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How to Care for Your Honda or Kia Engine: Interference Engines Matter

Your Honda Civic engine, Honda Accord engine, and Kia Rio engine have something in common. While made by two different manufacturers based in different countries, all three of these motors use interference timing. Simply put, this means that as the pistons in the engine go up and down, the intake and exhaust valves go in and out as well. Further, they are timed to ensure they do not smash into the piston.

The bad news is that if you do not maintain the engine parts related to your timing, you can very easily destroy your engine. The good news is that this is standard maintenance work that any mechanic will be familiar with. We’ll cover the few minor things you as a consumer need to know.

The Honda Civic engine and the Honda accord engine use higher quality timing components in any generation than the Kia Rio engine does. Both the belts and the actual components are higher quality for the Honda family.

The industry standard replacement interval for a timing belt is 5 years or 60,000 miles. Typically, a Honda Civic engine can get away with 100,000 miles, which the Honda Accord engine can get away with 12,000 miles. Keep in mind that you should replace at 60,000 miles though, since replacing a timing belt is incredibly inexpensive compared to replacing an engine.

Your Kia Rio engine should have the timing belt replaced at 55,000 miles. The engine itself is a good engine, whether you have the 1.5L or the 1.6L version, but the timing leaves much to be desired.

Any time you replace the timing belt on a vehicle with an interference engine, you will always want to replace the water pump at the same time. The reason for this is two fold.

First, and most importantly, the timing belt drives the water pump. If the water pump “locks up” then you will strip the teeth from the timing belt or snap the timing belt. At this point, your engine will go out of time, and destroy itself.

The second reason is that when replacing the timing belt on any of these engines, you’re already doing 75% of the work required to replace the water pump. You’ll save money replacing your timing belt and water pump simultaneously.

The Honda Accord engine is larger, more powerful, and better manufactured than either the Honda Civic engine or the Kia Rio engine. You could get by with not replacing the timing components in it when replacing the belt, but companies such as Gates have found component kits significantly reduce timing belt failures. The Honda Civic engine can also typically get by without a timing component failure.

When replacing the timing belt on your Kia Rio engine, you should always install a new timing component kit. Gates makes an excellent timing component kit, and taking advantage of it can prevent premature failure of your Kia Rio engine.

To summarize, all interference engines should have regular timing belt, timing component, and water pump replacement in addition to other standard maintenance. Following the manufacturer or industry recommended replacement intervals can add years of life to your vehicle, and prevent it from going to the junk yard for reasons that are 100% preventable.

