Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Sandy asks:I own a 2008 Honda Pilot, bought new, zero problems and no problems lurking that I am aware of. Called dealer and was shocked at the cost of a 90,000 mile service (timing belt, water pump) plus spark plugs plus fluids plus (likely) brakes. Would you recommend doing this, or looking for another vehicle?
My reply: I’d recommend doing the stuff that is necessary. Honda recommends changing the timing belt at various mileage intervals, according to conditions and use. According to what I have been able to dig up, the maximum interval is 105k – so you’ve still got some time to go. But it might be wise to get it done sooner, because a timing belt failure can be a big pain as well as a bigger expense than the expense of just replacing it before it fails.
It is usual to replace the water pump when this job is done because replacing the pump when it needs to be done entails the same basic (expensive) disassembly. Therefore, might as well take care of it now so as to avoid not having to tear down the engine in 10,000 or 30,000 miles from now.
It’s also reasonable to change spark plugs at the same time.
Having changed all of these things, you will probably never have to change them again for another 12-plus years. I’d weigh that agains the cost of a new car, including the cost of taxes and insurance on the new car.
Also, since this is not an emergency, I’d seek out estimates at independent shops as well as the dealer and compare. My bet is you’ll be able to get the necessary work done for less – and that will make your decision even easier!
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