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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 2011 Honda Pilot ELX a year ago. One owner vehicle with 64000 miles on it. Then due to some health issues and now the virus I've only put another 3000 miles on it.
The independent dealer I bought it from said they had recently changed the oil.
The dash display now says the oil is at 30%. As I have a lot of time these days I thought I should have the oil changed for my first time.
Went to a local Honda dealer to have it done. I expected to get an "up sale" from the service writer and was not disappointed.
The service writer looked up the records on Carfax and it showed regular maintenance from the original owner. He then said I needed to get the MM4 service done to avoid future problems. That's the timing belt, water pump, other associated belts, tensioner, adjust the valves and replace the spark plugs. $2300.00. A little more than expected.
He said that was perhaps why the original owner traded it in, to avoid the work.
He said I could break the job up into two parts, get the timing belt, water pump and parts done for $1300 then come back later for the rest. I said thank you for that information.
The car runs great, mileage is good and I have not had any Maintenance Minder prompts show up yet.
Is there a way to check the prompt history?
I believe in replacing the timing belt when appropriate. Should I wait for a MM prompt (guessing close to 100,000 miles)?
How about the price?
Is this work best done at a dealer? I know a good independent garage?
Other info: No trailer hitch, car was from New Jersey, I'm in Minnesota and hardly use the car right now.
Thanks in advance
Lars
 

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Belts like all rubber based products degrade with age. If I’m wrong someone will correct me, but I believe Honda recommendations 105,000 miles OR 7 years, which ever comes first. Breaking it up makes sense if the vehicle is running fine.
 

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You’re gonna get 2 different opinions. Some people say you must do the timing belt every 100,000 miles OR 7 years and then some will say wait until 100k miles.

The belts typically don’t break, its the other components that fail causing the belt to break.

The dealer is ripping you off, it should not cost any more than $1,500 for everything. Look around at other independent Honda mechanics and see what they charge. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, then go ahead and do it. But in my opinion, the car has WAY to few miles to justify dropping that kind of money in it. I have a higher risk tolerance so that is why I am willing to wait. It’s up to you.
 

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You’re gonna get 2 different opinions. Some people say you must do the timing belt every 100,000 miles OR 7 years and then some will say wait until 100k miles.

The belts typically don’t break, its the other components that fail causing the belt to break.

The dealer is ripping you off, it should not cost any more than $1,500 for everything. Look around at other independent Honda mechanics and see what they charge. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, then go ahead and do it. But in my opinion, the car has WAY to few miles to justify dropping that kind of money in it. I have a higher risk tolerance so that is why I am willing to wait. It’s up to you.

Actually, the timing belts can and do break. The Honda recommendations are conservative, and there are lots of stories about belts lasting 150,000 miles or so. But there is no guarantee that your Pilot will live that charmed life! IMHO, you should find an independent shop that you trust, and plan for the timing belt/water pump service within the next few months. Plugs should be good to 100k, and valve adjustment should also be good til 100k.

The belt and water pump job is linked to the age of the engine coolant as well as the belt wear. After 10 years, your coolant is shot and chance of a water pump leak increases. It makes sense to do the belt/water pump.

Be sure to use top quality parts. Aisin belt/pump kits from Rock Auto seem to be trusted by lots of forum members. Be sure to use the correct HOAT coolant as well to refill the system.
 

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Actually, the timing belts can and do break. The Honda recommendations are conservative, and there are lots of stories about belts lasting 150,000 miles or so. But there is no guarantee that your Pilot will live that charmed life! IMHO, you should find an independent shop that you trust, and plan for the timing belt/water pump service within the next few months. Plugs should be good to 100k, and valve adjustment should also be good til 100k.

The belt and water pump job is linked to the age of the engine coolant as well as the belt wear. After 10 years, your coolant is shot and chance of a water pump leak increases. It makes sense to do the belt/water pump.

Be sure to use top quality parts. Aisin belt/pump kits from Rock Auto seem to be trusted by lots of forum members. Be sure to use the correct HOAT coolant as well to refill the system.
That’s why I said they typically don’t. Of course it does happen, but it’s rare. Ultimately it’s up to everyone’s own risk tolerance.
 

