Edmunds Answers



  • 0patience 04/27/10 1:53 am PST

    If you look in your owner's manual, you will find that the manufacturer's recommendation for timing belt replacement for your vehicle is 105,000 miles.
    So, check your owners manual. 60,000 miles is not correct.

  • igozoomzoom 04/27/10 4:31 am PST

    The maintenance schedule for your specific vehicle can be found in the Owner's Manual- just thought I'd mention it so you'll know it's there if you need it in the future.

    The Acura maintenance schedule indicates that the timing belt needs to be changed at 105,000 miles OR 7-years (whichever comes first)! Your 2003 TL has very low mileage for the year model- roughly 8500 miles year aveage. The maintenance schedules for your car are calculated at a much more common rate of 15,000 miles per year.

    While you have far less than 105,000 miles on your car, it has been in service for seven years. Timing belts are made of rubber, so they will deteriorate over time regardless of mileage. So technically, your car is DUE for a timing belt replacement based on age!

    It's very possible that your 60k/7yr old timing belt could be fine for another 20-30k miles. But the consequences of a timing belt failure are HUGE and the risk simply isn't worth putting it off! If the timing belt fails on an "interference" engine, the open valves will stick open and make contact with the pistons (translation- All Hell Breaks Loose) and the engine is destroyed!!!

    On most Honda models, including your TL, the water pump is driven by the timing belt. Since the timing belt replacement is a labor-intensive job (4-5hrs of labor), it's highly advisable to replace the water pump simultaneously. A lot of mechanics even refer to it as a "timing belt and water pump replacement" because they always do both while they're in there. In my experience with various Hondas from the late 80s to present, the water pumps are only designed to last between timing belt replacements! So if your water pump failed before you replace your timing belt, you would be replacing it then. That's why I would go ahead and circumvent any potential problems, both minor and catastrophic, by replacing the timing belt and water pump now. =)

  • Stever@Edmunds 04/28/10 1:37 am PST

    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide has service intervals that you can use if you don't have a manual.

    That's interesting about the 7 years. It's 105,000 miles or 10 years for my '97 Subaru Outback.

  • sappel 04/28/10 2:59 am PST

    Thanks to all responders. Interestingly, following the referral to Edmunds Service Guide, I learn there is a recall for this model about possible premature failure of timing belt due to a water pump misalignment. I will check with the dealer. You all are great!


  • igozoomzoom 04/28/10 5:25 am PST

    It looks like that recall was issued in Aug 2002 and the vehicles affected were built in June-July 2002. There were 17,551 minivans, sedans, coupes and SUVs (all with V6 engines) covered by this recall. It sounds like the Odyssey, Pilot/MDX, 3.2 CL and TL all made up that total number. It doesn't specify how many TL models were in that total number.

    Definitely have the dealership run a history for all service, repairs and recalls using your VIN. Anything done at an Acura dealership should show up! If your car was one of that group, I'm sure it got the fix way back in 2002, but it's always work checking to be sure...

    Did you also see the recall issued in May 2004 regarding "Powertrain:Automatic Transmission"? It covers approx. 1.1-million Honda/Acura vehicles built from Dec 2001 to Sept 2003, including most if not all TL models made during that time. All of the vehicles subject to this recall were issued a 7-year/100k-mile extended warranty on the transmission, whether Acura decided to replace it or not...good news for those TL owners! Again, the Acura service dept. will be able to run your VIN to determine if what action was taken with your car.

    And finally, it appears that your car may be included among the 440,000 Honda/Acura vehicles recalled in previous months for an airbag-related issue! You definitely want to check to see if the dealer has performed the necessary updates and repairs for that recall...especially since the recall was issued in Aug 2009 or later.

  • adittler 08/12/11 3:28 pm PST

    actually, some of the TLs do require the timing belt to be changed at 60,000 miles (especially if you live in a hot climate). i think this only applies to the Type S model (which I own, and my manual says 60,000 miles).


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