I have a 2001 Honda Civic. I bought it almost 2 years ago at just over 100,000 miles. It now has almost 116,000 miles and when I took it into my mechanic for a failed sensor replacement he told me they were hearing an odd sound coming from under the timing belt cover. The timing belt was last replaced by the previous owners 4/1/08 at approximately 70,000 miles. The owners manual says to replace every 110,000 miles or 7 years whichever comes first. I live in Southern California so there isn't really any extreme weather to factor in. I would like to know how likely it is that it needs replacing because although this mechanic has a good reputation for being pretty honest about what needs doing versus what is an optional repair, this doesn't seem right that it should need replacing. Any advice would be appreciated

4 Answers 4


I would like to know how likely it is that it needs replacing...

It is completely possible that you have a timing belt issue after only 46k miles (and almost 7 years); I believe that is what you are asking. That being said, if your car is currently running, your timing belt is intact and working.

Timing belts are part of a routine maintenance and don't need to be replaced unless:

  1. they break
  2. approach mfg suggest replacement date
  3. look like they need replacing after visual inspection
  4. replacing another part in timing belt assembly (optional but recommend considering they cost about $40)

I am curious how he could tell the timing belt needed replacement; did he visually inspect the belt or check the timing?

If he heard a noise, I am guessing he recognized it and is thinking perhaps a pulley, tensioner or something else inside the assembly needs replacing. Before I committed to that repair I would verify that the other belts/pullers were not the culprit, but I am sure he knows what he doing.

If you are doubting your mechanics honesty, I would take it to another mechanic to verify the repair is needed.


he may be hearing one of your pulleys making a noise. he may just want to replace the timing belt and waterpump while he has everything off. it would save u money considering u dont have to pay for the labour to do it again. but if u still have over 60000 miles to go i doubt u need one unless there are physical signs of damage or noise.


If your cam/timing belt is disturbed by any other operation on the engine, it is Industry Standard Practice to replace it. Like the Actress said to the Bishop,"Its not what you do, its the way that you do it." :-)


@justinw's 1st answer that they don't need to be replaced until they break is a costly incorrect blanket answer. I say this because I had a timing belt break on my Honda and because the engine was what's called an "interference engine" (this is due to the tight tolerances) and when the timing belt broke, the valves stopped in place and the pistons came up and struck/bent the interfering valves. It ended up having 4 valves bent and cracked 7 guides.

Have the timing belt visually inspected and if deemed necessary, replace with ONLY a genuine Honda timing belt, not worth saving 12.00 for a parts store replacement; it could end up costing you big.

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