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James my wife talked me into changing the timing belt on my Honda Odyssey. All went well until I started it up. It runs well with the exception of the “Check Engine” light coming on and the power steering pump makes a whining noise. I dropped by the local parts store where I bought the timing belt and the code says I am off on my timing belt alignment marks. I tore the engine apart again and inspected the belt marks and all is well nothing out of place. I clear the codes and the check engine light stays off. If I drive very slowly it stays off. Not until I get down on the gas pedal does the “Check Engine” light come on with the same code. Any ideas before I pull my hair out? Jim H. Callaway

Jim, Let me address the power steering noise first. When you worked on the replacement of the timing belt you turned the steering wheel without the engine running. When you did this air was forced into the power steering hydraulic system. To solve this problem start the car up, turn the steering wheel hard to the left and shut the car off. Wait five minutes, start the car up and turn the steering wheel hard to the right and shut the car off. Normally after doing this a couple of times all the air will purge out of the system and the noise goes away. Now to the timing belt code saying you are off on your installation marks. What I have found on Acura’s and Honda’s is the NEW aftermarket timing belt is the problem. If the timing belt is not from Honda, then that is your problem. I have had the same thing happen to me a few years ago and that stopped me from buying aftermarket timing belts. They may look the same, but they are not! Just 2/32 off on the belt alignment marks will cause this problem on Hondas and Acura V/6 engines. Live long and prosper. James Morris

 

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