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I have a 2011 and I have been told to change out the timing belt at 105,000 mi. I have 117,000 on the pilot does this need to be done ?
 

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7 years / 105k miles is the recommended change interval specified in the 2005 maintenance manual (last year before Honda implemented the maintenance minder). What does your owners manual state?
 

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I have a 2011 and I have been told to change out the timing belt at 105,000 mi. I have 117,000 on the pilot does this need to be done ?
...short answer: YES. Unless you have evidence that it's already been done, the risk of catastrophic engine damage isn't worth the gamble of pushing Honda's recommendation.
 

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Do you know it has not been done? I bought my 2009 Pilot with 140k and called dealers nearby and found the belt was recently done (fortunately). Looking at the carfax report, I was able to tell where the prior owner lived, and then call Honda dealers near that. If not, have the belt/tensioner/idler/water pump changed as soon as you can. Call around and get some quotes, prices can vary greatly from dealer to dealer and local shops.

BTW - a few years ago I pushed my 2001 Highlander to 170k before the tensioner seized causing the belt to fail. So they can last quite a bit longer than 100k, but there is no guarantee. Might it be fine for a while longer? Yes but change it as soon as you can afford to
 

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If you've kept the MM up to date (reset it at appropriate intervals, noting the codes), then theoretically, it should tell you when it needs to be changed. This supercedes any fixed mileage intervals. That being said, the timing belt code usually pops up well prior to 117K.

If in doubt I'd do it, but no huge hurry - you're running some risk, but it's small and you can afford to wait until you're doing other maintenance, it's convenient, or you see a good deal on the service. (Dealers frequently run "coupons" knocking off $200 or so on the service.) This is long-term maintenance so you don't need to get into a panic.

- Mark
 

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Also shame on Honda for keeping the timing belt around this long. The current gen has it too. Toyota uses timing chains and started phasing out belts in mid 2000's. The belt is a cost saving design measure and often a headache for owners.
 

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Open the front TB cover and inspect the belt. If it started to crack then replace it. If it has no cracks then it can wait.
 

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shame on Honda for keeping the timing belt around this long.
You have no idea what you are asking for. I am so glad Pilots have a belt! Praise to god.
 

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On the subject of timing belts vs. chains, the design tradeoffs have ebbed and flowed over the years. While it is attractive to have a system with no required service intervals, timing chains (and their associated sprockets, guides, and tensioners) do wear over time and require replacement eventually. And when they do go, it's a very expensive proposition and often is the thing that forces an engine to be prematurely retired. Some engines have had timing chain systems that have been failure-prone and problematic. Belts, OTOH, are generally quieter and, if serviced according to the guidelines, are extremely reliable since you're regularly replacing all the wear parts. Of course, this assumes you have a decent mechanic who doesn't botch the job as many do.

Six for one, half dozen for other in my book.

- Mark
 

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This is TERRIBLE advice.
I agree with kevinholman above.

I don't believe that you can trust a visual inspection of the timing belt. A belt with 105k miles can look pretty good. An overdue timing belt is fine--until it isn't. Then, all of a sudden, you have multiple bent valves. It's not worth taking a chance.

Visual inspection is used on the ribbed serpentine belt, and a certain amount of cracking is accepted. However, serpentine belt failure is just an inconvenience, and won't ruin an engine like timing belt failure will. Totally different situation.
 

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I did 2 TB services on my 2011. In both cases the belt looked fine. The first belt had 105K on it, the second had 93K and it had stretched out. No visible signs of this, only that the tensioner was fully extended and the belt was slapping on the pulleys and making noise. If you want to buy a new engine or new Pilot, then throw caution to the wind and keep driving. If not, bite the bullet and get it done.
 

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Johnjk,

Any advice on an '09 with just 46k miles, should I have the TB service done?

TIA.
You would be totally wasting your money to have it done with 46k. Honda uses top notch belts. I would not be concerned at all with the age of the belt. If the engine is running smooth on start-up and idle, you’re fine. Put your hard earned money to work some where else.
 

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I treat the timing belt change, if >7 years old but <105k miles, as a calculated gamble. The longer you hold off changing the belt the higher the probability it will fail. You just have to figure how much risk you’re willing to take. Best case you never change it, the belt doesn’t break, and you save $1k. Worst case the belt snaps and your Pilot is essentially totaled as the cost of a replacement engine and associated labor is more than the Pilot is worth. The level of risk you’re willing to incur likely lies somewhere between those two scenarios. My threshold was ~11 years at ~80k miles.
 

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I treat the timing belt change, if >7 years old but <105k miles, as a calculated gamble. The longer you hold off changing the belt the higher the probability it will fail. You just have to figure how much risk you’re willing to take. Best case you never change it, the belt doesn’t break, and you save $1k. Worst case the belt snaps and your Pilot is essentially totaled as the cost of a replacement engine and associated labor is more than the Pilot is worth. The level of risk you’re willing to incur likely lies somewhere between those two scenarios. My threshold was ~11 years at ~80k miles.
I averaged a lot of miles per year on my Pilot and I hit the mileage well before the years were up on TB changes. Know that the timing belt tensioner tends to fail, take that in to consideration when you look at age vs mileage. My original was totally shot at 100K ( roughly 4yrs old) and had issues with replacements failing well before their time. Yes the replacements were not OEM and I also had an issue with the non OEM timing belt stretching and needing replaced with just 90K on it. The second service I did was with OEM parts. No real added cost other than parts since I did the service myself. Lesson learned for me was the couple bucks I thought I saved, I spent in time and additional OEM parts down the road.

At a minimum if it was me, I would pop off the rear timing belt cover and loosen the lower timing belt cover enough to get a look at that tensioner to see if it is moist or dirty pointing to a failure. If everything is dry then factor that in to your risk calculation. For me if it is wet or looks a bit like it is failing, I would just bite the bullet and do the TB/water pump service at that time. If it is on its way out, one hard acceleration may get that belt to jump a cog or worse.

As road2cycle states, you need to measure your risk and be comfortable with what you decide.
 

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Johnjk,

Any advice on an '09 with just 46k miles, should I have the TB service done?

TIA.
Don't forget that the water pump is part of the decision. Your 09 is ten years old. Have you replaced the coolant in that time? Age and corrosion can also cause the seal to leak. Personally, I would try to do the service within the next year or so, and not push it to 105 k miles.
 

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Thanks everyone, it's what I had mentally pictured that the TB will need to be done within a year regardless of mileage.
Looked through all the service records and seems like the coolant was never changed, guessing the MM did not trigger the service but your absolutely correct in regards to the tensioner and water pump life.
 
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