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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
question is now, what are the chances the engine is toast?? My wife says she turned the engine over two times after it's failure. Said the noise was not right the first time, and was really bad sounding the second time.

Do I risk having the belt replaced only to find out the engine is shot?? Mechanic tells me I won't know until the job is done.

Any experiences with something like this??

BTW- this timing belt was replaced by Honda at 76,000 miles, the van now has 99,000 miles on it.

I've searched through some threads and didn't see this question asked yet. Hope others have some decent information for me now.
 

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Sorry to hear about your van. No telling what is up with the engine until the heads are removed. You may just need new valves but then again you could have a damaged piston. Either way it's not a cheap fix. You may be better off getting a used engine, they are relatively cheap because they don't die often. A quick search on Ebay shows between $250 and $900 depending on mileage. Your belt should not have went that quickly so I would bet something else failed in there like the tensioner. If you go with a new engine make sure the belt is changed before going in, should be really easy and cheap to do before it's installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
is there no certain way to tell if engine damage was done?? It really puts me in a crappy situation to have to pay someone $700 for a timing belt replacement, only then to find out there is engine damage and it was all of for not.

wow. and to think, I was worried about the tranny all this time. major bummer.
 

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I would demand something from the Honda dealer, their job should have lasted
MUCH longer than 23K miles! TBs are supposed to last 100K or 7 yrs. They also should have checked or replaced the tensioner. Check your papers, there may even be a warranty still in effect on their work.

Otherwise, Odyinnh has a good idea with the used engine.
 

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is there no certain way to tell if engine damage was done?? It really puts me in a crappy situation to have to pay someone $700 for a timing belt replacement, only then to find out there is engine damage and it was all of for not.

wow. and to think, I was worried about the tranny all this time. major bummer.
There is a good chance that the engine has been damaged in some way. The only question is exactly what has been damaged.

As mentioned, you have to pull the heads to check for damage. You could do a compression test, but that would probably damage the engine if it hasn't been already.

You really should check the engine for damage before spending $700 on a new TB for it. Best case is that one head has been damaged. Next is both heads. These can be repaired. Worst is the above plus piston damage. That's when you replace the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would demand something from the Honda dealer, their job should have lasted
MUCH longer than 23K miles! TBs are supposed to last 100K or 7 yrs. They also should have checked or replaced the tensioner. Check your papers, there may even be a warranty still in effect on their work.

Otherwise, Odyinnh has a good idea with the used engine.
From pulling the heads, should a good mechanic be able to tell if there is additional damage???

Thanks for the help guys. I'm not a mechanic at all.
 

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+1 on the above advice - you should be going back to the Honda dealer that did the timing belt first and foremost and see what they will do for you - how long ago did they do the work?

And do you have a list of all of the parts that they replaced? I'm wondering if they didn't replace something such as the oil-filled tensioner which may have failed and allowed the belt to loosen. Or did the water pump sieze and cause the belt to fail? At that mileage, they may have left the original water pump. And if they did replace the water pump (or something else like one of the tensioner rollers), it could be that a defective part was installed.

Post back here with exactly what parts were replaced when the timing belt job was done. If you can't find the paperwork, the dealer that did the work should have the records in their computer and can print it out for you.
 

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From pulling the heads, should a good mechanic be able to tell if there is additional damage???

Thanks for the help guys. I'm not a mechanic at all.
being a mechanic is like being a physican to be honest its a life long learning process the thing is though a mechanic is not rewarded based on his years working cars like a physician would.
 

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ActiveAgent,

If I were in your shoes I'd pull the valve covers and look to see if any valve could be seen to be hanging up due to being bent (or pay a mechanic to do so). If you bent a valve from either the belt break or the cranking over after the belt break then there is a good chance you could see a hung valve(s) with the valve covers off. Once you see if you have any badly bent valves you go from there. If so you are looking at an engine tear down or replacement. If not then it might be worth moving on to the replacement of the timing belt and see what happens. If after replacing the t-belt you discover a slightly bent valve(s) then your looking a another decision, give up and cash out, valve job or replacement engine. Either way I'd pull the valve covers first before doing anything else. Lots of luck, Russ.
 

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Do not touch the engine or have another mechanic even look at it until you have had the same Honda dealer that replaced the TB look at it. You should do everything you can to have Honda pay to fix it (except 1/4 cost to redo TB - prorated). They will try to find any excuse they can to not pay for it. Make sure you have records of any oil changes or other service you had done since the TB job was done. They should warranty their work on this for sure. Camp out in the service dept if you have to and don't leave until they agree to pay for it.
 

