99 Honda Civic - I want my timing belt changed

Discussion in 'Civic' started by Pankaj, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Pankaj

    Pankaj Guest

    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.

    Pankaj, Aug 14, 2006
  2. Pankaj

    Elle Guest

    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
    http://home.earthlink.net/~honda.lioness/id9.html .

    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, Aug 14, 2006
  3. Pankaj

    jim beam Guest

    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.
    jim beam, Aug 15, 2006
  4. Pankaj

    duckbill Guest

    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.
    duckbill, Aug 15, 2006
  5. Pankaj

    jim beam Guest

    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 beam, Aug 15, 2006
  6. Pankaj

    duckbill Guest

    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.
    duckbill, Aug 15, 2006
  7. 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.

    Michael Pardee, Aug 15, 2006
  8. Pankaj

    duckbill Guest

    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.
    duckbill, Aug 15, 2006
  9. $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
    Jeff Bertrand, Aug 16, 2006
  10. Pankaj

    Pankaj Guest


    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.

    Pankaj, Aug 16, 2006
  11. Pankaj

    duckbill Guest

    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.
    duckbill, Aug 17, 2006
  12. Pankaj

    Elle Guest

    Toyota has somethings that distinguish it greatly from
    Honda, then.

    You can check the archives and I doubt you'll see anything
    under $400 for a Honda TB job in the last year.
    Elle, Aug 17, 2006
  13. Pankaj

    Elle Guest

    Do all the things listed at the link below. :)
    Elle, Aug 17, 2006
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