‘Does my car have a timing belt or timing chain?’

The Car Doc weighs in.

2003 Honda Accord.
2003 Honda Accord. –Honda

Boston.com Cars is your go-to resource for coverage of local car news, events, and reviews. In the market for a car or truck? Check out our new car specials and used car specials curated by our local dealer network.

Q. I recently took my 2003 Honda to the dealer for a recall service, and while I was there, they suggested I replace the timing belt at a cost of $700. I then took my car to a local shop, and they said my car has a timing chain, not a belt. Now what?

A. If your Honda has the four-cylinder engine, then it uses a timing chain, which should last the life of the car. If your Honda has a six-cylinder engine, it uses a timing belt, which should be replaced at 105,000 miles. Failing to replace a timing belt could result in catastrophic engine damage.  


John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. He answers readers’ questions each Saturday. You can tune in to his radio program Saturday morning from 8:30-10 a.m. on 950AM WROL or wrolradio.com. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.