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Questions and Answers

Honda Accord Timing Belt?

Q. Here is my problem, last week my water pump broke and was able to get an estimate for the job of water pump replacement and timing belt replacement for $320.00 but the mechanic had to schedule me today but three days ago. The car just stopped while I was driving it from the grocery (had to have it towed).

Honda Accord Timing Belt?

Today when I brought it to the mechanic he said that it might be that my timing belt broke and probably ruined some of my valves/pistons and would be expecting cost of parts and labor for $1000.00 to $1200.00.

I just got this 1990 Honda Accord (143,000 miles) last six months for $2500.00 and spending $1,000.00 is far out my budget any suggestions on how I can lower the costs? How about parts at the junkyard or new engine?

Thanks,
Art

A. I'm not sure why your car died, but a broken timing belt is a good possibility. And if it broke while you were driving, then the possibility of internal engine damage, particularly bent valves, becomes almost a certainty.

Piston damage is rare in these cases. The valves usually give it up before the pistons do. Do an alternative to tearing the cylinder head apart is to get a used one from a junk yard. This with a new timing belt and water pump would be the most economical way to go. If you do go with a used cylinder head, I urge you to send it to a machine shop to be pressure tested and machined.

The labor for replacing the cylinder head will run about 9 hours, that's including the water pump and timing belt. To save a few bucks, buy the used head and take it to the machine shop yourself. That will save you a few bucks.

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