How To Test For A Broken Timing Belt (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L)

TEST 2: Check That The Camshaft Turns

This test is designed so that you can visually verify that the timing belt is turning as you crank the engine in your Honda Accord (or Odyssey or Prelude or Isuzu Oasis).

Just a friendly reminder: be careful, be alert, take all necessary safety precautions when doing any test that involves a cranking engine.

  1. 1

    Make sure the battery is fully charged so that you can easily crank the Honda's engine.

  2. 2

    Now, using the appropriate tools, remove the valve cover and then the top plastic timing belt cover.

    The timing belt cover is a two piece cover. No need to remove the bottom part, just the top one.

  3. 3

    Once the top plastic timing belt cover is removed and the Camshaft Gear is exposed, have your helper crank the Honda.

  4. 4

    As the engine is cranking, observe the camshaft gear (from a safe distance).

  5. 5

    You'll see one of two things:

    1.) The camshaft gear will turn as the engine cranks or

    2.) The camshaft gear will NOT turn as the engine turns over.

OK, now that the testing part is done, let's take a look at what your results mean:

CASE 1: The camshaft gear turned as the engine was cranking. This let's you know that the timing belt is not broken. No further testing is required.

CASE 2: The camshaft gear DID NOT turn as the engine was cranking. This result tells you that the timing belt is broken and needs to be replaced.

Timing Belt Is OK, But My Honda Still Doesn't Start

If you've tested the timing belt and have gone as far as checking that the timing marks, on the cam and crank gears, are all synchronized and yet your Honda doesn't wanna' start, then this section might help.

There are several things that when they fail will cause your Honda to not start. As you might already be aware, your Honda's engine needs 3 things to start: air (compression), fuel and spark.

If any one of these is missing, your Honda Accord (or Odyssey or Prelude or Isuzu Oasis) will crank but not start.

If I where in your shoes, I would:

  1. Check for spark first.
  2. check engine compression.
  3. Check the fuel pump.
    • Testing to see if fuel can be verified with a can of starting fluid (after you've made sure all 4 cylinders are getting spark).
    • The following tutorial will help test for a lack of fuel condition: How To Test The Fuel Pump (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
  4. A blown head gasket.

If your Honda Accord is OBD II equipped, you should also check for any codes that may be registered in the PCM's memory and see if they need to be troubleshooted (since not all trouble codes are related or cause a no-start condition).

Related Articles

I've written quite a few Honda ‘how to’ tutorials that may be of interest to you. The ones located here in this Web Site, you can find here: Honda 2.2L, 2.3L Index Of Articles.

Here's a sample of the tutorials you'll find in the index:

At, I have an in depth test article of the distributor-type ignition system on all distributor equipped 4 cylinder Hondas. You can find that article here: How To Test The Accord, Civic and Odyssey Distributor Type Ignition System.

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Honda Vehicles:

  • Accord 2.2L, 2.3L
    • 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Odyssey (EX LX) 2.2L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
  • Prelude 2.2L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996

Acura Vehicles:

  • CL 2.2L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999

Isuzu Vehicles:

  • Oasis 2.2L
    • 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999