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Timing belts don't stretch, timing chains do.

That being said, I am always wondering the longevity of other components in the chain, like tensioners or idler pulley etc. Do they last a lifetime? Also water pump. Do they move water pump to drive belt when using chains? Thanks

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on most non hybrid vehicles the water pump is driven by a V belt or serpentine belt, as are the AC compressor, power steering, alternator. None that I know of are driven by the timing chain.

Timing chain vehicles in general have a hydraulic chain tensioner to apply a slight amount of pressure to keep the chain under mild tension.

there are a few vehicles where the water pump is gear driven off the crankshaft, the ones I'm aware of are all diesels, the GM duramax is one with a gear drive water pump. I suspect one reason is to reduce side load on the pump shaft from a serpentine belt to increase water pump life. On the duramax diesel water pump replacement is extremely rare, even on vehicles approaching 300K-500K+ miles.

On newer non hybrid vehicles there seems to be a migration to electric drive for power steering, probably to increase fuel mileage. Most/all hybrids have gone to electric drive for water pump, AC, power steering and brake booster. Our MDX hybrid is one such vehicle.
 

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Okay, that makes sense. The main concern is the tensioner then. I often notice Honda vehicles needing to replace hydraulic tensioners. Maybe when cars are migrated to timing chains, they started to use extra heavy duty tensioners?

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That being said, I am always wondering the longevity of other components in the chain, like tensioners or idler pulley etc. Do they last a lifetime? Also water pump. Do they move water pump to drive belt when using chains? Thanks
'Lifetime' really boils down to 'until something breaks' or 'until I get rid of the car'. I kept my 1998 Durango for 235K miles and never had any issues with the timing chain or associated gears although I changed the water pump on it at least 4 times.

Regardless - I wouldn't use the point of whether the car used a chain or belt as a criteria as to whether to buy it even though it's annoying to have to replace the belt at an interval.
 

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Okay, that makes sense. The main concern is the tensioner then. I often notice Honda vehicles needing to replace hydraulic tensioners. Maybe when cars are migrated to timing chains, they started to use extra heavy duty tensioners?

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when mfg first went to serpentine belts to drive the accesories the spring tensioner did seem to be a common replacement item, usually about the time the belt needed replacing. Vehicles in the last 10-15 years seems like mfg have solved that problem so the tensioners (usually the bearing) failure have gone way down,.
 

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I had a base 2018, only 27k miles and it was a total loss. I got rear-ended by some dumb ass in a RAM pickup truck. So I went in yesterday to check out the 22 MDX, and I have to say it is a lot wider and longer than my 18. The dealer had only two models, A-spec and base SHAWD. I just love the look of the exterior, but not too sure about the interior because of the black piano plastic parts. I did not have a chance to test drive the car because it was getting late. Overall, I really like it. I will go back in a week to test drive and make my final decision. My 18 was financed, so this time I am planning to lease the base SHAWD. Does anyone have any experience with leasing a car in general? I asked the salesperson about the current special offer and he just totally ignored me lol. Thank you.
 

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22 MDX, and I have to say it is a lot wider and longer than my 18.
Just curious - does the 2022 allow for laying a 4 foot wide item in the back - ex: 4'x8' sheet (even though a couple of feet might be sticking out the back). My 2014 does not accommodate a 4 foot wide item in the back, which is limiting and annoying for some hardware store runs.
 

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Just curious - does the 2022 allow for laying a 4 foot wide item in the back - ex: 4'x8' sheet (even though a couple of feet might be sticking out the back). My 2014 does not accommodate a 4 foot wide item in the back, which is limiting and annoying for some hardware store runs.
I just picked black on black yesterday. Drove over 150 miles to get home. I will answer once I have a chance.
 

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It drives amazing. Way better than my FWD 2018 for sure. My 2022 is SHAWD and its still drive smooth, and it does not have the transmission jerking problem. It has less wind noise, feel very stable and solid. In all modes; comfort, normal and sport feels lighter than the 2018. You can change that in the setting.
 

