How fast do you suppose the rubber on a timing belt degrades at room temperature?

Correct, no oil seals. It has had about 40-50k since they were last replaced, they should be fine. If they are not, and I see any seepage at all, I will order them next day from Amazon and replace them if the procedure seems manageable. Obviously, I’m not going to take any chances on a $20 part (or whatever they cost) given how much of a pain it is to get to this point.

Yeah, I misspoke on the socket, and you just need a breaker bar. $13 at harbor freight.

Ok, having reviewed it, it’s $30 for genuine Honda replacements to the seal, and some kits include them. I will replace them as well if I can find out a good video showing how to do it. Apparently, there is also an oil seal retaining device that may or may not be already installed that can save you if the balance shaft seal tries to come out of place. (if it comes out, oil gushes out of the engine and soaks all the belts in the process)

I think you’re making the right call in doing this. It should give you some peace of mind that the belt won’t be the thing that strands you halfway out on your trip. FWIW, I had to get a head gasket replaced on my Subaru which necessitated pulling the water pump, timing belt, and a bunch of other goodies. As it turns out the water pump had a minor leak and the timing belt (which I’d never had checked ) was slowly shredding itself at 95000 km. All up it was $2200 CAD for all the work but my car is happy, happy, happy.

When you do get the belt off, it’ll be interesting to see how the teeth look and how well it handles being bent in a reverse curve of the same radius: teeth out, flat side in.

Please do keep us posted.

Another consideration is air contaminants and smog and its effects on the belt.
Storing a long time might have put a flat spot kink that needs to work out even if it were new-that might cause a break.

Timing belts only cause major damage on breakage in some cars. My mechanic said some cars rely on the belt to prevent the piston from going in to far.

This is one of those cars. If it snaps or enough teeth break, there is a significant chance the engine would be destroyed. (the damage costs as much to fix as installing a new aftermarket engine). If I screw up the replacement, same problem.

Make sure you turn the engine over several times by hand to make sure nothin’ goes “Crunch”.

I’ve done a few of these so far, and If I can do it, so can you! :smiley:

Well, I ran out of time to fix the problem. Ended up just taking the part kit to a mechanic. He installed the parts, also replaced the front brake rotors, adjusted the rear brakes, and fixed a problem with the driver’s side window being loose. (which means he disassembled the whole door). He also replaced all the other belts, including the one for the alternator, and installed the retaining bracket for the oil seals. $1300. Drove the car about 3000 miles since, it’s been running fine.

Depending on the car, that is not high at all - do some online research and ask some mechanics. I had mine done a week ago and I was happy it only cos a little more than $900. And that’s without the seals.

What was the condition of the belt?

No idea :(. Wasn’t there when it was changed.

*Always *ask for the parts back. Not because you don’t trust the mechanic, but because you want to learn.

Just to chime in
The belt is exposed to high heat.
It might get 200+ degrees under that timing belt cover and on the crank gear face etc.

It is exposed to constant tension.

And it is exposed to other things that degrade rubber besides UV light.

And the teeth in the belt are rubber.

Yes i do know that the belts do tend to last longer than the recommendation, but the belt is only designed to last that long, anything past that is a freebie.

If it was a non interference head, id say take you chances on getting a tow, but since your engine can self destruct itself just due to an old belt, you may want to bite the bullet and have it changed, or take the adventure yourself.

@Weisshund: Psst. See post #28. The work’s been done months ago.


Absolutely. I have been following this thread because I have a 2001 Honda Civic with 50k miles which is considered WAY overdue timewise, and hoped that the OP would have some info when he examined his old belt. In any regard, I DO plan to have it done for about $600. I know I am courting disaster here.