Does The Honda CRV Have a Timing Belt or Chain?


I’m a car enthusiast, and I’ve been mulling over this question for the last few days. 

It’s not like you can’t find out, but it’s just that there is so much conflicting data on the subject. 

Some people say Honda CRV has a timing belt; others say they have a chain. 

They both sound good to me – belts are better than chains because they’re more durable and don’t need oil – but then again, chains are more accessible to change than belts, so what do I know? 

Does The Honda CRV Have a Timing Belt or Chain?

Honda CRVs are equipped with timing chains. However, unlike some other cars with timing chains, the 2002-2004 models came with a rubber belt tensioner. This is not an issue because you can still replace this rubber part with a metal one if you upgrade yours to a better, more durable option. 

Then again, this change is not necessary, and you can get away with the old belt tensioner for a while longer.

Difference Between a Timing belt and a Chain in a Car Engine

A timing belt is a rubber belt with teeth on the inside. 

It wraps around the crankshaft sprocket and camshaft sprocket to synchronize their speed at every rotation. 

The engine is timed by the timing belt, which is also responsible for opening valves when necessary. 

Timing belts are usually found in older engines.

A timing chain is a metal chain with teeth on the inside. 

It performs the same function as a timing belt. 

Timing chains are usually found in older engines, but some modern ones also use them. 

They replaced timing belts because they break and stretch, while chains can take a lot more punishment.

Timing chains don’t need to be changed, but they can stretch, which will cause problems with your engine’s timing. 

When the timing chain stretches, it will not harm the valves or pistons, but if your car is still running, then it means that you have a very faulty timing chain and shouldn’t drive much further until you replace it. 

Replacing a timing chain is not so easy and takes at least 3 hours.

Timing chain vs. Belt: Which One is Better?

Both the timing chain and the timing belt co-operate to keep engine valves timed adequately at all times. 

However, chains are typically found in older cars, while belts are usually installed in newer engines. 

On the other hand, timing chains last longer than timing belts and don’t require regular replacement – they can serve you for years and sometimes even decades.

Timing belts need to be changed every 60-80k miles or every 60000-80000 km. When the timing belt is broken, it will likely cause massive engine damage, which can cost you several thousand dollars to repair. 

Replacing a timing belt is easy and takes about an hour.

Tips for Maintaining Your Honda CRV Timing Chain

There’s not much to do in maintaining a timing chain – it should last for the lifetime of your car. 

That wouldn’t mean that you won’t have to change it sometimes because, like with any other car part, this needs occasional checks and maintenance.

It would be best to have a mechanic check if everything is alright with your timing chain after 50,000 miles. 

If you’re not sure whether your car needs maintenance or not, take it to a mechanic, and he will give you any advice on that matter.

But still, keeping your timing chain clean can prevent slippage and damage of engine valves and pistons. 

Also, replacing the timing chain tensioner will help avoid damage to valves and pistons.

Using only high-quality parts to replace the timing chain can make a big difference; cheap parts tend to last shorter than high-quality ones.

Honda CRV Timing Chain Replacement Cost

A timing chain is a part that needs to be replaced if and only if it stretches; otherwise, there’s no reason to replace it. 

Replacing a timing chain is not easy because it will take you at least 3 hours to do so. 

The price of the Honda CRV Timing Chain Replacement Cost can vary depending on where you live, but it’s about $500+ to have this service done.

 Please remember that you might need to replace the timing chain tensioner if your car is equipped with a rubber belt tensioner. 

The cost of the Honda CRV Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement can vary depending on where you live, but it’s around $300+ to have this service done.

Tips For Changing Your CRV Timing Chain

Replacing a timing chain on Honda CRV is not recommended for inexperienced mechanics and car owners. 

The most important thing would be to make sure that the engine valves are in their proper positions before installing a new timing chain because if you’ve installed it incorrectly, your car will never start again.

When changing a timing belt on Honda CRV, keep in mind that you will also need to change the timing belt tensioner – that’s because all rubber belt tensioners wear out after time, which means that if your car is equipped with a rubber one, then it must be changed with a metal one.

If your car is equipped with a plastic timing chain tensioner, you don’t even need to worry because this type of tensioner never wears out, even after 100,000 miles.

Make sure you read the manual before doing anything to your car – if you’re not confident, take it to a mechanic and let him do the job. 

If you change your timing chain on a Honda CRV, make sure that everything is done correctly.

A significant issue that might arise is the engine turning over but won’t start or starts and stops immediately. 

That means something else is wrong, probably caused by the timing chain, which was not changed when your car needed it.

How To Replace A Timing Chain On A Honda CRV

If you need to replace your timing chain, make sure you have a flat head screwdriver, 10mm socket wrench, and 21mm socket wrench.

Place the vehicle securely on jack stands or ramps. 

Make sure the emergency brake is pulled up all the way so that your car doesn’t roll backward when you’re doing the DIY.

Open the hood of your car and place it in a secure place – do not lay it on the fenders or the windshield.

First, you will need to remove some parts so that you can get to the timing chain. 

Then, move on with removing bolts: the bolt that holds the timing chain tensioner is deep inside, so you will need to use the socket wrench and 10mm socket.

After removing all bolts, remove your old timing chain.

Finally, install a new timing chain and reverse the order when putting everything back together. 

Keep in mind that if you have a rubber belt tensioner, you will need to remove and replace it with a metal one.

Benefits of Replacing your Timing Chain on Honda CRV.

If you have a broken timing chain, it will damage the engine’s valves and pistons – that’s why you will need to replace the entire engine as a whole, which will cost you a few thousand dollars.

And for timing chain tensioners, one would replace them if the engine is equipped with a rubber belt tensioner. 

You would also need to replace that timing chain tensioner with a metal one, and doing so will not benefit your engine in any way since the rubber one doesn’t do much anyway.

The DIY of replacing a timing chain on a Honda CRV takes about 3 hours and is not recommended if you know nothing about cars and engines. 

Replacing a timing chain is not easy, and it doesn’t cost much, so the best thing to do would be to take your car to a mechanic and let him deal with this – it will cost you less than $500 in total. 

Honda CRV Timing Chain Failure Symptoms

There are no symptoms for a broken timing chain other than the noise it makes and that you will not start your car. 

If you hear a clicking noise, then there is a high chance that your timing chain is stretched and needs replacement. 

You might also see some smoke coming from your exhaust if this is the case.

If you have a broken timing chain, then the oil might spill out of your engine, and it will be entering your combustion chamber – that’s why you will not be able to start your car.

If you want to know if Honda CRVs have timing belts or chains, we’ve got the answer for you. 

It turns out that Honda CRVs were made with a strap and chain system until 2004 when they switched over to just using chains. 

So not only do these vehicles come equipped with an amazingly reliable engine, but they also don’t require any maintenance on their drivetrain systems.

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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