How to Check and Replace a Timing Belt in a Honda Accord

by Contributor

If your Honda Accord idles rough, is sluggish, clattering or backfiring, your timing belt probably needs replacing. The timing belt keeps your car's crankshaft and camshaft valves opening and shutting in sync with the pistons. Checking and replacing the belt regularly prevents breakage and serious engine damage and helps you avoid getting stranded on the highway.

Check Your Timing Belt

Check your owner's manual for the recommended mileage for replacing your timing belt. Replacement for a Honda Accord is 60,000 miles for 1976 to 1989 models; 90,000 for 1990 to 1996 models; and 105,000 for 1997 models and later.

Locate the timing belt and examine it for breaks, damage, fraying, worn spots or looseness.

Inspect the belt for cracked or missing teeth that may be the result of foreign material collecting between them.

Determine if the timing belt damage is on both sides. Single-side damage may be caused by the timing belt's guide.

Remove Your Timing Belt

Disengage the negative battery cable.

Rotate the crankshaft to line up the timing belt matchmarks. Position cylinder No. 1 at "Top Dead Center" (TDC) on the compression stroke.

Access the cylinder head and timing belt covers by moving any components obstructing contact then take both covers off.

Secure the timing belt's adjuster with a bolt from the lower timing belt cover placed on the adjuster's arm.

Relax the nut for the timing belt and balancer shafts tensioner adjuster. Release the tension by pushing the balance belt tensioner away from the timing belt.

Take out the balancer belt. Slip it from the pulleys without creasing or bending it. Avoid oil or coolant contact. Disconnect the crankshaft's balancer belt drive.

Undo the timing belt adjuster's lockbolt and relax the nut. Release the timing belt tension by pushing on the adjuster. Secure the nut.

Unfasten the timing belt as in the previous step. Replace the belt tensioners if defective.

Install Your Timing Belt

Put in the timing belt tensioner lockbolt, the balancer belt pulley, adjuster lever and the adjusting nut and bolt and the tensioner springs.

Secure the tensioner and balancer at their full deflection.

Line up the crankshaft timing pointer with the flywheel and the camshaft pulley so the word "UP" is at the top and the edge marks line up with the head's surfaces.

Place the timing belt over the pulleys and tensioners. Rotate the crankshaft to the left until the cam pulley has traveled three teeth. Line up the timing belt marks and hook up the balancer belt drive sprocket to the crankshaft. Next line up the front and rear balancer pulleys with the oil pump's body.

Mount the balancer belt. Check that all engine alignment marks are accurate. Rotate the crankshaft one complete turn and secure. Release the bolt locking the tensioner.

Insert the bottom timing belt cover. Be sure the rubber seals are in position. Place a new seal surrounding the adjusting nut. Put the key on the crankshaft and install the pulley. Lubricate the bolt threads and secure at 181 foot pounds. (250 Nm). Insert the top cover and secure the bolt to 40 foot pounds (55 Nm).

Reconnect the negative battery cable and any other disconnected parts or items. Start the engine and look for leaks.


  • Old or worn timing belts may stick in the pulley grooves. Use a screwdriver for leverage.
  • Make sure the new timing belt matches the belt you are removing.
  • Procedures for replacing timing belts in a Honda Accord may vary depending on engine size.

Items you will need

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