check timing belt

98 Civic DX. I want to check timing belt. Car has 60,000 miles. I checked online repair manual. Looks like I need to remove valve cover first then upper timing belt cover. Is this correct ? Thank you

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Needs replaced for the time factor, no matter how it looks

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wp51dos wrote:

Yeah, you won't be able to tell anything by looking. Maybe if you totally removed it, then you see whether it had cracks or any of the teeth were worn - but then you'd have most of the work done to just replace it! Not sure about the Honda recommendations but 60k - 80k is the usual replacement period.
Dan D '07 Odyssey Central NJ USA
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7 years or 105K miles.
You're past due for a belt change, period.
A visual inspection will tell you absolutely zero. The car will run just perfect, right up to the moment the belt snaps and the valves get destroyed.
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Tegger

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What TeGGeR says - the belt must be replaced. It will probably look fine but it is not to be trusted with the life of your engine. There is no reliable visual indication of timing belt condition.
Mike
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Just to echo that you cant always see if it needs checking- One car that when I looked at the belt, it looked ok. Then I took it off anyway. I found the "teeth" on the inside edge were GONE!
-Pete
Michael Pardee wrote:

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Yow! I changed a timing belt in a Volvo once (way overdue, but a non-interference engine) and although it looked okay the teeth could be picked off the belt with my thumbnail. I've personally never seen a broken timing belt, but I've seen belts fail because teeth were missing. Every one looked okay otherwise.
Mike
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Missing teeth is the normal failure mode... even though people most often say 'broken belt'
Erik
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thanks for input.
I pulled cover anyway and checked belt as thorughly as I could including trying to pick teeth off of it.
I don't have access to impact wrench so I will wait with crossed fingers until seals etc leak, then tackle job using old time tools.
Who knows car might be sold or stolen before then.
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48g2000cwx.googlegroups.com:

Silly boy. Can't tell ANYthing that way.

That's not smart.

Hopefully before the belt snaps.
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It all takes us back to the question that won't go away: if the OP doesn't change the belt now, when will he do it? Waiting for the seals leak is certain to be too long since they should never leak. This car is too young to die of that sort of considered neglect and should be worth about 20 times the cost of having a shop change the timing belt.
wp51dos - I see nobody has said so directly in this thread, but you do realize a failed timing belt is likely to do several thousand dollars damage, yes?
Mike
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