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I agree what these replies said, but not the camping out part hahaha....

ActiveAgent,

If I were in your shoes I'd pull the valve covers and look to see if any valve could be seen to be hanging up due to being bent (or pay a mechanic to do so). If you bent a valve from either the belt break or the cranking over after the belt break then there is a good chance you could see a hung valve(s) with the valve covers off. Once you see if you have any badly bent valves you go from there. If so you are looking at an engine tear down or replacement. If not then it might be worth moving on to the replacement of the timing belt and see what happens. If after replacing the t-belt you discover a slightly bent valve(s) then your looking a another decision, give up and cash out, valve job or replacement engine. Either way I'd pull the valve covers first before doing anything else. Lots of luck, Russ.
Do not touch the engine or have another mechanic even look at it until you have had the same Honda dealer that replaced the TB look at it. You should do everything you can to have Honda pay to fix it (except 1/4 cost to redo TB - prorated). They will try to find any excuse they can to not pay for it. Make sure you have records of any oil changes or other service you had done since the TB job was done. They should warranty their work on this for sure. Camp out in the service dept if you have to and don't leave until they agree to pay for it.
 

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ActiveAgent,

You're getting lots of good advice here. My advice is meant to be used if you decide to go the "fix this on you own route" or once you find out neither Honda or the dealership will help out on the repair. If you seek help from Honda or the dealership then be prepared to spend lots of money to find out why the timing belt failed. First neither Honda or the dealership will do anything without being able to see and determine why the timing belt failed. For that you will be stuck with towing the vehicle to Honda, and you will need to be willing to pay the cost of diagnosis as to why things failed should Honda and the dealership refuse to pay (a very real possibility since you clearly exceeded a 12,000 or one year warranty). So, unless you have something in writing that states the vehicle is still under warranty then expect the least. Please understand, I'm not saying Honda or the dealership will not step up, just don't expect it as many have reported that Honda's stance of late is "you are on your own". Lots of luck, Russ
 

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I agree with Russ. I would ask for the goodwill but I wouldn't hold my breath for it. Honda lately has been doing too much of "you're on your own".
 

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I agree with Russ. I would ask for the goodwill but I wouldn't hold my breath for it. Honda lately has been doing too much of "you're on your own".
It's the dealer's service dept at fault, not Honda. They should have at least told you that the tensioner and waterpump should be replaced. If they did and you refused, that would probably limit their liability. If they didn't tell you, I think you would have a good shot at getting at least some re-imbursement or winning a lawsuit. As other's said, check your receipt.
 

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yeoldeoddy,

I can tell you from having the factory service manual, under timing belt, there is no mention about changing out the water pump when doing the timing belt, the same holds for the tensioner (or any of the idlers). Is it good practice to change them, well it all depends on the circumstance. Would I change them, yes I did when the t-belt was done. NOTE: There is nothing in the owners manual about changing out the water pump or t-belt tensioner either under the 105,000 service (t-belt service). So I'm not sure who would be at fault when doing the t-belt job without changing the water-pump or tensioner. There are many reasons a t-belt can break / jump teeth. Any coolant leak that gets the t-belt wet, bad tensioner, bad idler, defective part (any normally used in the t-belt service), oil leak from cam seal, and the list goes on..... I can say this, Honda and the dealerships are getting much cheaper in good will, bad economy and profits are down. One could say that is short sighted but reality is reality. Anyway, lots of luck to the OP and all the rest who drive Hondas (as well as any other vehicle). Russ.
 

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It's the dealer's service dept at fault, not Honda. They should have at least told you that the tensioner and waterpump should be replaced. If they did and you refused, that would probably limit their liability. If they didn't tell you, I think you would have a good shot at getting at least some re-imbursement or winning a lawsuit. As other's said, check your receipt.
They don't have to tell you anything my friend. Russ already proved that point by looking up the service manual and the owner's manual not saying anything about the water pump or the tensioners.

We don't know what was told to the OP but any work at a Honda dealer is warrantied for 12 months and 12K miles. Any issues outside of that falls on corporate. I feel for the OP but in cases like his, dealers says too bad warranty is up. Honda says dealerships are individually owned and operated blah blah......

OP's gonna need lots of luck for this one unless they're dealing with an honest dealer who believes in true customer service.
 

