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Timing belt / water pump/etc were recommended bu dealership last year when out 2012 hit 7 years, but I held off after support from this great forum because my milage is only 67,000.
In 1 month we have to drive from Boston to Ohio and back for medical reasons. It will put about 700 miles each way, on the trip (1,400 mikes.
I'm bringing in the Pilot for breaks, cabin filters, road trip check and considering doing the timing belt. Is it necessary/ recommended before a road tip?
 

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Honda's Timing belt mantainance is based not only on mileage, but on time. Belts will deteriorate over time whether used or not. Obviously use will speed up deterioration. Honda's maintenance schedule states for the timing belt 105,000 miles or 84 months, which ever comes first. Do you really want to take the chance of an old belt separating during this road trip? That's up to you to decide.

If you have them do the timing belt it is a good idea to do the whole shebang, ie, belt, tensioner, bearings, seals, water pump etc, and while you are at it if you have never done the serpentine belt have them do that as well. That should just be a part cost for the belt. Might want to go ahead and have them do the serpentine belt tensioner as well.
 

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I would.
The belt is 8 years old.
It's not worth rolling the 🎲🎲 verses a 4 grand engine replacement.
Where would you go to get the work done?
 
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I would delay a long trip for about 500 miles after the timing belt replacement (tensioner, pump and seals). Nothing worse than traveling and having a break down due to improper assembly or defective parts.
I wouldn't let this thought stop me from getting the timing belt replaced.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would.
The belt is 8 years old.
It's not worth rolling the 🎲🎲 verses a 4 grand engine replacement.
Where would you go to get the work done?
Thank you Nail Grease and Daltongang.
Agree about doing the whole shebang. Historically all service has been done at my local dealership Prime Honda, and this amount of work will be done there.

I spoke wtih the dealership about the precautions they are taking to keep the mechanics and staff safe and customers. Since my wife lives with respiratory illness and is immunocompromised, So we keep out Pilot "clean" from cross contamination. When driving my wife to/from the hospital or running errands, (like driving from Boston hospital to Cleveland Clinic for 2 days). the interior is always decontaminated. I keep a makeshift cleaning station and PPEs in the back of the truck for this. I can prep the truck to send in for service and they have assured they will: cover the steering wheel, and floor matt and wipe down interior with clorox wipes after the work. I like the effort they are making.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wouldn't let this thought stop me from getting the timing belt replaced.
Yes, my concern is not doing enough driving to put on 500 miles or close to that prior to the trip. During the lock down orders in our state and working from home, the Pilot only get used a fraction of what it did. Local errands, dogs to parks for trail walks, etc.
Ideas? I could look into pushing the trip, but that's unlikely for medical reasons.

I've actually considered renting a vehicle for this trip.
 
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I've actually considered renting a vehicle for this trip.
Given your circumstances, I think this would be a wise choice.

If everything goes great with the Pilot (new belt or not), you're golden. It's the contingency plans that are difficult.

Renting means that in the event of any vehicle trouble, a replacement vehicle is at most a few hours away. Having serious mechanical issues on the road means a tow, finding a decent mechanic, deciding how to proceed, time in a motel, delays, etc., all in an unfamiliar place. Maintaining your "clean zone" through all that would be tough.

I agree with all the advice to get it done ASAP if you keep the vehicle. I suggest considering the rental option seriously for this trip, or trading the Pilot for something new if that makes more sense for you.
 

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Personally, give the virus situation I don’t think I would feel comfortable using a rental with your wife medical stuff. You don’t know who was in the car before you. You know you are going to do the belt eventually. I would just have the service done on my own Pilot and take that on your trip.

I agree that there is some chance that you may have an issue on a long road trip after some major work but if the shop does good work I am guessing you have never had an issue with their work before so I see that as a lower risk. I would want to put a few miles on it before I started the strip but it would only take a couple of hours to put a hundred miles on it for peace of mind when you get it back.

But, 7 years would be 2019. So I am not sure that I wouldn’t do the major service when you get back. You could go either way. It is not like you pull over and do the timing belt at exactly 105,000. At least I don’t. I usually shoot for 105,000 +- 10%. So I guess that would be 84 months +-8 month. Honda is not going to cut it that close. But this is my rule on OEM parts. If you have off brand components I get nervous about going over. And, assuming there are no leaks that might shorten the belt life.
 

