Car Doctor

‘When do I need to change my timing belt and is that something I can do myself?’

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Q: I have a question on my 2008 Honda Odyssey. The car has 105,000 miles on it. When do I need to change timing belt and is that something I can do myself? I’m pretty handy. The dealer told me that I should expect to pay $700-$850 for the repair. I priced the belt and it is only about $50.

A: The basic cost is about $75 for the timing belt itself and it will take a skilled technician about four hours labor to perform the repair. In addition, if any seals, drive belts, or associated items need replacing, there would be additional costs. This is an interference engine, which means if you don’t line up components correctly or don’t tension the belt correctly, you could easily damage the engine. I would not consider this to be do-it-yourself repair unless you have performed this type of work before.


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 Email your car question to [email protected] Follow John on Twitter @johnfpaul and friend him on Facebook mrjohnfpaul.