I am the original owner of a 1992 Honda Civic DX hatchback. Although it
is 15 years old, it only has 36,000 miles on it. It has been garaged
it's entire life in west Texas, which is pretty much a desert. The car
looks almost new.
Last month, the passenger side outside CV joint boot ruptured and I had
both half axles replaced. The driver side CV joint boot was beginning to
develop a tear and it was only a matter of time until it would have
reptured. I don't think the CV joint boots wore out from miles driven, I
think they wore out because of their age. I could be wrong.
My neighbor thinks I should replace three belts; the belt for my
alternator, the belt for my ac and the belt for my power steering and
he thinks I should replace both radiator hoses. He feels that after 15
years these items also may be worn out because of their age.
I check those items every month. I squeeze the hoses to make sure they
are not brittle or too soft. I inspect them for cracks. I inspect all
the belts for fraying or cracks. I look on the inside of the belts for
the same things.
The hoses and the belts don't appear to have aged as much the CV joint
boots. They look OK.
One other item of concern is the timing belt. Honda says to replace it
at 50,000 miles but I doubt they were planning for it to take someone
over 15 years to get to 50,000 miles.
My question is pretty simple. Which of the above items or other items on
this 15 year old, low mileage car should I be concerned about?
Replace the timing belt ASAP. Even 7 years is about the limit for modern
timing belts. 15 years is over the top.
I recommend replacing the radiator hoses at least. Rubber, you know. If one
of those lets go you could lose your coolant so fast the engine could be
damaged before you can get off the road.
Guess it's time to replace the timing belt. 7 years max, I'm lucky.
Doesn't one have to remove all the belts to replace the timing belt? If
that is the case then shouldn't I go ahead and have all three belts
What about other rubber items like brake hoses, vac hoses, etc.? The CV
boots were rubber, right?
I have basically the same questions about a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder XE V6
4WD. Would it be off topic to discuss that truck in this newsgroup? It
also has front CV joint boots. Not sure about the timing belt?
Since you are the original owner, don't you still have the
owner's manual? In it is a "maintenance schedule." Chances
are it says 6 years or 90k miles (whichever comes first) is
the frequency for the timing belt. I am the original owner
of a 1991 Civic LX with 195k miles on it. I know its
maintenance schedule well.
Yes, so it is indeed a good time to replace the PS,
alternator, and A/C belts if they have never been replaced
before. Though if the TB does not need replacement, then the
other three belts are not hard to replace.
I would say the alternator belt is the most critical one,
since an old belt might stress the alternator and so reduce
its life. An online source I was reading a few months ago
said alternator belts should be replaced about every 3-4
I would just inspect them and the radiator hoses. I have not
replaced the brake or vac hoses on my 91 Civic. I think some
of the radiator hoses were replaced when a dealership messed
up a minor repair and ended up installing a new radiator, no
Yes, and age in years will do them in as well as miles, as
it sounds like you suspect. Also, CV boot materials have
improved in the last decade+, so the new ones should last
Also, when discussing your Honda's needs, it's helpful to
note whether those 36k miles were put on it via city driving
or highway driving or somewhere in between. (Though I gather
in West Texas, we're not talking a lot of city driving... )
For your reference, if it was city driving, then while the
car's wheels etc. have low miles, because the engine was
idling at stoplights over its life, engine parts (including
all belts mentioned so far) have proportionally many more
"engine RPM" on them.
People do discuss other makes of vehicles here from time to
time. Some folks may respond. You might check to see if
there's a Nissan group, though.
From snooping around on the net, it appears the Pathfinder's
belt is well overdue as well. I could not find the exact
interval, just references to newer Pathfinders and older
Nissans in general indicate the 1993 Pathfinder's belt was
due /at least/ after seven years. The Pathfinder does have
an interference engine (so does your Honda), so replacing
the TB per the recommended interval is important.
Honda gives you a time and mileage for everything. Belts and hoses are very
susceptible to wear from time. I would have all of the hoses and belts
replaced. Also, regardless of low mileage, be sure to change oil on a
beast that old at least every 6 months.
And remember, that dry desert heat makes your wear on rubber even worse.
Just remember that it was Honda's belts and hoses that lasted this
long. The belts and hoses that you get at the dealership will be a
better quality than the stuff that you will get at Kragen or Autozone.
How much longer do you think the Honda belts and hoses will last?
Especially the timing belt. Are the belts and hoses good for another
year? If I only plan to keep the car for another year, is there any need
to do a bunch of maintenance on the car? I only drive it 2,000 miles a
The timing belt is my biggest concern since it could seriously damage
the engine if it failed.
I was not trying to say that you shouldn't replace the timing belt,
accessory belts or the hoses, I was just trying to point out that the
OEM parts have lasted fifteen years so far and that should show you
that that are quality parts. If you decide to change them I would
suggest that you use OEM parts. I even use OEM oil filters for any
foreign car that I am working on. I don't think I would push the
timing belt too much further I would go ahead and have that replaced.
If you don't and it brakes you will be very sorry. Also if the thing
has lasted you this long and has been reliable and has such low miles
I wouldn't ever get rid of it. Trust me it's nice to have a spare car.
You've hit the nail on the head. I don't really want to get rid of the
car but I don't like having them worked on. I've had really back luck
with mechanics doing poor work and creating more problems than they fixed.
I don't know if it's that important to replace the belts with OEM belts
since I'd guess Honda doesn't really make the belts. I don't know.
some belts are cheap crap. some aren't. you're right, honda don't make
the belts, but they buy in bulk and sell the highest quality at a price
that is within a few bucks of the cheapest nastiest alternatives.
"saving" that money on a cheap belt is not the smart choice.
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