Timing belt question.

My stepson has a '99 TL with about 108,0000 miles on the odometer. I keep after him to have the timing belt replaced. My question: Is the Acura engine one of those where several valves are broken when the
timing belt goes or is the worst that can happen is that it will have to be towed? Also, should the water pump be replaced as well at this milage? Your comments will be appreciated.
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Your stepson's engine, like just about every Honda engine ever built, is a valve-bender.
Honda's quality control is such that the belt will travel somewhat further before breaking than its specified replacement interval, but it's unwise to tempt fate.
It is also not a given that the valves will get damaged when the belt breaks. Occasionally people get lucky and no major harm is done. The odds are rather against you, though.
Valve damage repair can run into the thousands. It would be frankly stupid to delay a $500 invoice in order to risk a $3,000 one.
The water pump should be replaced at the same time as the timing belt. It's only $60, but you have to take everything else apart to get to it. Do you really want to save $60 now, then spend another $200 in labor later to replace it when it starts leaking or making noise? Besides, the water pump is turned by the timing belt. If the pump should seize, it will tear up the timing belt and give you the aforementioned $3,000 valve repair bill.
There is such a thing as "false economy". Do not fall prey to the temptations of false economy.
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Yes.
Why do you post in HTML?
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DQoiVGVnZ2VyIiA8dGVnZ2VyQHRlZ2dlci5jMG0+IHdyb3RlIGluIG1lc3NhZ2UgbmV3czpYbnM5 OTA3RDQyRDhEN0JDdGVnZ2VyQDIwNy4xNC4xMTYuMTMwLi4uDQo+ICJrYXJpbmhhbGwiIDxhaEBu c2RhcC5jb20+IHdyb3RlIGluDQo+IG5ld3M6d0ppZG5aeUxIYVpNTElfYm5aMmRuVVZaX3NDaW5a MmRAdXNhMm5ldC5uZXQ6IA0KPiANCj4+IA0KPj4gIlRlZ2dlciIgPHRlZ2dlckB0ZWdnZXIuYzBt PiB3cm90ZSBpbiBtZXNzYWdlDQo+PiBuZXdzOlhuczk5MDVCREZEQjU5RjB0ZWdnZXJAMjA3LjE0 LjExNi4xMzAuLi4gDQo+IA0KPj4+IA0KPj4+IA0KPj4+IA0KPj4+IFlvdXIgc3RlcHNvbidzIGVu Z2luZSwgbGlrZSBqdXN0IGFib3V0IGV2ZXJ5IEhvbmRhIGVuZ2luZSBldmVyIGJ1aWx0LA0KPj4+ IGlzIGEgdmFsdmUtYmVuZGVyLg0KPj4+IA0KPj4gDQo+PiANCj4+IFRlZ2dlciwgaXMgdGhpcyB0 cnVlIG9mIHRoZSAyMDAyIFJMIDMuNSBlbmdpbmU/ICBBbiBpbnRlcmZlcmVuY2UNCj4+IGVuZ2lu ZT8NCj4gDQo+IA0KPiBZZXMuDQo+IA0KPiANCj4+IEF0dGFjaG1lbnQgZGVjb2RlZDogdW50aXRs ZWQtMS50eHQNCj4gDQo+IA0KPiBXaHkgZG8geW91IHBvc3QgaW4gSFRNTD8NCj4gDQo+IA0KPiAN Cj4gLS0gDQo+IFRlZ2dlcg0KPiANCkRpZG4ndCBrbm93IEkgd2FzIHBvc3RpbmcgaW4gSFRNTC4g IE15IDxUb29scz4gPE9wdGlvbnM+IDxTZW5kPiBib3ggaXMgY2hlY2tlZCBmb3IgUGxhaW4gVGV4 dCBpbiB0aGUgPE5ld3MgU2VuZGluZyBGb3JtYXQ+IGJveC4gID8/Pw=
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Frickin' MicroSquash... <grumble>
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You're right about the logic of replacing a $60 waterpump. Unfortunately it's more like $123 for the pump plus labor plus all the associated belts, fittings, etc. from my Dlr. and so it all ends up a lot closer to a grand than to $500. Yes, it is a calculated risk to skip the WP but it's not such a no-brainer when looking at spending $200+ to "maybe" save $300 sometime later on. I'm still debating.
FWIW, it looks to me like your posts are in text and not HTML.

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I think you are underestimating the costs of water pump failure. If the pump has to be replaced in the future, it will cost as much then as doing the whole smash now; what you spend now will be for naught. If the pump seizes (fortunately rather rare in Honda products) it will strip the timing belt and wreck the engine. The choice is yours, but I recommend doing the pump.
Mike
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Hmmm...I had not considered that a seized waterpump could cascade into a timing belt failure. Of course even a new pump still has some risk of failure so it is always a question of weighing the odds but I do take your point and I do appreciate your well considered advice.

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Got to ask... What is the recommended mileage to replace the timing belt on the engine? I am new to Honda / Acura. I just picked up a 2000 3.2 TL with 67k miles on it....
Thanks!
the_mahout
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best source of an answer is the owner's manual for that car... if it came with one.
Mike
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do it soon.
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bet the belt hasn't been changed yet.
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Unfortunately so:
http://www.gates.com/landing/import/partlocator.cfm?location_idQ0
Ken
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Oddly, there are some definitely non-interference engines that Gates lists as interference. The Volvo B230 is non-interference in all versions. In this case I'm sure it's correct.
Mike
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I have seen some discrepancies.
Ken
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Some engines are "officially" non-interference only as-built. This simply means there is some clearance between the parts. The clearance may be as little as a few thousandths of an inch, so once a bit of carbon builds up, the engine effectively becomes an interference setup.
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