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ActiveAgent:
At 60,000 miles the timing belt on my 2000 snapped after the water pump seized. The result was a couple bent valves. The dealer replaced the head under warranty.

Since our engines are an interference design, there is a good chance of valve damage if the belt breaks. (I think there is also a chance that a piston crown could be damaged as well - though apparently that is rare.) I don't think a competent mechanic would check for valve damage by replacing the timing belt and then seeing what happens. I understand that a leak down test is harder to do with the belt broken - since valve and piston movement is no longer coordinated. But it still should be possible to test the valves. Something like this might work: Move the crankshaft pulley so that none of the pistons are at top dead center. Lock the crankshaft pulley in that position. Then move the camshafts so that the valves for a given cylinder are closed. Perform the leak down test for that cylinder. Repeat for all other cylinders. Bent valves should leak.
 

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yeoldeoddy,

I can tell you from having the factory service manual, under timing belt, there is no mention about changing out the water pump when doing the timing belt, the same holds for the tensioner (or any of the idlers). Is it good practice to change them, well it all depends on the circumstance. Would I change them, yes I did when the t-belt was done. NOTE: There is nothing in the owners manual about changing out the water pump or t-belt tensioner either under the 105,000 service (t-belt service). So I'm not sure who would be at fault when doing the t-belt job without changing the water-pump or tensioner. There are many reasons a t-belt can break / jump teeth. Any coolant leak that gets the t-belt wet, bad tensioner, bad idler, defective part (any normally used in the t-belt service), oil leak from cam seal, and the list goes on..... I can say this, Honda and the dealerships are getting much cheaper in good will, bad economy and profits are down. One could say that is short sighted but reality is reality. Anyway, lots of luck to the OP and all the rest who drive Hondas (as well as any other vehicle). Russ.
There's no mention in the manual that while changing brake pads, you should of inform the customer that his brake caliper is leaking too. That is a duty of responsablity that the dealer IS responsible for.
It may be more gray for the tensioner and w-pump (since it's not a safety issue) but I think the dealer would be negligent if they didn't at least inform the customer that these should be changed too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies guys. What many of you failed to read in the above posts I made was that the TB replacement was done by the prior owner before me. I had the carfax on the vehicle and found out through that who the previous dealer was for the car. I called their service dept and spoke to them. While he couldn't supply me with a print out of the services completed on the vehicle, like I asked for, he did read the list of the services the vehicle had done. He was very impressed by the amount and how well the car was serviced. The big item for me was the fact that at 76k the TB had been replaced. That was a $700 repair that I knew going in to it, I wasn't going to have to shoulder.

In reading up more about the year/make/model and problems, it seems as though there was an issue with the tensioner on the 02's. Was that replaced with the TB service?? I don't know. I have not called the previous dealer and asked them for retribution. Why waste my time? I'm a second owner of the vehicle since the replacement. If I was the original owner after the TB service, you can bet that I would be there daily.

What I've decided to do is just change the motor out. I've located a motor with 83k on it for $500. The install will cost me $1080 for the ~14 hours of labor and an additional ~$300 for parts/fluids etc.. I'm going to have them change the timing belt on it while it's out and change all other parts related to it ie. tensioner, springs etc. My total costs are going to be ~$2,000.

Based on my reading and in speaking with others who are way more fluent in the mechanics than I, those interference motors are notorious for bending/breaking/damaging with broken TB. The way my wife described the sounds of the two different times she turned the car over, I'm certain there is damage done.

I almost had the TB replaced with the hopes that there was no damage, but after reading on here and speaking with others, I just couldn't see spending ~$500 in labor to have them replace only to then hope there is no additional damage done. To me, it's just easier to shell out the other dough and be done with it. I'd be sick knowing that I just wasted $500 on labor that was useless.

So this way, they take the motor as a core, I won't know either way. I'm not going to the local dealer here. Haven't even called them about it. As I type this, I think maybe I should just to hear what they have to say. But, we all know their take on everything.

Anyway, that's where things are now. I appreciate all the advice and help. It's a sh*tty situation, but, hey, like I told my wife, we can go back to $300 month car payments, or we can live with repair bills once every few years to keep our paid for cars on the road.
 

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You are making the right decision as far as putting another engine in to it and changing the timing belt on it while it is still outside. Given that half the labor involved is moving the other components so that one can get to the timing belt, it should be easier to do the belt when the engine outside.

While there, have them check the motor mounts too.
 
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