OT - Decision Process: Replace Timing Belt Now or Wait?

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There has been a tendency towards a non-interference design in later years. Older engines often had an interference design to maximize compression. With a chain driven cam it didn't matter much. Overhead cams lead to belts replacing chains since it was chore to enclose a chain between the top of the head and the crankshaft. But a lot of the early ones did still have interference valves. High compression mostly went away with low octane gas so it is a lot simpler to have a non-interference design now.
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I think it depends on the type of engine you have. If it is an interference type engine, when and if the timing belt goes, the whole engine can suffer major damage. If it's not an interference type engine, the timing belt could go bad and no additional damage to the engine will occur.
DerbyDad03 wrote:

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Have to agree timing belts etc. don't often, it seems, fail?.
But one consideration might be; is this an 'interference' engine or not.
I understand from a relative much more auto skilled than I that if the timing belt and/or chain breaks that with an interference engine great damage can occur as valves get struck by pistons etc.
But would it not be better to place this enquiry on an auto news group. Although the crowd here are very competent and knowledgeable about many things!
Not sure what your warranty schedule is but if it's one of those 120,000 miles or summat. and one has NOT done the recommended maintenance!!!! Not that one has any great faith in dealers!
Good luck with the decision. Personally we run a vehicle as long as possible that it's reliable and safe.
I must redo some of those calculations about poor car buying/owning habits which cause one to spend more on motor vehicles than one does on one's house! e.g. buying new and tradinng in every few years again for new. I have aneighbour like that; cost him a fortune, just because "the wife wants a NEW car". And except in rare cases autos don't have much if any residual value while a house may even increase in value????
Come to think; when I go to live on my boat I may not need a vehicle at all! That'll be relief!
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Just one. And it's a question. Well, two questions. 1) WHAT KIND OF CAR IS THIS? 2) WHAT ENGINE HAS IT GOT
Not all cars are the same. Not all engines are the same. Not all years of the same car and/or engine are the same.
Leave out that info and all you'll get are possibly bogus guesses; shots in the dark.
--
Tegger

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My 1990 Dodge caraven with 3.0 engine served me well for about 450,000 miles. It was sad when I finally replaced it.
The only bad problem was transmissions went thru 7 or 8 rebulds: ( Fortunately I had made a good buy and had a AAMCO lifetime rebuild.
considering how much I drive fpor my small business it did a excellent job, I replaced it with another caravan.
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On Tue, 15 Jun 2010 17:27:32 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

My wife was just telling me yesterday how her mother used to have a Dodge Caravan until the transmission failed. She got it fixed, then it failed again. Then she replaced the whole vehicle... with another Dodge Caravan. The transmission failed up on that one, too - at which point she gave up and bought something else.
cheers
Jules
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On Jun 16, 10:17am, Jules Richardson

I've had Caravans and Voyagers, 4 total, early to mid-80's vintage.
They all had tranny issue's at one point or another.
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 08:10:03 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

GENERALLY the tranny problems (in the last 15 years) can be almost eliminated if the fluid is changed often enough with the right fluid. Once every 15000 miles, or maximum 2 years, is about right.
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Of all the cars I've owned, only one ever needed tranny work. It was the only one I ever changed the fluid in too. Never again. No way a trans should need a fluid change in 15000 miles.
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 22:26:05 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"

If you are driving a Chrysler and you doi NOT change the fluid, it's your funeral. Leaving the old fluid until you have a problem GUARANTEES it will fail just after you change the fluid - as does using the wrong fluid. 250,000 miles on a Chrysler automatic is NOT out of reach, or even out of the ordinary, if it is "properly" serviced.
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On Jun 17, 1:34pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

On most Chrysler trannies, from what I hear, "properly serviced" means servicing far more often than even the "severe service" schedule published in the official documentation, however. (talking about FWD here, not the old, better-built 727/904 etc.)
nate
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On 6/17/2010 1:34 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

From what I understand the reason is because chrysler intentionally choose to use undersize transmissions (one that one be used on a smaller series is fitted on a larger series) so they run much hotter and destroy the fluid much faster. The only hope of keeping them alive is to do very frequent fluid changes.
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Can't speak for Chrysler cars. Never owned one, never will. I know too many people with too many problems on Chrysler car and I never liked their styling.
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wrote

I always liked how two year old Chryler mini-vans belched fumes like 20 year old Blazers, because engine tolerances were measured in whole inches. I also liked how Chrysler apologists rationalized this by saying the engines were made by someone else - maybe Mitsubishi - I don't recall.
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Are you "Honda Tegger"?
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Si, Senor.
--
Tegger

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2004 Honda Odyssey 3.5L SOHC, 24-Valve, VTEC V6 engine
The engine info is an educated guess since AFAIK that's the only engine the vehicle came with.
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Well, Tegger is the person to answer your question.
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Looking up a timing belt kit on the Advance Auto web site shows the following note: "Timing Belt Kit;Interference engine" From NAPA: "Comments: Interference Engine"
Not exactly conclusive, but others will know better where to verify.
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Are you sure about that 90K limit? I thought that by 2004 the OEM belt was good for 105K/84mo.
Having said that, Honda builds a pretty big safety margin into their OEM belts. I've seen the 90K ones go as much as 150K before breaking.
If you really want to push this, you're /probably/ OK until about 120/130K. After that, it's a crapshoot, as is valve damage ($$$) when the belt does finally slip/break.
So look at it this way:
Say you spend $600 to get the job done /right/, which means water pump, tensioner and coolant as well as the belt, all with proper OEM parts. And you do this at 90K. Now you hang on to the car until 150K. This means your $600 is amortized over 60K miles. That's one cent per mile.
Now, say you wait until 120K to get the job done, but still get rid of the car at 150K. $600 over 30K is: two cents per mile. And you're running the risk of belt slippage/breakage, and the resultant risk of valve damage. Plus the risk of being stranded at possibly a really inconvenient time.
I can tell you that you will almost certainly NOT make it to 150K on the original timing belt, so you /are/ going to need to spend at /least/ $600 at some point unless you dump the vehicle at something well under 120K.
So, ultimately, your question involves pennies and dimes.
The Beach Boys saved their pennies and they saved their dimes for that 409, but nickels and dimes aren't worth much these days.
--
Tegger

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