What happens when a Honda timing belt breaks?


Quick Answer

If a Honda timing belt breaks while the engine is running, it can cause serious damage to the engine. This is because Hondas have interference engines.

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Full Answer

If a timing belt breaks in an interference engine, open valves may come into contact with one another. The engine is slowing down to a stop and the camshaft stops rotating, but the pistons are still moving up and down within the cylinders. All this can cause serious damage to the engine and leave you stuck on the side of the road.

Honda recommends replacing a timing belt at 105,000 miles or 84 months based on normal driving conditions. If you regularly drive your Honda under more severe conditions (temperatures less than 20 degrees or more than 100 degrees), the recommendation shortens to 60,000 miles or 48 months.

Having your Honda timing belt replaced at the recommended intervals can help ensure it doesn’t break and cause expensive damage to your engine. Estimates suggest that fixing the damage done by a broken timing belt costs as much as $3,000, which is much higher than the cost of replacing the timing belt before it breaks. If you decide to sell a Honda with an odometer reading of 105,000 miles or more, the potential buyer may ask whether the timing belt has been replaced. This could affect the price they are willing to pay for the vehicle.

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