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10 Common Honda Odyssey Timing Belt Problems: Troubleshoot, Repairs & Costs

10 Common Honda Odyssey Timing Belt Problems: Troubleshoot, Repairs & Costs

Honda Odyssey is a compact minivan that was first introduced in 1995. While the Honda Odyssey has not received many changes to its exterior design, it is known for its reliability and sturdy build quality. The timing belt of the Honda Odysseys is one of the most important components to keep an eye on.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


It's no secret that a broken timing belt can cause big problems for your Honda Odyssey. But what are the most common problems associated with a timing belt failure? And how much do repairs cost? This article will answer those questions and more.

This article highlights the ten common Honda Odyssey timing belt problems. Then, read on for details about repair options and repair costs.

Causes of Timing Belt Noises

Honda Odyssey History & Background

The Honda Odyssey was introduced in 1995 as the successor of the Honda Accord station wagon. It was aimed at competing with other minivans produced by Chrysler and Ford. The first generation, introduced in 1995, became an instant hit when it outsold both older models, even though it entered a market saturated with car-based minivans.


Sales of this generation continued to be strong, and they remained in production until 2003.

The second generation, introduced in 2003, faced a slightly different market than its predecessor. Nevertheless, it continued to sell well and soon became the most popular minivan on the market, with over 10 million units sold worldwide by 2013. The third generation was launched in 2010 and is still in production in 2018.

The first and second generation was only sold in the United States, while the third generation was available in North America and Europe.

2021 Honda Pilot

What is the timing belt, and what does it do?

The timing belt is a part of the engine's internal combustion operation. It allows the four-stroke cycle to occur, pulling valves and crankshaft mechanisms in sync. A defective timing belt not only causes immediate damage but will lead to other problems further down the line if not dealt with right away.

When a timing belt fails, it will cause the engine to stop. This will make it difficult or impossible to keep driving, resulting in a huge inconvenience for you and your family.

The timing belt must be replaced before it fails. Failure of the timing belt can result in extensive damage to other components and the vehicle itself.

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10 Common Honda Odyssey Timing Belt Problems: Troubleshoot, Repairs & Costs

Timing belt problems are common in most vehicles. However, the Honda Odyssey seems to have more timing belt problems than others. This is due to the age of these vehicles, which are between 16 to 20 years old. Because of that, owners of a Honda Odyssey need to be aware of the ten most common problems with this vehicle's timing belt.

Here is the list of the ten most common Honda Odyssey timing belt problems along with their repair costs:

1. Broken timing belt [$0 – $1200]

The timing belt on a Honda Odyssey is not very visible. It's located deep under the engine and only accessible by removing components such as the water pump, front cover, etc. This makes it hard to inspect without specialized equipment for locating small problems that can cause big damage.

Because of this, most owners won't realize that their Honda Odyssey has a broken timing belt until they hear a loud clunking noise coming from the engine bay. If your engine starts making a strange noise or shuts off with no warning, you might have a broken timing belt.

A visual inspection would be required to determine if there is enough evidence to prove one way or another if the timing belt broke. An audible noise coming from the engine bay is a big indicator that the timing belt has failed. Other symptoms include rough idling, stalling, and reduced power when accelerating.

Repairs to replace a broken timing belt can cost up to $1200 depending on the amount of damage caused by it failing. The average price for replacement costs without additional damages is around $450-$700

2. Engine fails to start [$0 – $550]

Another common problem associated with Honda Odyssey timing belts is an engine that fails to start. This normally occurs soon after turning the key in the ignition and expecting your vehicle's engine to roar into life like it always does. Instead, you get nothing but a clicking sound coming from under the hood or none at all, even after multiple attempts.

Sometimes the engine will fail to start after it runs and shuts off on its own without any warning. This can result from an issue with the distributor, which is responsible for rotating the distributor shaft and triggering ignition events by sending high voltage signals to your Honda Odyssey's spark plugs. Replacing the distributor in these situations could cost $500-$550

3. Poor idling [$0 – $150]

A problematic timing belt will cause many issues such as stalling, reduced power, and poor acceleration during driving. This makes it difficult for you to maintain fast speeds during highway driving or climb steep hills if necessary. Some owners even complain that their Honda Odyssey struggles to maintain idle speed while at a stoplight or parked somewhere.

An engine with a timing belt in need of repair will not idle smoothly. It may vibrate and shake, stall out while stopped at a red light, or crash into objects such as walls or other vehicles if you happen to be parked somewhere. Replacing the timing belt should solve this problem and bring your Honda Odyssey's idling speed back to normal, which costs around $150-$200

4. Engine overheating [$0 – $1300]

Having a bad timing belt can cause engine overheating in some situations. This can lead to an automatic transmission that fails due to excess heat from inadequate cooling by the radiator fluid the coolant runs through. If this happens, there is no way for your vehicle's engine to continue working.

It will have to be replaced with an automatic transmission, which can cost anywhere from $2000-$1300 depending on how much damage it sustained while overheating.

5. Failing emissions [$150 – $550]

Having a bad timing belt can cause your Honda Odyssey to fail its required emissions tests in some states and municipalities. This occurs because the vehicle cannot maintain its idle speed and emits too many hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) through the exhaust system due to issues caused by a faulty timing belt.

Replacing the timing belt will solve this problem and allow your vehicle's engine to pass emissions testing. However, it may still fail if other underlying issues such as dirty air filters or faulty oxygen sensors.

