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Discussion Starter #1
I have an '03 Odyssey that has just over 98K miles. I'm planning a cross country trip at the end of July into August that will take us from Virginia to Colorado then to Texas and back to Virginia. I'm estimating over 4K miles.

Would you recommend replacing the timing belt before going on this trip?
 

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It wouldn't hurt, but if I were you I would not lose any sleep about doing it after your trip. The belt doesn't have a built-in odometer!

I have to admit that I'm way overdue for mine by almost 20K miles, and it still runs great even on the original spark plugs which need to be replaced at the same time. Hopefully my garage will open up soon so I can get to this job (do my own auto work).
 

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What is the mileage that Honda recommends, 105,000 miles? You might be near 103,000 by the end of the trip.

I would just do it now before the cross-country trip, rather than push the mileage.
 

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I got to 111kMi before changing it. There's someone else around here who got over 150kMi .

It wouldn't hurt to wait. Its $700-$900, and maybe before 105k something else horrendous might happen to the van :(
 

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Tb

Just like what they said, the TB doesent have an odometer where when it reaches 105,000 miles, it will snap. Change it if youll end up stressing over it during your vacation, but at 105K, most Ody TBs look new
 

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Sorry, please move this post to the timing belt thread
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hexabob said:
Have you ever had you coolant serviced?

If you've had it changed I'd say wait, if not do the whole service before
I haven't changed the coolant. I bought the van in Dec '06 with 68K miles. Not sure if it was done before that.
 

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It shouldn't be $700 unless you have it serviced at the dealer. Also if you're going to service the timing belt it's always good do do the water pump at the same time as it's not that much more.

A good independent shop can do the pump, timing belt and tensioner for under $700.

I would do the belt before the trip to give yourself piece of mind, but also do it a couple weeks in advance so in case there was an issue with the repair. I don't like driving long trips with a freshly repaired vehicle.
 

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tmonter said:
It shouldn't be $700 unless you have it serviced at the dealer. Also if you're going to service the timing belt it's always good do do the water pump at the same time as it's not that much more.

A good independent shop can do the pump, timing belt and tensioner for under $700.

I would do the belt before the trip to give yourself piece of mind, but also do it a couple weeks in advance so in case there was an issue with the repair. I don't like driving long trips with a freshly repaired vehicle.
Ya I agree with him. If youre gonna get it done before your trip do it weeks in advance. A lot of things can go wrong, especially on a timing belt job, if its not done right. You can save a crap load of money by doing the spark plugs yourself. I recieved a $100 discount by doing away with the spark plugs at my local shop
 

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its not just about the mileage but also the age. My 05 ody's driving belt was having some cracking issues on the edges around 93k miles but i still made it til 105k miles. And since yours is an 03 i would say do it
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the responses I appreciate the tips on doing it well before the trip to iron out any kinks. I'm more than likely going to do the plugs myself, probably the coolant and the transmission fluid too. Money is kind of tight right now, so every little bit will help.
 

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Timing belt package???

Wow...my wife just had a full service+inspection on her 03 odyssey. The dealer recommended a TB package and the quote was $1200 parts and labor. How can it be that high?

What does the package include?

The other things were "right front mount = $711, plugs = $220, and left rear shock = $203...and why do just one corner???

Joe
 

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The right front mount is almost completely removed just to do the TB change, so the additional cost for that should be just the part cost(plus three easy bolts).

The plugs are expensive at the dealer, about $13 each. You can get them for half that at Amazon. The other $110 of that job is labor.

The left rear shock may have failed. Its a relatively easy replacement, though, so you could do it yourself for the cost of the shock. I'd probably do both at the same time.

The TB is not an easy thing to get to and change. It is several hours of labor, and really should include the tensioner and water pump(at least) at the same time. The water pump usually implies a coolant change, but that's not absolutely required. On the other hand, if its time for the first TB change, the coolant is due for a change anyway. Typical charge for the TB job is $700-$900.
 

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Thanks SD.

I didn't know what the RF mount meant until I read a few of these replies. I guess they do that ... just because it is an easy kill. I am going to see if I can find a statistic about how often the mounts fail.

Shocks could mean McPherson struts. Not sure if there would struts on the rear, but I would have to get the thing off the ground a bit to see. I'd like to do Bilsteins all around. I'd guess the front has struts so I'd go across the border (Mexico) to have them changed.

We have some independent Honda specialists here in San Diego so I'll give them a call to see where things fall. I am a fairly strong DIY auto guy. I hate doing it, but when I see a quote of $2000, I think $2700 because I have to earn that much, pay taxes, and then give the rest to the auto guy.

I saw a few of your replies and felt you had a good grasp on this subject.

Thanks again and I'll look for more replies.

Joe
03 Odyssey
 

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Rears are plain shocks, outside the springs. No serious tools needed for replacement.

In fact, except for the timing belt itself, the rest of the work is pretty easy. Even the timing belt is not out of the realm of a decent DIYer, if you can get that crankshaft bolt off somehow!
 

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When I read the price listed for "right front mount" I thought (unless there was a typo or the dealer is insane) they probably meant "right, front mount" - that is the right (passenger side) engine mount and the front engine mount.

As SuperDad has indicated, the right engine mount is really easy to replace - especially as part of a TB change since it will be unbolted (or partway unbolted) anyway. That mount is only about $85 list price (although your dealership might mark it up somewhat - which is a bit hard to swallow since you can get the original part online for about $60). If you were doing it without a timing belt change the labor should only be an hour or so (and the mechanic would likely have it done in 20 minutes). With a TB change they really shouldn't charge you extra labor - or at most a fraction of an hour.

The front mount is pricier and there is more labor involved.

Do you think they meant both mounts together?
 

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Is there any advantage to going to the dealer to do the service if you can find a good independent shop?

My dealer quoted $900+ to install the timing belt and do a tuneup and a local shop that works on Hondas all the time did it + water pump plus transmission service for $760.
 
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