All engines covered by this guide utilize timing belts to drive the camshaft from the crankshaft's turning motion and to maintain proper valve timing. Some manufacturers schedule periodic timing belt replacement to assure optimum engine performance, to make sure the motorist is not stranded should the belt break (as the engine will stop instantly), and for some (manufacturers with interference motors), to prevent the possibility of severe internal engine damage should the belt break.
Because the engines are classified as interference motors (listed by the manufacturer as an engine whose valves might contact the pistons if the camshaft was rotated separately from the crankshaft), Acura recommends changing the timing belt at 90,000 miles (144,000 km) or 72 months which ever occurs first.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to replace the timing belt, you would be wise to check it periodically to make sure it has not become damaged or worn. Generally speaking, a severely worn belt may cause engine performance to drop dramatically, but a damaged belt (which could give out suddenly) may not give as much warning. In general, any time the engine timing cover(s) is (are) removed, you should inspect the belt for premature parting, severe cracks or missing teeth. Also, an access plug is provided in the upper portion of the timing cover so that camshaft timing can be checked without cover removal. If timing is found to be off, cover removal and further belt inspection or replacement is necessary.
See Figures 1 through 8