I am told I should replace my timing belt on my 2004 PILOT. My car has only 65,000 miles on it, although I've been driving it for nearly 8 years. Should I wait for 100K miles to replace?

Asked by Oct 06, 2012 at 10:10 PM about the 2004 Honda Pilot

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

36 Answers


If you can hold your breath for 35000 miles. Before you loose it in an unlikely spot in the middle of the night, then I would say you have been given good advice. It's to bad there isn't an aftermarket kit where you can change over to a timing chain. Then again there may just be.

14 of 14 people found this helpful.

If you have the money it is best to do it now.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Honestly most mechanics will tell u that by the 85000 mark it should be done but its never bad to do it before that mark its just preventitive so u dont have to be stuck in transit bcs it fouled up.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I had the same situation with my 2004 Honda Pilot and the mileage was exactly 65,000 miles same as yours. I took my car to the local Honda dealer and changed the timing belt, the water pump and all drive belts, with a discount coupon I only paid $820. I don't want my car to break down due to water pump or timing belt. Water pump should also be replaced when you change a new timing belt because they are in the same area and same job.

14 of 14 people found this helpful.

I have 71,000 miles on my 2006 Honda Pilot and the dealer told me it is now recommended to have the timing belt and water pump replaced(7 years of 71,000 miles). I checked with another Honda Dealer locally here in Florida and they said 105,000 miles and that's what they tell everybody. I decided to call the Honda dealer in Michigan where I take the car and they said 105,000 miles and never heard about the 71,000 mile deal. So, is the dealer where I bought the car trying to pull a fast one on me? You decide and see what your dealer says.

29 of 29 people found this helpful.

I have been advised by the Honda Dealer, timing belts should be replaced at 105,000 miles. I have 99,700 miles on mine and it shows no signs of wear, or belt deterioration (cracks, fatigue, etc.). My local dealer wants $993.00 to replace it (water pump, hoses, cooling system overall) included. Another foreign car repair service that I like very much says he will do the same work for $725.00. Love my Honda! One of the best automobiles I’ve ever owned…and I’ve owned a bunch!

24 of 24 people found this helpful.

About a year ago My 2006 Pilot almost reach 100K miles. I checked the manual page 245: "The timing belt should be replaced according to the maintenance message shown on the information display. Replace the belt at 60K miles if you REGULARLY drive in one or more of these conditions: - Very high temp (over 110 deg F) - Very low temp (under -20 deg F) - Frequently tow a trailer." Without ever run in those extrem conditions, I would rather wait for "maintenance message shown on the information display". Mine now has over 112K miles.

20 of 20 people found this helpful.

I have a 2008 pilot and just had mine replaced today at rusty Wallace honda. Cost me $1134.69 I have 99k miles on it and the belt tensioner was making a noise.

15 of 15 people found this helpful.

I was considering to purchase a 2003 or 2005 Honda Pilot but after reading this, I think I'll go with a Honda Odyssey van instead. I would love a SUV but it's not worth the headache and addtional cost. Shame on HONDA for not recalling its vehicle and helping retain Honda customers.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.

Herb, you will probably find the same engine and tranny in the odessy that is in the pilot. I don't know about the older models but the newer 4 cylinders have a timing chain instead of a belt.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Mahalo Steve for the tip. We have 2003 Honda Odyssey EX-L currently and replaced the timing belt and water pump. Running around 130,000 and she wants a 7-8 seater SUV. We considered the Pilot, Pathfinder, and Highlander. Got the scoops on the Pilot now. Any other thoughts on the other SUV mentioned?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Herb I just rolled over to 100k on my pilot. I use at on my mail route. I putti on the route at 41k and so far I love it. It has been one of the best vehicles I have ever had to deliver out of. Most of the foreign SUVs have a timing belt. I have a fellow carrier that just had his honda crvs timing belt and water pump replaced at a local shop for $600. I trusted the dealer and like the oe parts, therefore it cost more but I feel it was worth it.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

My 2006 Pilot has almost 114K miles and has no signs of wear, or belt deterioration. My question is any body ever seen a message on the display to tell you about the timing belt need to be replaced? I checked the Honda manual page 245: "The timing belt should be replaced according to the maintenance message shown on the information display. Replace the belt at 60K miles if you REGULARLY drive in one or more of these conditions: - Very high temp (over 110 deg F) - Very low temp (under -20 deg F) - Frequently tow a trailer." Without ever run in those extreme conditions.

