average about 30% of retail to help lower the cost
Try YourHondaParts.com for the parts. They are 50-70% cheaper than my dealer. With the favourable exchange it is also a plus. They also ship via USPS (and ensure that they do) to avoid brokerage fees. The shipping was an additional $30 and you pay the 13% HST (or whatever it is in ON) and a $5 handling fee. I have the timing belt, 2 accessory belts, water pump, cam seals and crank seal. I need to order for the idler pulley, the tensioner and the tensioner pulley. I will be ordering from them again for these last few items.
 

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And the dealer rates up hear in Canada are highway robbery. Figure they want something like $1000 to do this job.
It was about the same price at the dealer in 2006 here in Calif, maybe more now.
When the van had only 80K back in 2006, my daughter needed the van to move to AZ in August to go to school. The dealer strongly recommended
the T-belt change then because of the desert heat during the trip down and back.
If you're only doing short trips in near the future, I wouldn't change it with only 50K on it.
 
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