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Rivarossi HO Scale Rio Southern Pacific 4 8 8 2 Cab Forward Steam Engine Boxed
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Athearn HO Scale Rio Grande Engine
Athearn HO Scale Rio Grande Engine
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BACHMANN HO SCALE PRAIRE STEAM ENGINE  TENDER  51517 RIO GRANDE
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Miller Engineering HO N Rio Grande Bb MLR440602
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MTH SD70ACe Diesel Engine Denver Rio Grande with Lok Sound Select and Keep Alive
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7027 Atlas HO Alco RS 3 Engine Rio Grande NIB
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7028 Atlas HO Alco RS 3 Engine Rio Grande NIB
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Roundhouse 89564 HO Denver  Rio Grande Western EMD Diesel Engine Model 40 59
Roundhouse 89564 HO Denver Rio Grande Western EMD Diesel Engine Model 40 59
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Miller Engineering O HO RIO GRANDE BB MLR880601 NEW
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Mantua 313 610 Rio Grande Southern 2 6 2 Steam Engine  Tender HO Scale
Mantua 313 610 Rio Grande Southern 2 6 2 Steam Engine Tender HO Scale
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athearn RIO GRANDE powered engine HO scale
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37 105 Kato HO NW2 Phase I Denver Rio Grande Engine NIB
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8025 Stewart HO F3 Dummy B Engine Denver Rio Grande NIB
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Miller Engineering 440602 HO N Denver Rio Grande Western Animated Billboard
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Miller Engineering 880601 O HO Denver Rio Grande Western Animated Billboard
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Athearn 98123 SW1000 Denver Rio Grande Engine 140 HO MIB
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KATO 37 04A DENVER  RIO GRANDE EMD GP35 Phase 1b DIESEL ENGINE 3044 HO SCALE
KATO 37 04A DENVER RIO GRANDE EMD GP35 Phase 1b DIESEL ENGINE 3044 HO SCALE
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Vintage AHM Locomotive Engine 6001 HO Gauge Train Model Rio Grande Diesel
Vintage AHM Locomotive Engine 6001 HO Gauge Train Model Rio Grande Diesel
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NEW AHM FREIGHT SET 100446 ILLINOIS CENTRAL ENGINE UNION PACIFIC CAR RIO GRANDE
NEW AHM FREIGHT SET 100446 ILLINOIS CENTRAL ENGINE UNION PACIFIC CAR RIO GRANDE
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ATHEARN HO scale Diesel Engine SW 1000 RIO GRANDE DUMMY No 3952 NIB
ATHEARN HO scale Diesel Engine SW 1000 RIO GRANDE DUMMY No 3952 NIB
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Vtg Kawai Model Tokyo Japan Rio Grande 2 8 0 Brass Engine Tender Powered HO
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Atlas 10002005 HO Denver Rio Grande Western EMD GP7 Diesel Engine without Dyna
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ATHEARN  RIO GRANDE DRGW GP 40 2 PWR DIESEL ENGINE 3099 HO Scale Trainmint
ATHEARN RIO GRANDE DRGW GP 40 2 PWR DIESEL ENGINE 3099 HO Scale Trainmint
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atlas rio grande powered engine HO scale
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Athearn HO Rio Grande Diesel Locomotive Engine For Parts or Restoration
Athearn HO Rio Grande Diesel Locomotive Engine For Parts or Restoration
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KATO HO SCALE  37 049 DENVER  RIO GRANDE EMD GP 35 DIESEL ENGINE 3029
KATO HO SCALE 37 049 DENVER RIO GRANDE EMD GP 35 DIESEL ENGINE 3029
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ATHEARN HO RIO GRANDE SD 50 POWERED DIESEL ENGINE DCC PLUG ITEM 8045 NIB
ATHEARN HO RIO GRANDE SD 50 POWERED DIESEL ENGINE DCC PLUG ITEM 8045 NIB
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ATHEARN HO SCALE RIO GRANDE GP40 2 POWERED DIESEL ENGINE ITEM 89075 ROAD 3095
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ATHEARN HO RIO GRANDE GP40 2 POWERED DIESEL ENGINE ITEM 79843 ROAD 3120 NIB
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ATHEARN HO SCALE RIO GRANDE AC4400 DIESEL ENGINE DCC PLUG ITEM 78833
ATHEARN HO SCALE RIO GRANDE AC4400 DIESEL ENGINE DCC PLUG ITEM 78833
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MOW TRAINS HO Walthers RIO GRANDE Engineering Car DRGW X 4236 Work Train Kit
MOW TRAINS HO Walthers RIO GRANDE Engineering Car DRGW X 4236 Work Train Kit
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Miller Engineering 440602 Rio Grande Animated HO Billboard or Roof Top Sign MIP
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Miller Engineering HO N Scale RIO GRANDE Lighted Billboard NEW 44 0602
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Vintage Tested Loco Engine TYCO MANTUA RIO GRANDE SHARK NOSE 5628 BLACK ORANGE
Vintage Tested Loco Engine TYCO MANTUA RIO GRANDE SHARK NOSE 5628 BLACK ORANGE
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HO Scale Train RIO GRANDE 3154 Locomotive Engine No box
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HO Athearn RTR Rio Grande GP40 2 diesel engine in original box
HO Athearn RTR Rio Grande GP40 2 diesel engine in original box
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