Do I really need new timing belt on '03 TL w/ only 23.8K miles??

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Most of the equipment I use in my profession is equipped with timing belts....from extruder drives to servo driven down stream equipment. I still have belts in service that have been installed for 10 years and more that are fine (visually inspected every 6 months). Some of them run 24 hours a day, 5-6 days a week (much more than one would drive a car though at a lower RPM, of course). This is the norm, though I have seen 2 of them go within 12 months. Those were from poor installation (that guy didn't last long after that).
I'm at 7+ years now on my Honda, but only 92k miles. Even with what I've experienced in an industrial setting, I'll probably change it out sometime this year.
I did have an older '82 accord that had the belt break (bought it used as a used clunker just as a temp get around vehicle), but that belt was the original and it was at 15+ years old when it broke.
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If you had a 9.5 year old car with only 23.8K miles would you get the timing belt done this year?
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On 06/07/2012 04:21 PM, Stewart wrote: <brevity>

there may be some difference between auto and industrial use - the belts used on cars don't have the same load throughout their usage speed, and their speed varies a lot.

most vehicle timing belts break at or close to idle, not at freeway speeds. reason is that at low speed, the hydrodynamic oil film on the cam lobes breaks down and allows metal-to-metal contact. once that happens, the force required to rotate increases significantly as you get micro-welding of surface asperities. if the motor were to constantly run at higher rpm's it would undoubtedly last longer.
it's also worth noting that modern auto timing belts are typically much better than the stuff that was available 20 years ago. hence they last longer even in an identical application.
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On 06/07/2012 09:27 PM, jim beam wrote:

from the direct metal contact and local friction
. if the motor were to constantly run

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The industrial belts that have been supplied over the past 10 years are nitrile units with fibers (some fiberglass, some kevlar) and are standard lengths that can be bought at auto supply stores for the most part (aside from the double sided timing belts).....

I was taking off from a light in first gear, hit about 3500 rpm and then nada. Knew what it was right away......

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On 06/08/2012 02:22 PM, Stewart wrote:

kevlar is not typically used in automotive belts because it's susceptible to moisture, particularly at elevated temperatures. there are other aramid fibers out there that are better suited - twaron being the most common.

forgive the pedantry, but a toothed belt is not automatically a "timing" belt. the term "timing belt", in correct usage, is when there is a specific gear synchronization function, like syncing an engine's cam to its crank. the kind of drive belt you get for a final drive on a harley is simply a "toothed belt". and that's what the majority of industrial drives are.

sure, it happens. but as i said, the majority break at or close to idle - for the reasons given.

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Our servo systems do quite a bit of syncronized movements with other drives/digital and analog IO. These all use timing belts where direct drive is not available. The extuders themselves used toothed belts, though they all use closed loop vector regen drives for our control loops.

Yep....my sample size is quite small.

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On 6/8/2012 9:42 PM, Stewart wrote:

I can cite 3 instances:
1972 Ford Pinto, at a stoplight (my car 95,000 miles)
1984 Honda Accord, at a stoplight (friend, 28,000 miles)
1985 Honda Hatchback, at a stop sign at the end of a highway off ramp after 60 miles at 60mph. (father, 61,000 miles)
I never understood before why all three of these failed while at idle. I don't know of any that failed while moving.
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On Wed, 6 Jun 2012 14:51:13 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:

Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?
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You forgot the "punk", Callahan.
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Okay, I guess I should bite the bullet and have it done. Anyone know if $840 is a reasonable price for this job in the Northern NJ area?
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On 06/06/2012 09:45 PM, snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:
in

if this were my car, i'd leave it. your mileage is so exceptionally low, any risk of breakage has got to be one in hundreds of millions...
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On 6/7/2012 12:45 AM, snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:
in

Hamilton Honda, located in Central NJ, advertises $390. for a complete job. http://www.hamiltonhonda.net/ go to service, then service coupons. Even includes water pump, but I agree with Jim Beam and would not let them replace.
Perhaps you can take that coupon to your local guy and ask them why they are so much higher.
I have no connection to Hamilton except I bought one car there. The facility is modern and the service dept seems efficient and attentive.
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On 06/07/2012 08:10 AM, Al wrote:

for the "replace" advocates, its their inconsistency that irks me. apart from the damage that things like seal replacement can cause, why do these guys get so up-tight about replacing stuff that's observably not defective just because they can access it when they change the timing belt? i /never/ hear the same people bleating about a much more commonly problematic issue - the seal on the flywheel end of the engine. why? because it's a pita to get to, that's why. so they completely ignore it.
doing stuff just because it's there [particularly when accounting for damage risk] is simply superstition and witchcraft. particularly when it's not in the service manual/specified by the manufacturer!!!
it's just like people that change their oil every 3k miles, even though modern oils are significantly different to those of the 1950's and [readily and cheaply accessible] testing will put the facts right in front of their eyes.