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I rented a car with Enterprise earlier this year when I had to take a trip when my Subaru was dying with head gasket and transmission issues. I didn't feel safe being a day away from home in a car that might not make it back. 2 days and unlimited miles was less than $100, and they gave me a brand new Nissan with 12 miles on the odometer. They had 4 other brand new cars on the lot that day too, and I'm in a little podunk Philly suburb, so I'm sure you can find a rental place with new cars. I flew into Boston a few years ago and got an Enterprise rental there (brand new bright red Dodge Charger!) to drive out to the cape for business (they were paying). So if you do decide to rent, perhaps you could see if they have a new car you could pick to limit the chances of contaminated previous drivers.
 

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Second the idea of renting a vehicle for the road trip.
I'd be at least as worried about potential contamination sources in hotels, food and restrooms I'd encounter on the trip as I would about who else might have been in the rental vehicle.
 

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I have a friend who just replaced a 12 years old timing belt, the original factory belt, with 115k on the clock. No problem.
The 7 years is very conservative imo.
I have seen people asking about replacing their belt with over 150k and it's way overdue.
The chance of failing a belt right at 7 years or 105k is not very high.
It all depends on how much risk you want to take.
 

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I have a friend who just replaced a 12 years old timing belt, the original factory belt, with 115k on the clock. No problem.
The 7 years is very conservative imo.
I have seen people asking about replacing their belt with over 150k and it's way overdue.
The chance of failing a belt right at 7 years or 105k is not very high.
It all depends on how much risk you want to take.
I was going to ask the OP what he ended up doing.
This was 6 months ago.

I agree with the belt thing.
I think we let our 08 Pilot go at least 9 years, and 144K+. Yes, that's too long.
I have to admit though, the tensioner went and you could hear the belt flopping around in there. Luckily, it never jumped time.
I/we had a local shop I trust (independent) do it. Still driving it at 185k now.
 

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I have Oem belts go well past 7yrs, some barely past 7yrs. I have an 11 pilot right now with a broken belt. I did the last belt for him 7yrs 5 months and 18 days ago. He decided it could go well past 7 yrs and didn't want to change it. Broke going down the highway and needs a new rear head, 2 pistons, and 7 new valves in the front head. Bet the bill for a belt is well under his current bill.
 

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I'm old school and still go by the old recommendation of 90k miles. After doing this last timing belt at 104k for a family member, I'm going to keep doing them at 90k.
 
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I have Oem belts go well past 7yrs, some barely past 7yrs. I an 11 pilot right now with a broken belt. I did the last belt for him 7yrs 5 months and 18 days ago. He decided it could go well past 7 yrs and didn't want to change it. Broke going down the highway and needs a new rear head, 2 pistons, and 7 new valves in the front head. Bet he bill for a belt is well under his current bill.
Thanks for sharing. Yes I/we recall that your ARE a Honda Tech too!

Not sure if you read my post about me letting our 08 for to over 144K on the first belt?
It was flopping around in the covers, you could hear it! I KNOW I'm lucky about no interference (valve/piston) happened.
I'll never let either one of our Pilots go that long now. No way. I've already dodged a much bigger bullet on that one!
 

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I bought an 04 mdx from a customer about a year ago. At that time it was 15 years old and had 215k on it. Broke the trans cooler and needed all the maintenance, not worth it to them. When I took the t belt off, you could literally see through it in multiple places, possibly the factory belt.
 

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How does a trans cooler 'break'? Leaking I guess?

Seriously, just all part of my learning about things, NOT questioning anything you've posted.
 

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Same issue as pilots. The trans cooler is in the lower tank of the radiator, so it's a fluid to fluid heat exchanger. The trans cooler lines rust/corrode at the tank where the cooler lines hook up. This give you 3 options,
1. Trans fluid is pumped out on the ground.
2. Trans fluid is pumped into the coolant
3. Trans fluid in the coolant, and coolant in the transmission.
The mdx had option 3, took about 5 hours with dawn to get the cooling system clean, and about 15 gallons of trans fluid to get the trans clean of coolant.
 
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