Safer to change other bits, too
Question : THE manual of my 2002 Honda Accord stipulates
that the timing belt must be renewed at 60,000km intervals.
My vehicle has now covered 75,000km and my mechanic insists
that all the belts must be replaced, together with the timing
I wonder if this is really needed since I do not wish to pay
for unnecessary replacements.
Answer : IT is not strictly necessary to replace the
timing belt pulley or tensioner and bearing but it is prudent to
do so at the time the timing belt is replaced.
Although the bearing is capable of providing many years and
miles of service, it can also fail without warning. At best, it
operates nosily and, at worst, it may seize. The bearing runs
noisily when the grease has leaked or dried out and the added
friction means that the bearing runs at a higher temperature.
High temperatures shorten belt life. Should the bearing
seize, the belt could either snap or slip. Either way the
consequences are dire, as it would lead to catastrophic engine
damage when the valves make contact with the pistons.
The cost of replacing the pulley and bearing is minimal when
compared to the cost of a new engine.
When renewing the timing belt, I would also consider
replacing the belt pulley, oil seals and the water pump if this
is driven by the belt.