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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'95 Honda Civic, 30K Timing Belt Replacement

Q: I’ve been advised to replace the timing belt on my ‘95 Honda Civic. I have 30k miles on it. I know that if the belt breaks, I'm in trouble and the service manager is insistent upon replacing it. This will cost $400 and includes replacement of the water pump. I've talked to so many people and they all tell me that it isn't necessary at 30k miles, regardless of the time indicated in the service manual of 72 months. I've been told by the service dept that the belt can have dry rot at 6 years, and friends of mine who have Civics tell me that's not possible as it's enclosed and not exposed to the weather. They advise going by the mileage recommendation of 60k and not the age of the car. I'm so confused! Can you give me any advice?

- Tina

A: Let’s put it this way, if you were my wife or daughter and were driving this vehicle you would have a new timing belt, water pump along with a new camshaft and crankshaft seal. Honda engineers are a pretty sharp lot and when they say a component should be replaced, replace it! Timing belts not only wear they rot/weaken with age. More often than not, the cause for timing belt failure is not because the timing belt is worn, it has broken due to age rot. The plastic cover over the timing belt does not stop the heat of the engine from baking the belt and belt fibers. Over time this heat and the constant flexing of the belt takes its toll. A new timing belt is in order. If money is tight just change the timing belt and gamble on the water pump. The cost of replacing the timing belt is small money compared to the possible costs if the timing belt should fail and damage the engine.

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