A timing belt and a timing chain perform the same function; however, each has certain peculiarities. If you own a Honda Civic, you might wonder if it comes with a timing belt to better understand how your engine works and its maintenance. This article will answer that question for you.
Does a Honda Civic have a timing belt? Whether a Honda Civic has a timing belt or chain depends on the model. All Honda Civics will either have a timing belt or timing chain.
The year the car was made tells you your Honda’s engine timing, and all Honda Civic cars made within that period have either a timing belt or a timing chain. You can see which years have what below.
Honda has made various Civic models over the years; hence, the engine timing differs according to each model.
Honda Civic timing belt or timing chain – year by year
|Civic model year
|Timing belt / timing chain
|1988 to 1991
|STD D15B1 1.5L 70 hp
|DX D15B2 1.5L 92 hp
|LX D15B2 1.5L 92 hp
|EX D16A6 1.6L 105 hp
|Wagon FWD D15B2 1.5L 92 hp
|Si D16A6 1.6L 108 hp
|Wagon 4WD D16A6 1.6L 105 hp
|1992 to 1995
|CX D15B8 1.5L 70 hp
|DX D15B7 1.5L 102 hp
|LX D15B7 1.5L 102 hp
|EX D16Z6 1.6L 125 hp
|VX D15Z1 1.5L 92 hp
|Si D16Z6 1.6L 125 hp
|1996 to 2000
|CX D16Y7 1.6L SOHC 106 hp
|DX D16Y7 1.6L SOHC 106 hp
|LX D16Y7 1.6L SOHC 106 hp
|EX D16Y8 1.6L SOHC 127 hp
|1999 to 2000
|Si B16A2 1.6L DOHC 160 hp
|2001 to 2005
|DX D17A1 1.7L 117 hp
|LX D17A1 1.7L 117 hp
|EX D17A2 1.7L 127 hp
|2002 to 2005
|Si K20A3 2.0L 160 hp
|2003 to 2005
|Hybrid 1.3L 85 hp
|2006 to 2011
|2012 to 2015
|2016 to 2021
All Honda Civic car models from 1988 to 2005 (except the Si and Hybrid) are equipped with timing belts and an interference engine.
Therefore, if your Honda Civic model falls between these years, it has a timing belt. However, Honda Civic car models between the year 2006 till date have timing chains and interference engines.
Handy Hint: Did you know that all Honda Civics are front wheel drive (FWD)? There’s good reason too as discussed here…
Honda Civic timing chain and belt maintenance
Now that you know what engine timing your Honda Civic has, you should know how to maintain it for longevity.
If you own a Honda Civic with a timing chain, it is very important to lubricate it to enable the engine parts that it controls to keep functioning properly. While a timing belt does not need lubrication, you should ensure that it is in good condition by servicing other parts of the engine that work with it.
Ensure to inspect every nook and cranny for damage as this can cause the engine to break down.
Another tip for maintaining your timing chain or belt is to change the engine oil regularly. Also, make sure that the oil level is normal at all times.
Handy Hint: Did you know there some big differences between a Civic DX, LX, and EX?
When your timing belt starts to fail, you will experience exhaust issues, see oil leaks, and your car’s engine might refuse to start. However, you do not have to let it get to this stage before replacing your timing belt.
For vehicles that use timing belts, the manufacturers of such cars recommend the replacement of the timing belt at mileage intervals. Although this differs, you should change your timing belt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
You can actually buy Honda Civic timing belts on Amazon if you can fit and replace it yourself.
Unlike the timing belt, the timing chain does not require periodic replacement. It can last throughout a vehicle’s lifespan without any problems except if damaged.
Signs that your timing chain needs to be replaced include repeated engine misfires, unpleasant rattling sounds, contaminated engine oil, engine running poorly, or refusal to start.
Driving with a damaged timing belt or chain can cause your engine to stop running suddenly, leading to an accident. Therefore, ensure to get a timing belt/chain replacement immediately you notice any of the above signs.
The difference between a timing belt and timing chain
Here’s a quick definition from Sun Auto Service, followed by my more in-depth version.
The timing chain functions in the same way that a timing belt does. The difference between the two is simply the material and location. One is constructed of metal and the other, a reinforced rubber. Though timing chains were used first, belts were introduced into vehicles in the 1960s. Belts are quieter and because of their material, less expensive to produce. Timing chains are housed within the engine and receive lubrication from engine oil and can last a long time, while timing belts are located outside of the engine and tend to dry out and crack.
The timing chain is the first engine timing mechanism to exist. It looks like a bicycle chain, and it makes sure that the pistons and valves in your vehicle operate effectively while being held in place by tensioners.
Do Honda timing chains need to be replaced?
Timing chains last very long and might never require replacement if your car is in use. If nothing goes wrong with your Honda Civic timing chain, it won’t need replacing.
If your timing chain does need replacing and you can replace it yourself, you might be able to find a suitable purchase on Amazon.
Since timing chains have been around for a long while, they are found in many Honda Civic models.
The timing belt, on the other hand, was first introduced in the mid-1960s. It helps to ensure the movement of the camshaft is synchronized with that of the crankshaft in a car.
This ensures that the pistons and valves inside your car function as they should. It also keeps the internal combustion engines running. Timing belts are strong and do not make as much noise as the timing chain.
However, they tend to wear after a long period of use; therefore, they need to be replaced after a long period.
These two engine timings perform the same function; therefore, there can be only one in your vehicle. However, some differences might make one seem like a better choice.
The timing chain is made from metal, while timing belts are made from rubber composites. Timing belts ensure a quieter engine, unlike the timing chain. While the timing belt is strong, it needs to be replaced periodically because it is susceptible to wear and tear.
Unlike the timing belt, you might never have to replace a timing chain. Timing chains last for a very long time, except they become damaged.
Honda Civic timing belt replacement cost
Costs for a time belt replacement will vary depending on where you live, and even if you use an official Honda dealer or an independent mechanic.
Here are some examples:
- Franchise dealer in the UK £490
- Independent mechanic average in the UK: £350
- Franchise dealer in the United States: $700
- Independent mechanic average in the United States: $500
All Honda Civics will have a timing belt or timing chain installed. If you are unsure, ask the manufacturer or dealer which yours has.