2008 honda accord V6 EX-L (100k miles) engine noise
Honda dealership charged hourly diagnosis rate of $115.00 to tell me after
one hour that the engine noise was coming from water pump and from the #4
rocker area of the engine. I was told that timing belt (and water pump) had to
be replaced (at 105k miles) anyway and that I had to allow another three
hours of diagnostic time ($345.00) to determine the cause of rocker area
noise. I was also told not to replace timing belt because the engine repair
might be very expensive and that I might even need a new engine. They
refused to give me any estimate of potential repair. I did not allow the
additional diagnostic time because I did not trust them. They told me that the
timing belt was loose and that it could break at any moment and that
something could break in the engine at any time. I drove the car home and I
have not driven it since (four weeks ago). The car has been regularly
maintained (oil changes every 3 - 5k miles, etc.) and we do not abuse it. I
feel very vulnerable as I am not familiar with cars and I think that I will be
trapped if I allow them to "open the engine (their words)" and they tell me that
I need a new engine or that the repair cost is in the thousands. How will I be
able to tell them to put the engine back together and get another opinion? I
appreciate any and all advice and suggestions. Thank you, Andrea
Find a repair shop you trust from asking friends and looking at website and Better Business Beaureau reviews. This shop seems to want to increase their profits at your expense. The timing belt design on Honda cars is unfortunate but true. Replace it at about 100K miles or risk ruining your engine. It sounds like it is time to do this and, yes, it would make sense to change the water pump at the same time (and the serpentine belt that snakes around your accessories if it is more than 3-4 years old). As for the noise around the #4 rocker area, unless it is really loud and annoying, I would treat that separately. The two issues are not necessarily related and can be managed after you have the timing belt/water pump done without giving up additional money because you already have it in the shop. Also, you will then have a shop to go to that you feel you can trust and see what they say about the noise if you are happy with their other work. Good luck and I hope you can find another shop to get another opinion from.
Open the engine eh? Sounds like they want you to open your wallet. The ticking is likely from a lifter/follower and really is just more of an annoyance than anything. And if they think you may need a new motor, drive it until you do need a new motor. Chances are, you'll get to watch that motor roll over 200,000 and maybe 300,000.
Thank you for the responses to my question. I like my car and I wish to keep it for several more years. I will have to find a reputable shop to replace the timing belt, water pump, and serpentine belt. The engine noise, I guess, will have to be addressed later.
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