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$1300 is about standard dealer price for a full timing belt replace. That would include a new timing belt, tensioner., seals, water pump, serpentine belt and tensioner. It really doesn't make sense to not do all of that at once. That way you won't have to tear it all apart again if the water pump starts to leak 6 months later.

Spark plugs and valve adjustment averages around $700 parts and labor.

If you have a trusted mechanic they will probably be a little cheaper than the dealer.
 

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The risk of waiting too long and having the timing belt fail is that - with an interference type engine design - major/very-expensive-to-repair damage is likely to occur.
The dealer claims that they've also seen old timing belts shed teeth, which can be as bad as having the belt break.

So far, I've had the timing belt changed twice - about every 9 years - even though the odometer has yet to hit 105K miles.
The valve adjustment and spark plug replacement was done for the first time, recently, after the engine started to misfire and trigger the malfunction-indicator/check-engine and VTM-4 warning lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for that Daltongang, I agree it probably makes sense to do all those parts at once.
 

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This is a no brainer for me. 9 year old TB would have to come off asap. For peace of mind, replace the Water Pump. Make sure who ever does the work replaces the TB tensioner too. Dump the old antifreeze for new. I am less concerned about the serpentine belt tensioner. I've had those go 150k miles. But replace the old belt. If you do replace the tensioner, they should not charge you labor since it must come off for the TB job. I'd also want a new set of spark plugs.
 
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Your Pilot is at the age threshold where I would have the timing belt and associated components replaced, even if the Maintenance Minder doesn’t say it needs to be done yet (based on many posts regarding the timing belt MM code, I can’t recall that anyone had it show up before hitting 105k miles). For 2003-05 Pilots Honda’s suggested change interval, per the maintenance guide, was 7 years or 105k miles; whichever came first.

The price your dealer quoted for those services is inline with what my local dealer would charge. Keep an eye out for timing belt service coupons. My two local dealers typically have coupons for $100-150 off the service.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks Nail Grease, I like what you're saying. Curious if your suggestion to replace antifreeze and plugs is assuming that they are 9 years old too? If I pull a plug out to inspect it (assuming it's as easy as that) will that tell me anything?
 

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Yes, you can learn something if you pull the plugs and look at them. The fronts are easier to get to than the rears. You will need to remove the coil packs before you can access the plugs. Also have a torque wrench, 3” socket extenders, and the proper spark plug socket handy before starting. I believe you also need a hex wrench to remove the coil pack bolt. If you have an 18” piece of fuel line (or something of equivalent inner diameter and flexibility) it helps prevent cross threading when you put the plugs back in (the flexible tube will slip on the plug’s end before the threads cross).

 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
road2cycle thanks for that tip and for going the "extra mile" to provide the link. I look forward to see what I find.
 

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My '09 Pilot is 11 years old and has 48k miles, very little driving as this is not my main daily driver. I asked my local Honda Service Advisor if I should have the TB service done and he stumbled a lot and really could not give me a definitive answer.
 

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My '09 Pilot is 11 years old and has 48k miles, very little driving as this is not my main daily driver. I asked my local Honda Service Advisor if I should have the TB service done and he stumbled a lot and really could not give me a definitive answer.
Age is a factor to consider for TB replacement. Ask another advisor what the recommended service interval for the TB and you can make the right decision to avoid a major issue with the Honda interference motor design. Or you can continue to be lucky.
 

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I'm on my second Pilot which currently has 193,000 miles. I do the timing belt/water pump every 105,000 miles, on both of my Pilots. The 1st Pilot was 2004 with over 150,000 miles on it when I got rid of it. I've never had plugs, tune-up, valve adjusted in either of them (although several months ago I thru a code saying cylinder 4 misfire and replacing that plug and coil fixed it.
 
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Thanks Nail Grease, I like what you're saying. Curious if your suggestion to replace antifreeze and plugs is assuming that they are 9 years old too? If I pull a plug out to inspect it (assuming it's as easy as that) will that tell me anything?
Sorry I missed this post. Yes, I'd replace these 2 things based on age. You may also consider changing out the power steering fluid and brake fluid. Has your ATF been changed?
 
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I had my timing belt done at 102,342 at the dealer 8/14/2017. Here's the work done:

Timing Belt
Water Pump
Tensioner
External Belt
Coolant

No mention of valve adjustment on receipt. I had a coupon but tensioner and drive belt were extra. Bill came to $792.50 + tax.
 
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