2013 Acura MDX Timing Belt Severe Service?

gathermewool

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Vehicle: '13 Acura MDX
Owner: retired, lead-footed old man
Miles: 70k
Location: Middle FL, garaged vehicle
Timing Belt Service: $1500 (I told him he could likely get it cheaper @ NOT the dealer...)

My dad has his Acura maintained at the dealer exclusively. They just recommended to him a timing belt replacement. No explanation why was given. If I told him it needed to be done immediately, he'd either get it done immediately or call me next to tell me all about his NEW vehicle. That's just the kind of people they are now. We grew up with very little money and I remember going from $500 car to $500 car at one point, so I don't begrudge him his new cars.

He plans on consolidating vehicles in a few years, after my mom finally retires, which may mean dumping his MDX within the next few years and 10-20k miles or so. I told him that 70k seems earlier for a timing belt; that I would ask here to see what people think. A quick Google search shows that he does in fact have a belt; however, recommendations for when to change it varies wildly.

Thoughts?
 
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1,330
Location
Athens, GA
They're just trying to get his money. There shouldn't be any problem out of running it to 100k. I don't recall ever seeing a time limit on that service.

Unless he's noticing a noise at startup which would indicate the tensioner starting to fail, I wouldn't worry. If there is any kind of rattling/ticking at startup then the tensioner needs to be checked and if it's starting to fail, you could just replace it, but at the miles, he's at if it were mine, I would throw the whole kit on it and be done for another 100k.
 
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RI
I’d only do it if you see an oil film over the hydraulic tensioner. It can be seen from underneath
 
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1,830
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Virginia
I'd wait until around the 10 year/~100k-ish mark to do it. I wouldn't do it if you're going to sell it in the next 30-40k miles. Let it be someone else's problem.

Also, use OEM parts and have it changed elsewhere. It'll be a good bit cheaper.
 
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gathermewool

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Again, if you guys recommend
The timing belt should be part of the MM, so just change it when the minder says to do so :)

When it is time, get the Aisin kit

That's the easiest answer; however, I found a MM document (it was for a 15, mind you, and I can't find it now, of course!) that showed 60k miles as the Severe Service interval. I don't think the MM would take this into account.

Unfortunately, my dad doesn't pay attention to the MM. IIRC, he just takes his car in when the sticker on his windshield says so...
 
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Athens, GA
His 'severe service' isn't any harder than mine. I guarantee you I flog my poor Accord and TL (Mostly Accord) harder than he hammers on that MDX and I have no problem going 100k on the belt assembly. Climates are not identical, but close enough with the heat in the summer.
 
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Location
CA
If it was me and I had the budget I would just get it done. Broken timing belts can do bad things to engines. At 70K I don't think the dealer was out of line suggesting it. It's all in how comfortable he feels about it.
 
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Kentucky
I would wait until 10yr/100k. The dealer is just trying to drum up some business.

My '04 Odyssey had 130k when I changed the original belt (right about the 10 year mark also)-- it looked like it had a lot of miles left in it.

You'd be surprised at the number of vehicles driving around with 150k+ on original belts. Lots of people dump cars right around 100k because of that expensive service, then the subsequent owner just keeps driving it because they too, don't want to pony up a grand when the car drives just fine. Few people know the importance of this service and just keep on driving. I see no reason to change it prematurely regardless of "severe" service or not.
 
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Ontario, Canada
That is totally a scam. All of Canada is “severe service”, Type 4 service will not come up before 160k (100k miles). It is only required when the vehicle shows its due for a Type 4 service.

-former Acura tech for 13 years
 
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CA
That is totally a scam. All of Canada is “severe service”, Type 4 service will not come up before 160k (100k miles). It is only required when the vehicle shows its due for a Type 4 service.

-former Acura tech for 13 years
Before the MM days, Timing Belts were recommended every 7 years or 105k, whichever comes first.
 

gathermewool

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Thanks, guys. I confirmed with my dad that they will be dumping both of their cars for something better suited to towing a small boat when they retire and move closer to us (from FL to probably somewhere near the Chesapeake for crabbing purposes (and no alligators!))
 
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