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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, my 2009 EX-L AWD pilot with 90K miles is giving a bus/truck like sound (not rattling but louder noise of engine or something chugging along) on cold start, it goes away in a few minutes once the vehicle is warmed up. Vehicle is never used for towing or extreme conditions, all regular maintenance done as expected and am taking it in for the usual 90K (Oil filter/engine air filter/ tranny/brake fluid etc.) to my mechanic. Mechanic hasn't looked at it but I described him the sound and he said could be the drive belt, i could use some expert opinions here if it is the loose drive belt or timing belt tensioner or something else. I am unable to attach a sound clip due to an extension issue.

Thanks!
 

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I would suspect the tensioners for the timing belt or drive belt also. I had this issue with my timing belt tensioner. When was yours last replaced?

You could post the video to youtube or vimeo and link it here. In the meantime, you might want to google videos on tensioner noise when cold for Pilots and Odyssey and compare those to the sound you are hearing. Here is a thread with some video links from when I dealt with the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, the sound is identical to the vimeo clip on the other thread. I suppose I should go in for a timing belt\fuel pump service as well as tensioner is right in that area to optimize on labor costs. How much should i be looking at about, dealer quoted 1K? I did have extended honda warranty for 7 or 8 years on that but it expired, wonder if powertrain is covered for longer.
 

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I'd get a proper diagnosis, it is pretty easy to ensure it is the tensioner with a stethoscope. If it only does it on cold starts after overnights, that's a little harder.

With 90k on the ticker, there is nothing wrong with getting the timing belt service which is normally done at 105k. But I would not want to invest money into that engine if there is something else more serious wrong.

Have you disabled your VCM (ECO) to stop piston ring damage and spark plug fouling from happening?
 
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That vimeo clip was my car. We bought our car with one of those lifetime powertrain warranties which what covered the leaking tensioner. If you had Hondacare and that expired, then you probably don't have coverage right now. The tensioner that went bad was only a couple of years old with about 45k miles on it. Unfortunately I used a mechanic and got a cheap timing belt kit, rather than OEM.

Are you still on the original timing belt and tensioner? If so, then I would just get the whole service done even if you haven't hit 105k yet as the belt is over 10 years old. The labor to replace the timing belt tensioner is the same for a timing belt service. They should replace the timing belt, tensioner, tensioner pulley and idler pulley while they are in there. I would also put a new accessory belt on since they are taking the old one off too. A lot of folks recommend getting the water pump (not fuel pump) replaced at the same time, even if there are no signs of it leaking, since it will be right there. Then you'd get new coolant. That's up to you if you just want to have it inspected for leaks or just replaced. My local dealer seems to think the water pumps on the V6 can make it at least 200k miles. Adding water pump and coolant will affect the price of course. Be sure to use quality OEM parts, don't scrimp of the timing belt components like I did. It's been a while since I priced the repair, but locally I can get a timing belt service with tensioner, pulley, idler, drive belt, water pump, coolant, etc. for about $800-850 outside of a dealer. At the dealer it is probably about $1,000 to $1,100.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your insights, will have a mechanic take a look and listen to clip and go from there. Meanwhile, I did play the clip to my service advisor at dealer and he hinted towards the timing belt tensioner as well but said we'd need to take a look. All in all, I had the dealer part store price the following (timing belt, tensioner, camshaft seal, water pump, water pump seal, adjuster, idler) and they said $1K for parts alone, online on bernardiparts.com I can get these original honda parts for $500 shipped and have my independent mechanic put it for about $300. I think I should go and get them all replaced to cover myself for next 100K miles, thoughts?
 

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Usually those parts are discounted by the dealer when they do the service as a bundle. I would ask for a quote with labor from the dealer to compare. You also may want to check coupons for your area if any. I can always find one from a nearby dealer that they will match. I would also get a quote from the mechanic after he can diagnose it. He should be able to get the same OEM parts wholesale.

The camshaft seal may only need to be done if it shows signs of leaking. There is more labor involved to do that seal.
 

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I had the dealer part store price the following (timing belt, tensioner, camshaft seal, water pump, water pump seal, adjuster, idler) and they said $1K for parts alone, online on bernardiparts.com I can get these original honda parts for $500 shipped and have my independent mechanic put it for about $300. I think I should go and get them all replaced to cover myself for next 100K miles, thoughts?
Timing belt is not something I skimp on.... I'd call around and ask for the timing belt service including tensioner and water pump. Most dealers will be around $1200 for that. less if they are running a special. That said, LOTS of timing belts are installed by smaller shops all the time. It isnt rocket science, but if a single bolt is mis-torqued, you can have a catastrophic engine failure 10,000 miles down the road. Just not worth it to me if I plan on keeping the vehicle.

If I were going to have an independent mechanic installing it - I'd install the AISIN kit. It contains mostly parts that are made by the OEM's. It is only $168 plus the RockAuto 5% piloteers discount. Add in a drive belt, and you are rocking.


Here was my list for the 2011 which is the same. I recommend using NEW bolts for the timing belt idler pulley, tensioner pulley, and the tensioner itself just to reduce risk as these have been known to break.

Aisin TKH002 from Rock Auto for about $170 shipped.
Bando 6PK2135 Belt from Amazon (B000CMCNJC) for $22
14513-RCA-A01 Bolt Timing Belt Adjuster $8.42
14551-RCA-A01 Bolt Timing Belt Idler $6.50 (this came with red loctite already on it)
95801-06030-07 Bolt Flange (6X30) for tension-er $1.35 (need two)

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input, more I read more my head spins. The dealer parts above are about $500 vs. Rockauto CONTITECH PP329LK2 Pro Series Plus kit for $270, is this Conti kit a reliable one?, supposedly premium quality and the most sold/expensive one Rockauto has. I don't mind spending $500 if it is what it takes but then again don't want to waste money if not required, all these parts are moving elements so need extreme reliability and durability. Also, some folks recommended changing thermostat while we do water pump. I know it all comes down to what gives me peace of mind but again there is a line I want to draw where if it ain't broken don't fix it, some folks said if water pump isn't leaking then putting a new one will not guarantee that new one wouldn't leak. I know we want to optimize on labor, what all should i touch/change?
 

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Do NOT assume because something costs more, that it is any better. The AISIN kit is the most used kit by people looking for OE quality parts, as AISIN is the original OEM supplier, or uses OE supplier parts in their kit. It is the closest thing to buying Honda parts, and I provided a link to it above.

Continental kits are good, as they also use a lot of the OE parts in their kits, but not worth the upcharge to me. The only thing the "Pro series plus" adds is the seals to the kit, and these seals are rarely replaced - they generally are only replaced if a leak is detected from a worn or defective seal. Keep in mind, no kit has all the parts that I'd recommend, which includes new OEM bolts, also listed above.

Your mechanic likely has a timing belt kit brand that he typically uses, or do you always just bring him parts to install? The problem with timing belts, is that many smaller shops mark up the cost of the TB kit so much that you could have the whole job done at a honda dealer for a comparable price.

I recommend you simply get a proper diagnosis of what is actually wrong/making the noise, and then get quotes from your mechanic, and then from your local Honda dealer, so you can make an informed decision.
 
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