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6. Slipping timing belt [$100 – $1500]

A bad or slipping timing belt in a Honda Odyssey will cause a rattling noise coming from the engine bay when you accelerate in your car, which is a constant reminder something is wrong with it. Eventually, this issue will cause damage to the engine's valves by allowing them to come into contact with their pistons while rotating at high speeds within the cylinders.

Repairs for this problem can cost anywhere from $100-$1500 depending on how much damage was done and how extensive it is when replacing the broken timing belt. The average price for repairs without additional damages caused by having a slipping timing belt is around $350-$650

7. Rough idling [$0 – $150]

A bad timing belt may cause your Honda Odyssey not to idle smoothly. Different gears in the engine are engaged when they should be disengaged and vice versa, making it difficult for the vehicle's computer system to correctly regulate how much air enters into the combustion chambers through its throttle plate.

Replacing your timing belt will solve this issue and allow the vehicle's idling speed to return to normal, but additional damages caused by a slipping or deteriorating timing belt could end up costing you around $150-$200

8. Faulty water pump [$0 – $800]

One of the most common problems with a failing timing belt in all vehicles is that it can damage or even destroy your vehicle's water pump. This happens because the timing belt is designed to turn most of your engine's internal components, including the water pump that pumps coolant through your radiator to keep it from overheating.

Replacing the water pump caused by a faulty timing belt can cost you anywhere from $100-$800, depending on how extensive the damage is. Any additional damages are done to your vehicle due to having a bad timing belt. However, repairing this problem without damaging other parts is only about $200-$300

9. Broken tensioner [$0 – $1500]

A poorly maintained timing belt in a Honda Odyssey allows its tensioners to wear down faster than they should. Of course, the same goes for all vehicles with timing belts, but it is more common in older Honda Odysseys that have over 100,000 miles on their original engines.

Replacing the tensioner(s) due to a faulty timing belt can cost you anywhere from $0-$1500 depending on how extensive the damage is and if there are any additional damages to your vehicle due to having a bad timing belt. However, repairing this problem without damaging other parts is only about $150-$300

10. Faulty crankshaft position sensor [$150 – $450]

Having a bad crankshaft position sensor may cause your car's engine to run roughly or not at all, which can be dangerous during highway driving or other times when you need your vehicle's engine to run properly. Replacing this sensor is easy and only costs about $150-$300. Still, before you have it replaced, you can try a couple of other things first to see if your car's rough idling problem is caused by something else before throwing parts at it without having more information on the actual cause of the issue is.

If you are not sure what the root of your vehicle's idling problem is, it is best to have a certified technician from YourMechanic come and diagnose your rough idling issue before you break the bank trying to solve it.

A faulty timing belt can cause all sorts of problems that will affect how well your car runs and will cost you some money to repair.

A bad timing belt can cause your Honda Odyssey not to idle smoothly because different gears in the engine are engaged than they should be, making it difficult for the vehicle's computer system to correctly regulate how much air enters into the combustion chambers through its throttle plate.

Replacing your timing belt will solve this issue and allow the vehicle's idling speed to return to normal. Still, additional damages caused by a slipping or deteriorating timing belt could end up costing you around $150-$200.

Timing Belt Noise

Are there any timing belt-related recalls in Honda Odyssey?

Since most of the issues related to problems with your timing belt are due to the belt slipping or deteriorating over time, there aren't any recalls on individual vehicles with a faulty timing belt. Still, there is one recall for all Honda Odysseys.

Tips to prevent timing belt problems in your Honda Odyssey

Since a faulty timing belt can lead to different parts of your engine breaking down, it is important to make sure that the belt is in good condition and properly maintained. Following these preventive steps below will keep the condition of your vehicle's timing belt in check:

#1 frequent maintenance

Have your car's timing belt checked every 60k miles or every three years (depending on your car's manual), or as soon as you notice any of the following:

  • your odometer reading is over 100,000 miles
  • You hear a loud screeching sound while starting up your engine
  • Your vehicle has suddenly become hard to start and no longer starts up immediately when you turn the key [=> broken timing belt]

#2 regularly replace your tensioners and idler pulleys

For any vehicle with a timing belt, it is also important to replace your tensioner and idler pulleys since they are part of the timing belt's system.

The reason why you should do this even if all your car's other belts look fine is because these parts are the most commonly replaced due to age and wear, which makes them your vehicle's weakest link in terms of how well it holds up against wear and tear.

Replacing these parts is simple; they come at a low cost (around $50/each) and only take about an hour to replace, depending on what car you drive.

#3 don't ignore warning signs

Like with any other problem that poses a risk to the well-being of your car, you should always act right away when you notice something wrong.

If your engine light goes off after you've had one too many trips down the local drag strip or if your engine starts making some funky sounds, then the chances are that there is at least something partially wrong with the timing belt, even if it isn't completely broken yet.

Replacing the belt before your car's engine becomes severely affected by any problem with the belt can save you money in the long run because you won't have to pay for bigger ticket repairs like having your engine replaced or rebuilt.

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Conclusion

In this article, we've highlighted the 10 Common Honda Odyssey Timing Belt Problems. Then, you can learn more about how to troubleshoot them and fix them. How much you pay for repair costs will depend on where you live in the world, but it is usually within a tight range of $200-USD 1000. However, there are some instances where Honda Odyssey timing belt repair costs might be higher.

And while these problems may be common enough that they are not scary or worrisome, if your timing belt breaks suddenly and leads to serious engine damage–don't worry!

Most car owners never experience any serious issues with their vehicles' timing belts because most cars outlast their original parts before needing major repairs like this one.