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What inconsistency - many shops always recommend easy services that make lots of money. I can understand why shops suggest replacing the water pump when they do the timing belt - more dollars for them for little actual extra effort. There were certain vehicles in the past (80's Escorts with original CVH engine) where it was a reasonable idea. Not only was the water pump likely to fail before the belt needed replacing a second time, when it failed it was likely to take out the timing belt and valves/head when it did. For those Escorts the water pump was cheap and easy to replace when you did the belt, so I think it was a reasonable thing to do. In fact for those early Escorts, I think it was more import to replace the water pump at regulalr intervals than to replace the timing belt. After Ford eliminated the potential valve interference, the need for replacing the water pump when you did the timing belt was eliminated - at least in my mind (second year, or third?). For other vehicles, I agree it is not something worth while - particualrly if it is a noninterference engine.

Old habits are hard to break - especially when so many Toyota enthusiasts continue to blame all the sludged up engines from the late 90's on insufficient oil changes. I've finally broken the habit but one thing worries me. We have two I4 RAV4s in the family. They both have oil change indicators (5000 mile fixed interval indicators) which is good. - except, they both use more than a quart of oil in 3000 miles. So if the drivers don't check the oil, I worry thay might end up with less than 2 quarts of oil in the pan at 5000 miles when it is changed. My Sister is particualry lax about checking oil - the last time I changed her oil I only got around 2.5 quarts in the drain pan (I know some was in the filter and I spilled a little, but I am afraid the engine was over 1.5 qt low). Both my Sister and SO think the oil change indicator light relieves them of the need to check the oil at least occasionally. I hope they don't learn why this is a bad idea.

Good tag line.
Ed
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On 6/7/2012 9:59 AM, C. E. White wrote:

Maybe the handsome markup on the cost of parts is also a factor in this. I've heard from a good source that they use a 2.25 multiplier for markups. The manufactureres only wish to make that much profit on those same parts. But I'm just saying ... I've already brought up this subject before and did't end up well with it. :-(
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The dealer adds about a 60% markup to the original purchase price when they buy OE parts from Honda. That's where your full-retail price comes from.
Independent garages generally get between 10% and 25% off full-retail when they buy from the dealer. They add that back when they resell to you, so they can stay competitive with the dealer for parts while still making some money on those parts.
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On 6/7/2012 1:11 PM, Tegger wrote:

Well, then how is it that Majestic Honda can sell a heater core for about $300 that my local dealer sells for around $470? They both sell the same OEM core and I assume even Majestic makes some money on their price.
I've got that 2.25 multiplier from a local radio show host who is himself the owner or head mechanic of a large repair shop. You could tell he was rather uncomfortable by the question and was trying to move to other subject on the air real fast.
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$470 retail suggests a $282 purchase at a 60% markup, leaving a margin of $18 if they sell to you at $300. Perhaps Majestic's volume with Honda is higher than most, so they get a discount?
Volume-shippers also get /substantial/ discounts from their carriers, so they may be making the margin back by marking up their shipping. One of our (commercial) customers pays much less than half to ship stuff what you'd pay if you walked in off the street. Or did you pay $300 /total/, excluding only taxes?

A 60% markup equates to a multiple of 1.67.
A multiple of 2.25 suggests they're buying the part for $209. Possible, but I think unlikely.
That 2.25 may be true for aftermarket parts, but my experience says it's unlikely for OE parts, especially those sold by an independent garage. With a few exceptions, independents can't get hold of OE except through a dealership.
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On 6/7/2012 1:11 PM, Tegger wrote:

Oops, I just realized that my local Honda dealer's part store does indeed charge about 60% above Majestic's online price though I seem to recall some $625 from my last call to them.

This, however, was certainly different with my last mechanic who pretty much wanted to charge the same price as the dealer. That's what caused me to look for another mechanic.
I still don't know then how to interpret the 2.25 multiplier I've heard from that radio show host. He did wave me off by saying that it was a pretty complicated formula but was the industry norm. It's clearly not a subject mechanics like their customers to inquire about.
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