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

GoGo, my belt tensioner was going bad and I was hearing a noise that was not usual for my 08 to make at 99k miles. If I were you I would get mine changed sooner than later. If it breaks or gets out of time you are looking at a lot more expense. By the way you can't see the timing belt without taking the shields off. You may be looking at your serpentine belt that pulls your ac compressor, alternator and ps pump

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

My Pilot now has 186,000 wonderful miles on it and been a great car. I suspect its time to finally get around to replacing the timing belt and water pump - so tonight is the night. I am not recommending you do the same!! Life simply moves too fast, I don't trust most mechanics and I actually miss the days in the early 70s where I used to work on my cars all of the time. Especially coming back from the drag strip with big block Chrysler - ah the days when you had lots of room under the hood. I replace my Sienna belt at 155K two weeks ago and it looked flawless. Don't take my advice about waiting too long since neither are clearance engines.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

If you can replace it at a cheaper price before it breaks.. do it. I was left stranded on the road when my belt broke and now I understand that it will cost a lot of money if I bent a valve :( I replaced the s belt this year for safety because I knew it needed to be done, but I did not know about the timing belt. Do it when you reach over 100K miles like the S belt, better than being in my situation. Also I LOVE My Pilot, it is the best car I have ever owned. This happened because of my lack of education, not because of the car.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Why would any of you buy a vehicle with a timing belt which costs at least $1000 to change considering you must change the pump at the same time. A vehicle with a timing chain instead never needs to be changed. Research???

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

The manual for my '05 Pilot says change the belt at 105,000 miles or at 7 years. Most have ignored the age issue, which can matter. However, I'm pretty sure that this engine is not a negative clearance engine, so no risk of severe damage if the belt breaks, just the pain of being stranded and without your car for a week while the work gets done.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I've got a 2004 Pilot and I live in Tucson, Arizona with its very hot summers. I changed the belt at 61k and now have 114k. I'm not hitting the mileage indicators but I do worry about heat stress on the belts. I appreciate the comment on timing chains versus belts and will research that the next time I buy a car. However our second car is a Nissan Leaf and I have no worries about such moving parts.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 2013 Honda Pilot with 98,400 miles. It needs to do timing belt services?

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

I have 190,000 on my 2007 Pilot. Live in Mass. Car is always garaged. haven't changed yet but starting to hear a whiney sound. Gonna look into it.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

I always get a kick out of people who run their vehicles beyond manufactures suggested miles or time. It seems to be some sort of badge saying "I am a better driver that you are." It has every thing to do with the quality of the run the parts were made in. Also, manufactures would want to lower time and distance so they don'the have a lot of past off customers. And a metal timming will stretch over time just as a belt does now. Years ago all timming chains were made of metal and we had the same problems then.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My 04 Pilot is 13 years old in a northeast climate with 115,000 miles. I am in the service industry and can smell our b.s a mile away. I'm not saying your timing belt may not fail, but I am shooting for 200,000 without changing it...and I would be willing to bet I will make it. I would also be willing to bet half the people that post to these things are mechanics who rely on your fear of mechanical failure to survive.

14 of 14 people found this helpful.

I have a 2007 Honda Pilot with 192,004 miles on it but have made sure the oil was replaced at no more than 7K miles in between. It's been working great ever since have not replaced any thing else other than filters and spark plugs. The timing belt kit and water pump will be replace when it hits 200K. My previous Hondas have all pass 300K and consider it a fail if my Pilot don't get there.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

To all that are answering that it should be a recall or buy a car with a timing chain...please keep your ill advice. Timing chains have guides that wear/break as well as they stretch, just like belts and chains can fall apart and fail just as a belt will. Recommended intervals are 105k miles or 7 years whatever comes first. Timing belts usually fail due to a component failing not the actual belt. Bearings falling apart in a pulley, tensioner becoming worn and letting go...normal things that happen to every part on a vehicle as it gets older and worn out. Timing belts are strong...very strong and usually can out last the car it's the other parts that will let it fail that must be changed. I have seen an entire engine carried through a junk yard by a fork lift holding on only by the timing belt. If you keep a car longer than the average bear does then do what is recommended. Find/search for a good honest mechanic. Ask around believe it or not we are out there.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

One more thing...change your oil at 3500- 4500miles max. Do not go 7k miles! Synthetic oil viscosity will last 7k but the oil can only absorb so much carbon deposits before the deposit will be left in your engine building up black hard gunk on your valves and internal parts killing the life and performance of your motor. Organic oil actually has better natural detergents that absorb carbon build up better than synthetic. Mobil high mileage oil is a great oil where viscosity holds up like synthetic oil. Doesn't really matter what brand you use but what does matter is the correct motor oil weight. If it says use 5w-30 that is what you use. The engine is designed to circulate that viscosity of oil.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Replace your timing belt on manufacturer's recommended schedule unless you are planning to replace your engine. Most modern engines are interference engines, meaning that open valves will be smashed by a closed piston. Only the timing belt or chain prevents this collision. Like all mechanical devices, belts failure can be described by an approximately bell shaped time curve. The manufacturer's recommended replacement rate considers the possibility that you got a belt that will fail at the low end of the curve. Timing belts do not stretch appreciably, but the rubber and internal cords will eventually fail due to age and the fatigue of being bent back and forth as the belt goes around the pulleys. Extreme temperatures accelerate the fatigue failures. As for chains, they slowly get longer as they wear at the link pivots. Many of the car manufacturers have gone back to timing chains which decades ago failed at about 150kmi. Manufacturers claim their new chain designs will last life of the vehicle. Hopefully, they have done their homework. I'm sure the new synthetic oils will help them achieve the improved life.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I have a 2008 Pilot with 187k miles and just started to hear a slight rattle from what seems like timing belt. Had it in dealer to fix the takata air bag. They said could be belt tensioner slap they called it. Wanted 450 for parts and 500 labor for a total of $950. Called Pep Boys and they have two timing belt kits with the Delco having great reviews and was 30.00 more expensive than other kit but better parts I'm told. $196.00 total for the Delco one. 35% off coupon right now. I paid $128 for parts plus tax. I shopped local mechanics and reviews. Found one had great reviews and very respectable labor rates. He is putting installing everything for $350. Total cost to replace and fix: $485.00 which is $465 less than the dealer wanted I get to keep in my pocket to spend on other things. Where do these places get off charging 500.00 for 4.7 hours of labor. Find a good local mechanic and eliminate the dealer paying a mechanic $35.00 an hour and putting 71.00 in their pocket. I think over 100.00 an hour for car labor is a joke.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Wow! After reading all of the above accounts, I am blown away. I have never heard anything about having to change the timing belt on my 2004 Honda Pilot until now. I've owned it nearly 12 years. I bought it with 30,000 miles on it. Today I have 175,000 miles on it, and I've never changed the timing belt. I recently asked my mechanic about it. He said, "Oh, you must have timing chain on that vehicle because a timing belt simply could not last that long." Then, he looked it up and confirmed it was a timing belt. He was astounded that it was still going.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I have had my 2005 Pilot the whole time and never changed. I knew I had to, but forgot. Glad I looked this up. I am at 159k and better do it. What all needs to be changed?


