There's six different engines available for your car model. Which one do you have? Some use a timing chain and some use a belt. In the 1980s Honda recommended replacing the timing belt at 75,000 miles and they commonly broke at 65,000 miles resulting in an expensive maintenance repair turning into a REAL expensive valve job. Most import engines are of the "interference" design which means when the timing belt breaks the open valves get hit and bent by the pistons as they coast to a stop.
If the 7,000 miles you listed is correct I wouldn't be too concerned. Mileage is harder on the belt than age. If you really have 70,000 miles you may be on borrowed time and you could be risking a very expensive repair bill.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 AT 11:59 PM
Yes, it's 7K, I use my work truck most of the time. I am not sure what engine it is, but the dealer said it was a belt. They want $950.00 to put a new belt on, that also includes a few parts they replace when it's off. I was at the dealer for a recall, was willing to pay they $30.00 for the oil change, but not the belt, wipers and battery they wanted to sell me. Since the belt is rubber, I'm sure it will dry rot on me, but you think I have some time left. I do start it once in a while, but just don't use it much.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013 AT 3:31 AM
One of the engines I looked up for reference was the 3.0L V-6 and that was listed as an interference engine. Most timing belts are quite substantial. They're not thin little belts like what drives the generator and power steering pump, so dry-rot is not that big of a concern. I have a 3.0L V-6 Mitsubishi engine in my daily driver '88 Grand Caravan. That has had one replacement timing belt in 401,000 miles, and only because the water pump run by it went out and was leaking water as fast as I could dump it in. I also have an '89 Grand Voyager with a freshly rebuilt 3.0L engine done by my students about seven years ago. That one currently has less than 80 miles on it. I'm not concerned with either one but I know those are not interference engines.
I don't want you hear that I caused you to have a problem but at 7,000 miles I would not even be thinking about replacing the timing belt. I also have a '93 Dynasty with 4,200 miles and my biggest concern with that is the automatic transmission. The car may go for two or three years without even having the battery installed, let alone driving it. As it sits unused, the transmission fluid runs down out of the clutch packs and the fiber plates can dry out. Once they start to crumble the chunks will chew up seals and then I'll have junk. Transmission specialists even soak new clutch plates before they install them. It's that big a deal. I'd give that more thought than the timing belt if your car sits for months at a time.