What Are the Best Practices for Replacing the Timing Belt on a Honda NSX?

In the intricate world of car maintenance, the timing belt is one of the vital components demanding your utmost attention. It’s a crucial part of your engine, ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently. For the owners of the Honda NSX, popularly known for its high-performance capabilities, the timing belt is of significant importance.

In this article, we’ll explore the best practices for replacing the timing belt on a Honda NSX. Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a car enthusiast with a knack for DIY tasks, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the information you need.

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Understanding the Importance of the Timing Belt

Before we delve into the specifics of replacing the timing belt, it’s crucial to comprehend why it is so important. The timing belt, also known as the cambelt, plays an essential role in your car’s engine. It synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft, ensuring that your engine’s valves open and close at the correct time during each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes.

The timing belt is mainly made of rubber and, over time, it can wear out, lose its tension, or even break. If this happens while the engine is running, it can cause severe damage, sometimes leading to the need for a complete engine replacement.

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Therefore, replacing your timing belt at the right time is crucial for preventing expensive repairs and prolonging the lifespan of your Honda NSX.

When To Replace the Timing Belt

Perhaps you’re thinking, "So, when is the right time to replace my timing belt?" In most cases, car manufacturers provide a guideline for timing belt replacement, usually based on the mileage of your car.

For Honda NSX owners, the manufacturer recommends replacing the timing belt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. However, if your vehicle is often exposed to extreme temperatures or if you regularly drive in stop-and-go traffic or on short trips, you might need to replace it sooner.

Also, if you notice any signs of wear, such as cracking or glazing on the belt, or if your engine is not running smoothly, don’t hesitate to get the timing belt checked by a professional service provider.

Replacing the Timing Belt: A Step-by-Step Guide

Despite appearing intimidating, replacing the timing belt on a Honda NSX can be accomplished with the right tools, guidance, and a decent amount of patience.

The first step is to gather all necessary tools and materials, including a new timing belt, a pulley puller, and a torque wrench. Next, make sure to protect your work area with a drop cloth or a sheet of plastic to prevent damage from any spills or leaks.

The process begins by removing the engine cover and various other components to access the timing belt. Once accessed, the old timing belt can be removed by loosening the tensioner pulley.

After removal, you should examine the water pump and the timing belt tensioner. If they exhibit signs of wear, it’s a great idea to replace them simultaneously with the belt, to save on labor costs in the future.

The new timing belt can then be installed and the tensioner pulley tightened to the required specification. After installation, a thorough inspection is required to ensure proper alignment of the timing marks and perfect tension of the belt.

Watch Out For Common Pitfalls

While replacing the timing belt, it’s important to be mindful of common pitfalls that could potentially damage your car or lead to a poor installation. One common mistake is turning the camshaft or crankshaft when the timing belt is removed, which can result in the pistons hitting the valves.

Another pitfall to avoid is using the wrong tools. For example, a regular wrench or socket should never be used to turn the engine. Instead, a pulley holding tool or a breaker bar should be utilized to prevent damage to the engine.

Furthermore, before starting the engine after the new belt is installed, always double-check your work. Ensure all tools are removed from the engine area, and all bolts and connections are secure.

Lastly, remember to keep a record of the belt change and the mileage at which it was performed. This will be helpful for future maintenance and can be a selling point if you ever decide to sell your car.

So there you have it! With these guidelines and best practices, you’re well-equipped to tackle the task of replacing the timing belt on your Honda NSX. Remember, proper maintenance will not only prolong the life of your vehicle but also enhance your driving experience. So, don’t delay and get that timing belt replaced in good time.

Understanding the Role of Water Pump in Timing Belt Replacement

Understanding the function of the water pump in relation to the timing belt is vitally important when planning to replace the timing belt on your Honda NSX. The water pump, a fundamental segment of your vehicle’s cooling system, circulates coolant throughout the engine to prevent overheating.

The water pump and timing belt in a Honda NSX are located in close proximity. This means that when replacing the timing belt, it is fairly convenient to inspect and, if necessary, replace the water pump. Although it might seem like an extra effort and upfront cost, replacing the water pump while you’re already working on the timing belt can save you time, labor, and potential issues down the road.

A failing water pump can lead to engine overheating and potential severe damage, just like a failing timing belt. Signs of a failing water pump include coolant leaks, overheating, or a whining sound coming from the front of your engine. If you notice any of these indications, or if your water pump has been in use for many miles, it would be highly recommend that you replace it alongside the timing belt.

Using the Right Tools: From Pulley Puller to Breaker Bar

Without the correct tools, replacing a timing belt can be a cumbersome, if not impossible task. Luckily, having the right tools at your disposal significantly simplifies the process. The main tools needed for this job include a new timing belt, a pulley puller, and a torque wrench.

The pulley puller is used to remove the pulley from the crankshaft. Using the wrong tool for this task could damage the pulley or the crankshaft, leading to more complications. When it comes to tightening the pulley bolt, a torque wrench is essential. It lets you apply a specific amount of force to the bolt, preventing over-tightening that could damage the bolt or under-tightening that could lead to the bolt coming loose.

The breaker bar is another important tool to have. It is used to prevent the crankshaft pulley from rotating when removing the pulley bolt. Again, using the wrong tool, such as a regular wrench, could result in damage.

Remember, a crank pulley can be stubborn and tough to remove. Patience, combined with the correct tools, will ensure you succeed without causing any damage.


Replacing the timing belt on your Honda NSX is a crucial maintenance task that can drastically prolong the lifespan of your vehicle. Not only does it prevent costly engine damage, but it also ensures that your car continues to deliver the high-performance driving experience that Honda NSX owners love.

By understanding the role of the water pump, using the correct tools, and carefully following the step-by-step guide, even a novice can successfully replace a timing belt. However, if you find the task too daunting, seeking the assistance of a professional Honda tech is always a wise decision.

Remember, preventive maintenance is always better than reactive repairs. Don’t wait for your timing belt to fail before deciding to replace it. Instead, heed the manufacturer’s recommendation and replace it every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Not only will this ensure your Honda NSX keeps running smoothly, but it will also provide you with peace of mind on the road.

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