Do I really need a third timing belt?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader concerned over a recommendation by his dealer.

The 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring.
The 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring. –Honda

Q. My 2006 Honda Odyssey had the timing belt replaced in 2011, which was about 60,000 miles ago. A mechanic at the Honda dealership now recommends a new timing belt because it is 8 years old. What do you think?

A. I believe the dealer is giving you good information. It is the combination of time and mileage that can cause a timing belt to fail. The engine in the Honda Odyssey is considered an interference engine. If the timing belt fails, the valves and pistons will collide, causing catastrophic engine damage. At the same time, the repair technician should also inspect the water pump and timing belt tensioner.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.