Lots of choices on this. The manual says replace the timing belt and "inspect" the water pump. Not sure how you do that, as it only shows signs of failure once it has started to fail. Most do at least that. Most of the labor involved for either is the same, and the water pump is not a lot extra, so why take the chance? I just did the belt and pump, also seals and radiator hoses and serpentine belt. I figured that if I want to get to 200k (at 124 now) then one or more of those things would go, so why not avoid the hassle. Don't overlook the valve adjustment, either. I didn't get it done, but there are mixed opinions on the value. Some say don't bother unless they are noisy (loose). Others say the $300 expense is worth it to avoid the need for a valve job (~$1500 or more). I say have them check the valve clearance on the front bank when they do the timing belt. Should be relatively cheap. If the valves are okay (probably), then you're done. If not, you will have discovered something worth fixing.

I have a 2005 Honda Pilot. Bought it 6 years ago and had over 100k miles and had just gotten everything done. It now has over 200k miles and I just had the power steering pump replaced because it was making a weird noise and now it's perfect. I am getting my oil change done as we speak and I don't think I have ever taken it to get a tune up done just yet....but I'm thinking I should so it can last me another 100k miles or more. I love my car...


First, I have checked, and my 2005 Pilot does not have an "interference" engine, which means that if the timing belt breaks, you are stranded, but the engine is safe. I did my belt change at 120k miles, but after 12 vs. the recommended 7 years. I think both criteria have a safety margin built into them (i.e., the belt will almost surely not break before the recommended replacement time, but no one knows how long after that may happen). Chances are you can go a good long way beyond the recommended interval, but you do it at your peril. It isn't that hard to figure out, really. If you have 130k and expect to reach 200k, then replace the belt (and some other things, like parts associated with the timing belt and the water pump). If you have 150k and would be happy with another 15k, then don't. It may last, but if it doesn't, you won't have lost as much as the repairs would cost. Those are just examples. Extrapolate/interpolate for your situation. Just know that if you take it to the right guy, you can get plugs changed (no simple task), hoses replaced, timing and serpentine belts replaced and a few other odds and ends for what the dealer will charge for the timing belt and water pump alone.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 2003 Honda Pilot with 194,000 miles on it. First of all - I LOVE MY PILOT! Second, it is getting the very first timing belt and water pump as of today! Up until last week, I thought I had a timing chain and didn't have to worry about it (all of my previous cars have had chains). I asked the mechanic if he would keep it so that I may take a look at it before he throws it away. It will be interesting to see what kind of shape it's in!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Danby 8187 should do better research. I have been a mechanic for forty-three years and I KNOW for a fact that ALL Honda engines are interference except 3.0 L & 3.2 which are non-interference. An interference engine is one that has insufficient clearance between the valves and pistons if the cam stops turning due to a broken timing belt. The result is usually catastrophic engine failure. Not so with a non- interference engine. It pays to know.

I always am blown away when someone complains about the maintenance cost of the timing belt without considering all the other factors involved. First, a thou every hundred thou miles is a penny a mile. You're spending way more than that on fuel and oil, and way less than that on other maintenance items because Hondas are pretty much bulletproof. I have an Odyssey with >270,000 miles. I changed the belt around 225 when I started getting nervous about procrastinating (which happens to be one of my favorite sports). I've got another Ody with 180k, belt changed when it should have been. Both vehicles will be with me a lot longer barring an accident, war with N. Korea, or a startling deal on a Pilot (which happens to be my fantasy right now.) For those who cannot understand that things wear out - they DO. For those who complain about price - you may not always get what you pay for, but you very rarely get something for nothing. And for those who have no concept of value - learn something useful.

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