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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New member, first post... 1.) Great forum and lots of useful information. 2.) What drew me here... 2007 Honda Pilot, just over 150,000 miles and never replaced timing belt. Based on research, plan on purchasing ASIN timing belt kit which I believe also includes the tensioner and water pump. Anything else I should know? Independent shop will be doing the work.

Separately, in reviewing numerous timing belt posts here, it occurred to me that there are barely any posts of timing belt failure. Majority of posts relate to how to do the belt change, worried owners concerned about the belt, gurus preaching to replace your belt or else, etc. Due to the production numbers on these cars, one would think that if even a tiny percentage of owners experienced belt failure, it would be readily apparent on this forum and elsewhere. Without this data, it seems the belt replacement recommendation is Honda's way of avoiding liability due to the "interference engine" design. Will still replace my belt at the 150,000 mile mark and maybe again at 300,000 miles, just wanted to add my thoughts on the subject and own experience with the car.

Now, give me all your horror stories of timing belt failures so I won't be able to sleep until I get it done... :surprise::grin:
 

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It should come as a kit tensioner , water pump I used the Asin kit myself no problems also while your in there have the mechanic swap out your thermostat and check the hoses. Also just as an FYI your 07 is supposed to be swapped out at 105 k NOT 150k. So once your done this time the next time should be done at that 105 k interval .

Welcome to the Forums !
 

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You'll also want to get a new accessory belt and tensioner since these are removed to get to the timing belt/water pump.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

What Tahoefever said. Also make sure they use Honda Type2 coolant. If your radiator is looking sketchy it’s not a bad time to take care of that as well.

The warranty on the power train is long past when you reach the first recommended timing belt change. I doubt Honda corporate really cares if you change it or not since they made their money off of you and would love to sell you a new vehicle. I’m guessing their engineers performed some studies and determined 7yr/105k is the conservative interval to have the service performed. We’ll never know how much margin they factored into the suggested change interval. When you decide to change it is based on your risk tolerance and bank account balance.
 

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>> Due to the production numbers on these cars, one would think that if even a tiny percentage of owners experienced belt failure, it would be readily apparent on this forum and elsewhere. Without this data, it seems the belt replacement recommendation is Honda's way of avoiding liability due to the "interference engine" design.

One might think that, but its probably not the right conclusion.

There's no inherent liability in Honda's engine design - the importance of the timing belt is a well-known feature, and those that think its a bad idea probably buy something else.

We can assume that the OEM manufacturer has extensive data to estimate the average life-expectancy for the belt in a Pilot. Let's say that data translates to 250k miles - failure is likely on roughly half the belts at or before 250k. Similarly, failure rate on the tensioner is also known.

I suspect that Honda used the manufacturer's data to select a service interval where failure is likely on less than a few units per 100,000, for exactly the reason you noted - acceptable warranty costs. But if even one vehicle in 1,000 was experiencing timing belt failures, people would stop buying them. I also think that expensive 100k service promotes a lot of trade-ins, but that's unrelated to your point.

There's no way to accurately predict whether a particular belt/tensioner pair might last 110k or 310k miles. For an extremely high level of confidence that the system won't fail and take the motor with it, the 105k interval has proven to be reliable. Clearly, lots of owners go farther. Using my guess above, there could be a 50/50 chance to go 250k+. Unfortunately, that also means a 50/50 chance of blowing up the engine on the highway as the miles pile up.

Like Dirty Harry said: "Do I feel lucky?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replies. Some additional questions/thoughts...



It should come as a kit tensioner , water pump I used the Asin kit myself no problems also while your in there have the mechanic swap out your thermostat and check the hoses.

Is this the kit you used? Also, why the thermostat? Is there a history of the thermostat failing or is that just something that is very easy to do as part of this job and probably should be done with 150,000 miles and 12 years on the engine?


You'll also want to get a new accessory belt and tensioner since these are removed to get to the timing belt/water pump.

Changing out the accessory belt sounds like a good idea as that has never been changed either. I believe the tensioner is included in the above kit so I should be good there.


The warranty on the power train is long past when you reach the first recommended timing belt change. I doubt Honda corporate really cares if you change it or not since they made their money off of you and would love to sell you a new vehicle.

Good point. I concede that my theory of Honda avoiding liability makes no sense.


I suspect that Honda used the manufacturer's data to select a service interval where failure is likely on less than a few units per 100,000, for exactly the reason you noted - acceptable warranty costs. But if even one vehicle in 1,000 was experiencing timing belt failures, people would stop buying them. I also think that expensive 100k service promotes a lot of trade-ins, but that's unrelated to your point.

This makes much more sense. Great way to get customers back to a Honda dealer right after the psychological 100,000 mile mark for an expensive service and/or to sell them a new car. From that perspective, the interference engine is a brilliant design!


Ultimately, I am glad that there are so few reports of timing belt failures. Kudos to Honda for building a quality machine which is the reason I bought my Pilot in the first place!!! :grin:
 

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If you are buying a kit, the tensioner in the TB kit is for the TB itself. The accessory belt has its own tensioner. The Accessory belt is the one you can see, the TB is the one you cannot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you are buying a kit, the tensioner in the TB kit is for the TB itself. The accessory belt has its own tensioner. The Accessory belt is the one you can see, the TB is the one you cannot.

Thanks. The kit is below. It includes the idler and tensioner bearings. I will also purchase the accessory belt and possibly the thermostat if that should also be done. Anything else?

