14th Oct 2002, 20:02

I can't believe you had this experience at Acura of Libertyville. I have bought several vehicles from them and never had one problem. When I walk into the place, I feel like I'm visiting a Ritz Carlton or a Neiman Marcus - first class service all the way. (And that is how it should be.) I wouldn't consider doing business at another Acura dealer. Kudos to Glenn and Dave and their operation!

10th Mar 2003, 02:58

Timing belts must be replaced on a regular basis, the valves sticking down and bending when a timing belt has broken was only on early models. This problem was addressed long ago. Chains do last longer, BUT when they go a lot more work is needed to replace them. Chains make for more engine noise.

4th Apr 2004, 17:09

Timing belts are used over chains for two reasons, they are cheaper, and they are yet another reason you will have to take your car back to the dealer to give them money on a regular basis. The fact that they slightly reduce noise is a secondary point that manufactures are grateful for so they can pretend they have reasons other than dollar signs for using them.

My parents until recently were always buying cheap high mileage older cars, all with chains. The timing chain went on only one. A 10 year old K-car with close to 300 000 kilometers. When the chain went he knew right away, the rattling clanking noise gave it away. The car was so crappy he decided to drive it 30 km home and had it towed away the next day. The point is he heard the chain go and could have stopped right there and had no engine problems.

With a belt you have to get it replaced before it goes, otherwise you'll never know its snapped, or stretched excessively, until your valves are slapping your pistons.

1st Apr 2007, 08:32

I don't know much about the difference between belts and chains, but I have 215000 miles on my Integra, and it's still running better than any of American cars I have owned.

21st May 2007, 12:57

Hondas are death traps? First of all, that is a gross generalization. This manufacturer has produced so many different models over so many years, that you simply can't make a blanket statement like that. Many of their cars are among the safest models in several given model years.

And the 1996 Integra in question's safety rating can be found here: http://www.safercar.gov/

Not exactly a death trap if you ask me.

14th Jul 2007, 10:42

I've owned three Hondas and one Dodge. My wife has owned a Pontiac and one Acura. Night and day as far as maintenance costs!

550,000 km on my 89 Honda Civic before the crankshaft bearing seized. Second Honda was totaled by a reckless transport truck driver. 435,000 km on my 92 Accord and it still purrs. I average about $1,000 in repairs PER YEAR on a 15 year old car with high mileage.

My 88 Dodge Shadow was crap. Had the engine rebuilt at 45,000 km at Chrysler's cost because a connecting rod wrist pin broke, and I had to fork out another $1,200 out of my pocket for a steering flywheel, a strut, a radiator hose, and a leaky sunroof. And that was just the beginning. I was paying $300 a month in repairs on that car.

My wife's 95 Grand Am she bought for $2,500 with only 170,000 km on it and she has paid $2,700 to repair it in the last six months. She's selling it now, and now is driving a 96 Integra with 250,000 km on it. She knows that this car will NOT need expensive repairs any time soon.

When we shopped for a car six months ago, and she bought the Grand Am, we looked at a couple North American cars. One was a 96 Ford Taurus with a nice rust-free body, and only 160,000 km on it. We took it to a mechanic, and he said two motor mounts were rotted out and needed to be replaced. I thought what the hell? I'm now convinced Fords are crap too.

I am sold on Honda, and both my wife and I will not repeat our past errors. A bad experience with a Honda would have more to do with complete neglect and abuse by previous owners, and the use of cheaper after-market parts (trust me - I know from personal experience)!

15th Jul 2007, 20:56

Another reason a timing belt is used instead of a chain is because the belt produces less friction and therefore improves fuel economy. Changing a timing belt is a hassle, but if you do it at the recommended intervals, you will never have to worry. How often is a timing chain supposed to be changed? The answer cannot be never, because nothing lasts forever. I would rather change a belt and know that I don't have to worry than to put faith in the unknown lifespan of a chain. Also, one doesn't have to rev an engine wildly to break a timing belt. If you drive 50,000 km past the change interval, it will likely break easily, because the mechanical properties of the rubber break down with time and use (as does steel - just more quickly with rubber). Early in my driving experience, my ignorance of the timing belt change resulted in having one break in my Honda Civic, at a stop light, while the engine was idling. Fortunately for me, the valves were in the right position, and the repair was just replacing the belt.

22nd Oct 2008, 17:47

I would recommend you change your timing belt early - BEFORE the Owner's Manual interval. My 2001 Integra broke its timing belt at 102,900 miles and 86 months.

Manual suggested 105,000 miles and 7 years (84 months). Dealer stated they had never seen one break before 105K (and stated that the time interval in the manual was for lightly driven vehicles).