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Assuming I have no known mechanical problems, at what mileage should I replace the timing belt in a 2003 Honda Accord EX V6?

I have heard 60,000 miles from some sources, but the manual seems to suggest around 90,000 depending on driving conditions.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

What are your driving conditions? If you primarily do city driving (stop and go, dusty) or live in a particularly hot or cold environment, then it's worth looking at the "severe service" area of your manual, and go by that recommendation.

Usually, it's relatively easy to inspect the timing belt by taking off the top part of the timing belt cover. You are looking for signs of obvious distress, cracking, discoloration, etc.

Another consideration is whether or not the engine is an interference engine. If it is, a timing belt breaking means Very Bad Things. If it is not, it just means you will break down and need a tow.

Edit - After more research, the evidence suggests that the Accord V6 IS an interference engine. Hopefully someone who has access to the Honda technical reference manuals can confirm this. I removed the link I had earlier, because looks out of date (nothing newer than ~1995). Finding reliable database of interference engines on the Internet is surprisingly hard.

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an "interference engine" simply means the valves will contact the piston if cams are not correctly timed by the timing belt. – dave thieben Mar 7 '11 at 23:31
Great answer! Thank you :] – Nathan Taylor Mar 7 '11 at 23:33
@dave theiben it needs to be emphasized, if you have an interference (or 'no clearance') engine if will be VERY EXPENSIVE if the timing belt slips/breaks and there is contact inside the engine – Patrick Mar 7 '11 at 23:51
The severe driving conditions described in the manual are pretty unusual. Taxi driver, live in the mountains, pulling a trailer around. "Follow the Maintenance Schedule for Severe Conditions if you drive your car MAINLY under one or more of the following conditions." – endolith Jun 14 '11 at 2:43
More people fall into severe driving conditions than you think. Parents running kids around town all day is essentially the same load as a taxi, and there's a LOT of parents that do that... – Brian Knoblauch Jan 11 '12 at 12:52

The manual states that for a 2003-2007 honda accord, the timing belt should be replaced at an 8 year or 105,000 mile mark. I just inherited a 2004 Honda Accord EX-V6 sedan from my father who purchased this car new in 2004. He drove a total of 55,000 miles in the 8 years in which he owned the vehicle. I feel stuck because I don't want the belt to snap off, causing severe damage to the valves and pistons, but I also don't want to replace a perfectly functioning belt with 50,000 more miles of service left. I would inspect the belt and if you see any kind of cracking or fading of any kind, replace the belt, especially if you are already oncerned and aware that you need the timing belt serviced.

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While this is a good anecdote, I'm not sure it answers the question with any kind of fact. It is based off of opinion. Plus, it is very difficult to see wear on a timing belt considering you only see about 25% of it at any one time. Most belts will actually slip before they will break or lose teeth. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 29 '15 at 20:54

Here is a detailed DIY for the Honda / Acura V6 J Series Engine for replacing the timing belt:

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It is usually considered good form to provide the information given in the link here in your answer as well. That way if the link goes away, the answer still resides. Link only answers are prime for deletion. With that said, how does this in any way provide the answer to the original question of when to replace the timing belt. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 23 '15 at 11:20

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