Aisin TKH-002 Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump


  • Original equipment matched idler and tensioner bearings
  • Original equipment matched timing belt supplied by Mitsuboshi
  • Engine specific water pressure is achieved without excessive load to engine
  • Aluminum die-cast technology allows for size and weight reduction.
  • Improved strength in body design and carbon ceramic mechanical seals assures leak prevention
 

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did a search, on Piloteers, an owner reported a failure around 70K miles, likely another component in the belt drive train.

I have completed two replacements, using the same kit as spdemon.

Loosening the crank bolt is the toughest part.

Also, I was off one tooth on the rear cam the first time I replaced it. I figured it out after I started having cold day start issues. Took a while to figure it out.

At 220k on my 04, every mile is gravy now.....wont be surprised if something major finally goes. I have drained and filled trans fluid every other oil change religiously. Replaced the radiator with the timing belt at 210K miles.
 

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At 361,000 miles now, and I have changed the timing belt on my '05 three times (once by the dealer we bought the car from new, the next two times myself).

Each time I have been very impressed by the condition of all parts. Nothing looked even remotely close to being in drastic need of replacement, but taking care of things at the factory intervals has given me peace of mind. We have relied on the car pretty heavily over the years, so it's worth it to me. :)

I did have the hydraulic timing belt tensioner fail once, but it was mostly just annoyingly noisy at startup until I decided to deal with it after a few weeks. No damage done, but it was definitely a bit worrisome.

-Chris
 

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I purchased my 08 with 137K on the odo and no service records came with the vehicle, so I did not know if the timing belt had been changed. At about 143K I had asked my mechanic to disassemble enough to see if he could tell whether or not it had been changed. He found that the belt looked good, but that the water pump was just starting to leak, so I had him change everything.

At least now I know the service history on that particular item.
 

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Here's an example on just how far you can stretch the time/mileage interval on TB replacement..not that I would advise anyone to be foolish enough to attempt it.

My wife's cousin had an '03 Pilot which she bought new and she had NEVER replaced the TB and when she told me it was somewhere in the 210,000 mile/10 year mark. I couldn't believe it when she told me.
 

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fivermillions

Here's an example on just how far you can stretch the time/mileage interval on TB replacement..not that I would advise anyone to be foolish enough to attempt it.

My wife's cousin had an '03 Pilot which she bought new and she had NEVER replaced the TB and when she told me it was somewhere in the 210,000 mile/10 year mark. I couldn't believe it when she told me.
that actually doesn't surprise me, some Honda engineer has a statistical bell shaped curve for failures of the components and makes sure a failure is rare if the maintenance interval is followed.
 

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Currently own 2 pilots 2011 208 thousand miles with original timing belt water pump etc. I just changed timing belt,water pump, tenisor and idler pulley used the Asian kit. There was no visable wear what so ever on the old belt when compared to the new belt. timing belt tensioner was dry to no leaking hydraulic fluid at all.
My 2005 pilot is right at 280,000 miles on original belt but the radiator on the needs replaced trans line broke inside rad.
Had a 1995 civic that the timing belt broke around 240,000 miles replaced the belt nothing else had no engine damage with just the replaced belt drove the car for another 40k or so and traded car in on a used f250
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Currently own 2 pilots 2011 208 thousand miles with original timing belt water pump etc. I just changed timing belt,water pump, tenisor and idler pulley used the Asian kit. There was no visable wear what so ever on the old belt when compared to the new belt. timing belt tensioner was dry to no leaking hydraulic fluid at all.
My 2005 pilot is right at 280,000 miles on original belt but the radiator on the needs replaced trans line broke inside rad.
Had a 1995 civic that the timing belt broke around 240,000 miles replaced the belt nothing else had no engine damage with just the replaced belt drove the car for another 40k or so and traded car in on a used f250



Wow! And I thought I had high miles on mine. You got me beat by 130,000 miles! :surprise: That is awesome. Makes me not want to change mine >:) but I already ordered the kit.
 

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Currently own 2 pilots 2011 208 thousand miles with original timing belt water pump etc. I just changed timing belt,water pump, tenisor and idler pulley used the Asian kit. There was no visable wear what so ever on the old belt when compared to the new belt. timing belt tensioner was dry to no leaking hydraulic fluid at all.
My 2005 pilot is right at 280,000 miles on original belt but the radiator on the needs replaced trans line broke inside rad.
Had a 1995 civic that the timing belt broke around 240,000 miles replaced the belt nothing else had no engine damage with just the replaced belt drove the car for another 40k or so and traded car in on a used f250
There is always a reason why Honda wants to have the belt swapped, putting 280k without swapping the belt is like playing Russian roulette everything you drive ... Then again it also brings up the question of having to actually swap the belt since there are many users that state the same damn thing the belt looked great when removed. Myself when i swapped out the belt it still looked like it was installed at the 105k interval even though I was at the 208k Interval on her.
 

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Just out of curiosity, what is the benefit/purpose of building an interference engine as opposed to non? Why would all engines not be designed as non interference?
 

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Just out of curiosity, what is the benefit/purpose of building an interference engine as opposed to non? Why would all engines not be designed as non interference?
Higher compression ratio = more power, better fuel economy. VCM might be involved, too - opening valves sooner or later would affect the degree of interference. This might explain why some people break belts and don't destroy the engine.
 
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