Sorry if this question is asked thousands of times.
I will make it as simple as possible.
I have 99 Civic EX and it has done 95K.
I purchased it from a lady who wasn't sure about timing belt was
changed .she said she got some belts changed. She didn't know much
about the CAR and service. I got it checked before buying and the
mechanic told me that he cannot check the state of TB. There is a lot
of work involved. My questions:
1) Can I get it(TB) checked? If yes then how much it would cost me? I
guess a lot.
2) What is the cost involved in changing of TB (without pumps and with
pumps) and other things which usually go with TB change?
3) I am in east coast near DC. Any suggestions who should be the best
for this job. I know dealers are good but the expenses at their shops
are very high.
Your help will be highly appreciated.
No, it's impossible to tell much by just looking at a timing
For "normal driving," the timing belt for the 99 Civic is
due for replacement at 105k miles or seven years, whichever
comes first. Unless the former owner was a pushover, then it
seems more likely that the belt has not yet been changed.
This interval is listed in the owner's manual linked via
Do you have an owner's manual? Start using the free online
one linked above to identify what maintenance should be done
on your car. Lurk here, too, to learn important details
about maintenance! :-)
At what mileage did you buy this car?
Based on recent reports here, $500 to $700 seems to be the
going rate, with independent shops generally charging less.
This should include a new water pump and possibly also a
balance shaft belt for your Civic. I recommend doing the
water pump, too, for peace of mind. It's about $50 of the
price, and the labor for the belt and pump overlap
An independent import shop might do just as good a job as
the dealer, but it's more likely the dealer will do this job
100% correctly. For at TB replacement, you pay more at the
dealer, but arguably you do get more.
You could ask the original owner if she ever had a bill
upwards of say $350 or so for "belts." If so, this would
most likely be a timing belt.
If you really can't be sure of whether the belt has been
changed, then have it changed as soon as possible. Your
Honda's engine can be seriously damaged if the belt fails,
to the tune of a few thousand dollars or a total loss. We do
get reports of timing belts failing here.
Other tips for keeping your Honda running optimally appear
Elle has a lot of good points. I'm in the middle of a timing belt change
on my daughter's 98 Civic Ex with 99,000 miles. The timing belt was 8
years old and still looked perfect. But, I guess it could have snapped at
any moment. I would not let a generic repair shop touch and learn on my
Honda. A dealer or someone who specializes in Honda / Acura would fit the
bill if I was not doing it myself. My goal was to replace many parts that
still had some life in them to help ensure no major problems in the next
100,000 miles. I plan on replacing the alternator or brushes at 150,000
miles. The crankshft pulley was the tightest I have ever seen. I had to
purchase a new impact socket and boost the pressure to 150 psi on my
Ingersoll Rand Impact wrench (600+ ft pounds of torque). I also had a
major problem trying to remove the dipstick tube so I could remove the
timing belt covers (it's posted 2 days ago under the Honda heading in this
forum. I'm replacing the TB tensioner, water pump, fuel filter and Air
Filter. I found the lower drivers side motor mount bad. Changing all
belts, plugs (NGK), Distributor Cap and Rotor is what I'm doing. Don't go
cheap on this and you will get a lot of additional miles out of your Honda.
Changing the transmission fluid is also a must. Good luck.
what size air line are you using? they only reach that kind of torque
with fat line as the skinny stuff has too much flow resistance - it
tends to be a little elastic too and that drops pressure low in pulses,
which of course you can't see on a gauge as it's too transient.
i use the proper pulley wheel holder, a 3/4" drive, breaker bar and body
weight solution. bolt comes free at about 300 - 350 ft.lbs.
Jim, I'm not replacing the cam and crankshaft oil seals this time around
with regard to your advice on that subject. My air pressure line is an
Air-TAC HW 300 PSI (2608) line with 3/8 fittings. It's a fairly fat line.
It spread my original "cheap" 17mm impact socket. Spraying the crank bolt
with PB Blaster, hitting the bolt with a drift and hammer, then using a
new, heavy duty impact socket did the trick (150 psi), whew.
$500-700 sounds too high. We had the timing belt changed on a Toyota Sienna
with a V6 at the dealer for $175. parts included. The Civic looks on the
surface to be a lot easier to access than the Sienna. I did not change the
water pump or anything besides the belt
Thanks for all your replies.
I bought the car at 87K. the previous owner had all the bills except
the belts' one.
You guys are right, its better to get it changed now rather than seeing
it dead later and pay a heavier price (much heavier).
I enquired at the local Honda Dealer with good reputation. They are
charging 700 dollars for the stuff which includes water pump and couple
of other things.
My car is fine except its milleage has gone down I guess. My driving is
very less (60 miles a week) in normal city/town conditions. I think its
giving me around 25-27 mpg.
I don't know what it is related to...may be oil filter??
I will get that done too.
You mean Air Filter, right. And tell them you want a new (Oh) O ring on
your lower dipstick tube. Cost $1.70. The Honda part number is:
Some dealers try to use the old one when they remove the lower dipstick
holder because no one will be the wiser. I really struggled with this
item because it has to be removed to do the timing belt. A service writer
will always say "we will change that" but make them show you they have one
in stock and tell them you want the old one back. Also, I would always
recommend asking for all your old parts back. I just finished with my
daughter's 98 Civic EX with 99,000 miles and I did not cut any corners.
The $350 for Honda parts from Manchester Honda (great discount)and $0 for
labor may help her stay out of mechanical difficulity for a while; I Hope?
Mechanics and some shops skip some of the little stuff because they don't
get caught and they are focusing on the bigger, more expensive items and
profit. Many mechanics get a cut on the parts they sell you and yes, some
of them make as much or more from parts comissions as on their labor.
Labor is your big expense here and while they have it apart putting on new
fan belts should cost zero additional labor charge. Also, while doing the
timing belt, you have to remove the AC tensioner and I found my AC
tensioner pulley bearing was shot. Make sure they check it! Should not be
an additional charge to check it either.
Have the service writer put all of your comments and recommendations in
writing on your service order. Have him put on there your not paying
unless you get your old parts back so they know your serious. I had them
tell me, oh we forgot and threw them away. Good Luck.
find a different mechanic. they can't tell you the exact mileage, but
it sure is easy to see the difference between a belt that's done 95k and
one that's done 10k.
it'll cost you the price of a valve lash adjustment and rocker cover
gasket - with the rocker cover off, the state of the belt can be easily
seen. again, find a decent mechanic that will do this for you. or buy
the book and tools and do it yourself.
I think that's fair advice in this specific case; if the markings on the
back of the timing belt are barely smudged the belt is nearly new. In most
cases all we can see is that the belt isn't new, so we don't know what the
age of the belt is and we have to change it. In any case, if there is any
doubt it must be changed.
I can see getting the accessory drive belts changed before the timing belt.
Mine were looking very bad at 99,000 (many cracks). My timing belt looks
perfect at 8 years and 99,000 miles on the outside.
The question is are you willing to chance destroying your engine by what
might be weak on the inside of the belt? My old belt still had just minor
deflection on it when installed. I would love to seen some damage on my
old belt but I can not see any. Remember, the belt is rubber and is
operating in an oven and gets virtually no cooling. Sub zero temeratures
don't help it either. Be safe rather than sorry, change it.
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