1989 Honda Accord Timing belt replacement base on age

Tiny
THOMAS SNOUFFER
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 65,000 MILES
My mother's 1989 Honda Accord has roughly 65,000 on it, is used almost exclusively in small-town driving conditions, and has the factory timing belt. It appears to be in very sound condition. Is it imperative to replace this belt on basis of age alone when all driving is under ten miles per trip at speeds of less than fifty mph?
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Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 AT 10:38 AM

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Tiny
PEAR69
  • MEMBER
This car is almost 20 years old with 65000 miles? Are you sure? If the answer is yes then here is my advice -- The timing belt on your car was designed to last around 90000 miles or so. The material of the belt is hard rubber and strong fibers. If the belt was NOT in an atmosphere contanimated with burnt carbon gasses, as it is, being installed on your engine, it would possibly last forever. The atmosphere under your hood is always contaminated with corrosive gasses -- but don't panic -- most of the parts are designed with this in mind. If your engine is running poorly, it very well may be a stretched timing belt, but it is not likely. You can inspect the timing belt on your engine by removing the upper bely cover and look for any missing ribs or deterioration. However, if this belt breaks it can -- and usually does -- cause serious damage to the engine. Is there a problem with the engines performance?
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Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 AT 11:22 AM
Tiny
SUPRAMAN!
  • MEMBER
IMHO the answer to your question is absolutely YES. You should change out the timing belt on your Accord based on its age.

As a previous owner of more than one Honda/Acura, Honda recommended replacement of the timing belt at 60K miles or 6/7 years for older models based on the severe service schedule. The severe schedule is the one you should be following based on your short trip usage patterns (I believe newer models are now rated at 90K). In fact, very few people qualify for the "normal" service schedule.

In any case, timing belts stretch over time regardless of other environmental factors. Given that your vehicle has an interference design i.E. One that could result in the valves striking the pistons in the event of a timing belt failure resulting in a very costly fix, I would say that this decision should be a no-brainer.

Also, you cannot rely on a visual inspection of the belt to determine if there are any problems. When the belts break, they typically do so catastrophically i.E. There is no warning.
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Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 AT 8:58 AM

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