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Just curious - does the 2022 allow for laying a 4 foot wide item in the back - ex: 4'x8' sheet (even though a couple of feet might be sticking out the back). My 2014 does not accommodate a 4 foot wide item in the back, which is limiting and annoying for some hardware store runs.
In back of the 2022, the narrowest opening is around 3'11" so you can't lay a 4 foot item flat. You can tilt it at an angle. I forgot to measure the length from rear to the front because I have baby car seat. Too lazy to remove it. Will measure once I have a chance.
 

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It drives amazing. Way better than my FWD 2018 for sure. My 2022 is SHAWD and its still drive smooth, and it does not have the transmission jerking problem. It has less wind noise, feel very stable and solid. In all modes; comfort, normal and sport feels lighter than the 2018. You can change that in the setting.
I confirm, the 2022 does not have transmission jerking problem as 2018. Drives much, much smoother. It feels very different compared to 2018. Different in a good way.
 

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i know a friend with original belt at 165k on a 2014. he thought it's a chain
Damn, so Honda did improve the J series engines over 3 decades and its even as reliable as Toyota engines, especially the timing belt.

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I haven't heard or really looked to see if folks had issues with timing belts once they go over the recommended 7yr/105,000 miles change interval. Seems like the timing belt can do at least 50%-75% over that time/mileage without issue (if they really wanted to push it). Not sure of why that is such a big deal considering the amount we spend on gas, tire, brakes, car washing/PPF/ceramic coating, unexpected repairs, and scheduled maint. Just skip fast food 2X-3X a month and the timing belt service is paid for in less than 5yrs later.
 
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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
While my 14 MDX has a timing belt that is about to require replacement (I just passed 99K miles yesterday and they’re due at 105K), I also have an Infiniti G37 S coupe w/manual transmission. It and all the Infiniti cars I’ve had before were timing chain equipped (not belt), and each one was serviced at Infiniti dealers for most of their lives. On Infiniti V6 engines such as mine, the cam chain is considered a “lifetime part” which is only replaced if it were exhibiting signs of wearing out such as looseness, noises from the chain, etc. I once asked the Svc mgr and he said there’s no fixed interval to change the chain but on older cars they always look at it (listen and otherwise diagnose an impending problem). My previous Infiniti cars (FX35 and G20) went over 165K miles and 187K miles respectively before they were each involved in accidents which totaled them but the timing chains never needed service (both were regularly serviced at Infiniti dealers) and were never replaced.

My statement that belts were cheaper than chains oversimplified things, so I’ll add that timing chains also have chain adjustment guides/tensioners which keep the chains on track (toothed cogs instead of a belt’s pulleys) and add pressure against the chains to keep them from slipping. All that extra hardware is much more costly to build up front than cheaper (but relatively long lasting) belt and pulleys. Both are “different ways to skin a cat”. One costs more on the front end, the other more on the back end, so when buying new that’s a factor one might consider. If you keep your cars a long time (as I obviously do) then a timing chain means (all else being equal) that engine is more durable and cheaper to maintain than a timing belt-equipped engine. Timing belts break and do stretch far more frequently than timing chains - hence the replacement interval for belts. I know that I won’t be a happy camper come this summer when I have to shell out big bucks for the timing belt service (which admittedly includes much more than just changing the belt). For me the difference between Acura’s use of a belt vs some competitors’ use of chains is probably moot as I am leaning toward an electric vehicle when my MDX is ostensibly “done”; hopefully not for another 5+ years with scheduled service. As for my G37, I drive it less than 5K miles per year so it’ll easily last into the next decade, no timing chain replacement required.
Timing chains, tensioners and guides will last the life of the car if you change the oil regularly. Some people don't do oil changes and the sludge and broken down oil from gasoline getting past the piston rings accelerates timing chain wear exponentially.
 

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Timing chains, tensioners and guides will last the life of the car if you change the oil regularly. Some people don't do oil changes and the sludge and broken down oil from gasoline getting past the piston rings accelerates timing chain wear exponentially.
MDX has a timing belt, not a timing chain and it needs to be changed per manufacturer timeline or mileage. You are giving very bad information if you are talking about the Honda/Acura j35 motor.
 
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