Timing belt - how serious is this?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Moe Maishlish, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    Ok - here's the story.

    I have a 1994 Honda Civic Si that I bought used with 127,000 kms. It's now at 223,000 kms, and I have yet to replace the timing belt/water pump.

    People keep telling me that I need to replace my timing belt, but my father insists that it's a non issue, and should only really be replaced when it breaks.

    I've also heard that, if it breaks, you can kiss the engine bye-bye. Other's tend to disagree.

    I'm not very car-savvy.... Should I spend the extra money in preventative maintenance to replace the belt, or should I leave it and wait until I have a problem with it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Moe.
     
  2. Dan Cabral

    Dan Cabral Stunt Coordinator

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    My dad had his timing belt break on his Buick Century. Car just died right there. No power, no nothing.
    Had to get the car towed, and the shop replaced the timing belt. All was well again.
    No, a timing belt breaking shouldn't kill an engine permanently, if that's what you meant, but the car won't run without it, period.
    Yes, you should definitely spend the money on preventative maintenance, unless you happen to like breaking down in the middle of nowhere. [​IMG]
    It's not like replacing a timing belt is that expensive.
    It's also not the kind of thing that's easy to deal with when it breaks (for the reasons listed above), so you definitely shouldn't wait for that.
     
  3. Kolya

    Kolya Stunt Coordinator

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    Gates lists your engine as an interference engine, meaning that if the belt breaks, your pistons could hit and bend valves. I'd replace it as soon as possible.
    That said, I had the timing belt break on my '90 Integra at 165000km. When it broke, I did the worst possible thing; I put it in a lower gear and let the cluch out, forcing the engine to rev at about 4000 for a couple seconds.
    The Honda dealer said it had several bent valves and quoted me about 1800 to replace them. I didn't have the money for new ones, so I had them reassemble the engine with the bent valves. I put another 150000 trouble free km on that car before trading it in on a new '98 Integra.
    Bottom line is, it's a big risk to drive with a worn belt.
     
  4. MichaelG

    MichaelG Second Unit

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    The reason that it could cause a serious ($$$) problem is if your values and pistons can occupy the same space. If it could then you could bend your values, and a value job would cost a lot of money.

    I would don't believe that you have to worry about this with your car. But think about this, how much would it cost for the car to be towed? Because, if the timing belt breaks that car isn't going anywhere without being towed. Then you would have to pay for the tow and the timing belt change. I say get it done now, it shouldn't cost more than $100, I think it cost me $70 a few years ago on my 1993 Ford Ranger. Save yourself a headace.

    EDIT
    --------------
    The last post was made while I was making mine. Get that timing belt replaced dude.
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I agree with Kolya. Get it fixed or you may have a much larger repair bill.
     
  6. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    Problem is that I've got the timing belt to replace, as well as spark plugs, wiring, water pump, and a potential radiator problem.

    In total, all this work will come to around $1,600 (potentially, after tax). It's a lot of money for a car that's worth between $6000 & $7000.

    But Micheal, you bring up a good point about towing.

    I hate car problems...

    Moe.
     
  7. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    After the water pump blew in my 84 Toyota Van, they ended up doing a major overhaul. New pistons, crankshaft, valves, camshaft. Costed over $3800. Well, now I gotta get the coil replaced. They should've replaced that in the first place.
     
  8. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    Moe,
    If your engine is an interference engine as listed above, a broken timing belt could be very expensive, up to and including wasting the engine. The amount of damage would correspond to the rpm's of the engine when the belt breaks. i.e.-start the car and belt breaks, then little damage except for your car will not start. Belt breaks at 6000rpm on acceleration and your valves could hit the pistons hard enough to hole the piston crowns. (I've seen this happen.)

    On a non-interference engine, the car will simply not run when the belt breaks. Either way, you will be stuck on the side of the road. Best to do this repair!!

    BTW: there should be an overlap in labor costs (hence decreasing the bill) if doing a water pump in conjuction w/ the t-belt. Most cars would have to have the water pump almost off to replace the t-belt. Probably saving 1-2 hrs of labor.

    MM
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I had my timing belt and water pump replaced just a month ago when my '94 Civic got to 90K miles (the recommended interval). I think it costed me around $350-$400US (I had a 20% off coupon, that that helped out as well). But for the peace of mind, it's totally worth it.
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Valves and pistons shouldn't ever meet. Another thing that can happen when they do, at least worst case scenario is that a part of the valve breaks off, gets sucked into the piston chamber and lodges itself into your engine block. Voila, a new engine block is on the way, meaning $$$$.

    Jay
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    That Honda is an interference engine, get the belt replaced asap.

    1600 is not much to spend in order to get another 100k miles (160k Kilometers?) out of a car worth $7k.

    That car's going to be nearly worthless with a blown engine, and you're not going to find another car nearly that good for the $1600 this work may cost.

    A new engine is gonna be close to 5k Canadian, and that's what you're probably gonna be looking at if the belt breaks.
     
  12. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  13. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Moe,

    IT IS AN INTERFERRENCE ENGINE AND CAN CAUSE ENGINE DAMAGE!

    Working in an independent shop for over 15 years, I can tell you that only one Honda ever came through with a broken T-Belt that didnt do serious damage. (It still had a bent valve but the customer drove it for another two years with the miss) The potential for a Honda to hit 500K miles(seen quite a few) is easy with regular maint. The average cost in our shop for those Hondas were in the 275-300(US) range with a new water pump. Get it done.

    Bill
     
  14. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I lost a timing belt on a Toyota while driving on a highway with my girlfriend and her daughter in the car. It was a mess getting towed at 8 PM on a Saturday when there was no mechanic available. [​IMG] Thank goodness there was no engine damage !
    Don't be pennywise and pound foolish, change the belt and keep up with the maintenance. The car will reward you with a long and trouble free life.
     
  15. Russell B

    Russell B Stunt Coordinator

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    It didn't list a '99 2.4L toyota tacoma on the Gates site,
    only the 3.4L or something and those V6 tacomas are non-interference. Are the 2.4L 4 banger tacomas non-interference as well? Thanks
     
  16. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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  17. Stacie

    Stacie Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, guys, what's your advice on my car?

    I have a 94 Honda Accord LX wagon (interference engine for sure), which has run nearly trouble-free for 160,000 miles. I love the car and plan to drive it until it fails beyond repair, which I hope will be some years from now. The timing belt was replaced a few years ago at 75K miles.

    Is it time to do it again? I know I'll be VERY sorry if it breaks on me, but cash is short at the moment. How far should I push it? I'm hoping to be able to take care of it in a couple of months.

    Stacie
     
  18. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    It's a roll of the dice, basically. My recommendation: get it done in a few months when you have better cash flow. You could get it done now and be strapped. But what happens if you do it now and another major repair comes up? Then you're really up the creek. Wait until you're in a better financial position.
     
  19. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    What about on a 92 Chevy Cavalier Z24? (I know zilch about cars) Despite its age, it only has 66,000 miles on it...
     
  20. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Jason,

    What engine do you have? If it's the 3.1l V6, that has a timing chain, not belt. They stretch, but generally, don't break. It not something that's replaced, except during a full rebuild, typically.

    Todd
     

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