The longest you can wait is until it breaks. Repair cost will be near $3000.00 not including the tow truck. There's only one engine size listed and it's an "interference" engine. That means when the belt breaks the open valves will be hit and bent by the pistons as they coast to a stop. That means a valve job and head gaskets.
In the late '80s Honda recommended replacing the timing belt every 75,000 miles, and they typically broke at 65,000 miles. At that time that was already a $1500.00 repair for their 4-cylinder engines.
You can avoid that risk by having the belt replaced before it breaks. I did that once on my '88 Grand Caravan in 401,000 miles, but that is not an interference engine. The belt cost $25.00 eight years ago, and taking my time it took four hours. There's lots of variables but you might use that as a guide. If there's no problem with access under your hood, expect an estimate of around $500.00. If your mechanic is conscientious and is looking out for your best interest in the long run, he will also recommend replacing the water pump. It is driven by the timing belt and it's also a real big job by itself. When he already has the belt removed, it only takes a few extra minutes to replace the water pump too.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 AT 3:19 AM