Honda has been producing its Odyssey Minivan in North America since 1994. It's proven to be an exceptionally popular model and it's appeared on Car and Driver's Five Best Trucks list more than once. After its debut it became Honda's fastest selling new car ever, even outpacing the record set by the Honda Civic. While it’s proven to be an extremely popular model, if you want to keep yours running smoothly and efficiently you need to make sure you are keeping up with the routine maintenance required. Obviously, you know of changing your oil, your fuel filter, and things like that. But another part of routine maintenance is making sure you're getting your timing belt replaced on a regular basis as well. With that in mind, let's take a look at the timing belt replacement cost for a Honda Odyssey.
Honda Odyssey Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Unlike some models of Honda which switched over to timing chains in the engine rather than timing belts, every model year of the Honda Odyssey uses a timing belt. Depending on the year of your Honda Odyssey, you probably need to replace the timing belt every 60,000 miles. It's best to check with your owner's manual to be sure but that is typically what Honda recommends for most years.
The cost of replacing the timing belt in your Honda Odyssey can't get a little steep. You're looking at somewhere between $650 and $900 if you get it done by a mechanic. Obviously, this depends on the year of your Odyssey, and the mechanic you take it to. Some mechanics are going to charge you less than others. If you take it to a dealership, you might end up paying as much as $1,200 to get your timing belt replaced. There are occasions when it could even be more, sometimes closer to $1,500.
If you're interested in just buying a timing belt on its own, you can pick one up from a site like Autozone.com that will cost you probably between $30 and $220. The reason there is such a difference between the price of the timing belt on its own and the cost of getting it replaced is that it's a fairly time-consuming and labor-intensive repair job. The timing belt is located fairly deep in your engine and the mechanic is going to have to remove several parts to gain access to it. The whole job takes a few hours to get done.
It's definitely possible to replace a timing belt on your own, but this is best done by someone who has experience working on their engine. If you don't have a lot of time under the hood of your Odyssey, and you're not comfortable removing and replacing parts in your engine, this is not the kind of job you want to take on by yourself. Best to leave this one to professionals to make sure it gets done the right way if you've never done this kind of job before.
What Does a Timing Belt Do? – Timing Belt Replacement Cost for a Honda Odyssey
A timing belt is a rubber like belt with notched teeth on the inside of it. You can tell the difference between a timing belt and other belts like the serpentine belt in your engine because those belts will be smooth on both sides. The teeth on the end of the timing belt loop over gears at the end of both your camshaft and your crankshaft. As the crankshaft in your engine rotates, the gear causes the timing belts to rotate with it which in turn makes the camshaft move.
Inside your engine as the crankshaft rotates, the pistons connected to it rise into the cylinders of your engine. As they rise up, the camshaft rotates and opens the valves at the top of the cylinders. The pistons are able to pass through the open valves and the fuel and air mixture is injected into the combustion chamber where your spark plug ignites it. This is the combustion reaction that powers your vehicle. The resulting explosion pushes the piston back down again. Now imagine that happening many hundreds of times every minute and that is how your engine functions. The motion it creates by constantly spinning your crankshaft is translated into the rotation of the wheels of your car which allows you to move forward.
As you can imagine, everything in the sequence has to happen at the exact right moment. That's the job of the timing belt. But the valves have to open at the exact right time to allow the pistons to pass through. The fuel and air mixture has to be injected and ignited at the precise moment necessary to push the piston down and keep everything running smoothly.
If the teeth were to wear off your timing belt, or it just stretched out and could not grip the gears on your camshaft and crankshaft correctly any longer, it would affect the timing of your engine. If it gets bad enough that the timing belt breaks or slips off, then your engine will simply not function at all any longer. If this happens while you're driving, it could potentially cause a serious accident.
This is why it's important to maintain your timing belt. Just like changing your oil or your fuel filter, it's a part of the scheduled and routine maintenance that you need to undertake to keep your Honda Odyssey working the way you need it to.
Do Honda Odysseys Have Problems with Their Timing Belts?
The Honda Odyssey has had some problems with the timing belts in the past. Notably, in 2019 Honda actually had to issue a recall that affected over 100,000 models. As stated in the recall there was an issue with the teeth of the timing belt that could separate from the belt entirely, rendering it essentially useless and potentially leading to engine stalls and accidents. Along with the Odyssey this recall affected Honda Ridgelines and Honda Pilots. The problem stemmed from an issue with the vulcanization of the rubber during the molding process that didn't make it hard enough.
In 2002 there was also a recall issued for Honda Odysseys that related to problems with the timing belt as well. In this case the problem was with a timing belt tensioner pulley that was misaligned. As a result, the timing belt could rub against the bolts on the cylinder head and caused it to wear down much sooner than normal.
Aside from these two recalls, there haven't been any outstanding issues with timing belts in the Honda Odyssey, although there have been sporadic reports across any number of model years of individual drivers having issues with their timing belts. None of these have indicated a greater problem with the model year itself, however.
Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Timing Belt – Timing Belt Replacement Cost for a Honda Odyssey
It's possible that your timing belt could cause some problems for your Honda Odyssey even before the scheduled maintenance is due. There are some signs and symptoms you could be on the lookout for it to let you know you have a problem with the timing belt in your Honda Odyssey. If you are noticing any of these, get your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as you can to avoid bigger problems down the road.
Because the timing belt is responsible for ensuring that everything happens in your engine exactly when it's supposed to, when it starts to fail, you may experience engine misfires. This is what happens when the combustion reaction does not occur what it's supposed to or doesn't occur at all. Your Odyssey will lose power as a result and it can also cause damage to parts of your engine as well. It could also lead to engine stalling which is extremely dangerous if it happens while you were on the road.
Unusual Noises – Timing Belt Replacement Cost for a Honda Odyssey
Because of the teeth on the inside of a timing belt, when it starts to fail on you it may produce an unusual ticking sound. It will be extremely fast-paced and get faster as you accelerate. The sound will be constant and sound like a roulette wheel that's being spun quickly. You may also experience intermittent squealing sound although this could also indicate a problem with your serpentine belt as opposed to your timing belt. Either way, it's definitely worth getting checked out.
Rough idling is what happens when your vehicle begins to lurch and vibrate excessively for seemingly no reason whatsoever. It will happen whenever your engine is running, even if the vehicle is sitting still. This can be caused by a number of issues, but a faulty timing belt is definitely one to take a look at.
Your timing belt is covered by a timing case, a sort of metal shield that protects the belt from anything that might interfere with it. It's also bolted in place and if those bolts come loose, oil may start leaking out from them. If that's the case that can contaminate your engine compartment and you may also notice oil puddling beneath your car. Obviously, this is a problem because leaking oil can lead to your engine overheating. As well, if the oil gets on the timing belt itself, it can cause it to wear out sooner than it should or even slip off your crankshaft and camshaft.