I have a 2003 Honda Accord LX manufactured in Japan (vin # begins with J). I currently have 287,543 mostly freeway miles and it runs perfect. I visit the dealer approximately every 3 months, changing the oil and doing its inspections each time. I have a timing chain not belt. I have never had any maintenance issues and have only changed the starter, high pressure line from the PSP to the rack and pinion.

I was told by the dealer the timing chain never needs to be changed because it is a chain NOT Belt. When does the chain need to be changed? Does it ever break under normal use? No Speeding.

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2 Answers 2


I won't say the timing chain will never break, but they are designed to last for the life of the engine (this applies to most vehicles with a timing chain, not just the Honda ... there are some which had issues, though, Honda not being one of them). Your car, having ~288k miles on it is no spring chicken. I'd expect your engine will have other issues before the chain will have problems, but you never know. You can consider, though, if it ever does have a problem, it is probably either time for a new engine or possibly a new car at that point.


The parts that go on timing chain systems are not typically the actual chain but the guides and tensioners. The consequence of failure is the same, although you might get a little warning as it may start to rattle as it loosens up.

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