Honda Jazz Engine Problems

Looking at a second-hand Jazz for our eldest's first car. Does the engine have a timing belt or chain?

Answered by CarsGuide 6 Sep 2021

The subject of a Honda Jazz timing belt or chain comes up pretty frequently, as would-be owners try to gauge how reliable these hard-working little engines are. For those who prefer solid, low-maintenance motoring, the news is good, because all three Australian-delivered generations of the Honda Jazz have used the company’s L series engines which feature a timing chain rather than a rubber timing belt.

The task of the timing chain or timing belt is exactly the same: They take drive from the engine’s crankshaft to the camshaft and, in the process, keep all the moving parts in harmony. Many car makers moved away from a timing chain to the rubber, toothed drive belt as a way of simplifying engine design and driving down the cost of each engine. The rubber timing belt is also quieter in its operation and is also less prone to stretching (as a timing chain can) so the camshaft (commonly referred to as the cam) stays in perfect synch with the rest of the engine’s rotating parts. The timing belt is a simpler design because it doesn’t need to be tensioned via oil pressure from the engine as many timing chain systems are.

The timing chain, meanwhile, is preferred by some manufacturers (and their customers) because it should last the lifetime of the engine and never need replacement. This isn’t always the case, however, and some engines designs from a variety of manufacturers suffer problems in this regard. But, in a properly maintained engine of sound design, the timing chain should never need attention, while the rubber timing belt generally requires periodic replacement, usually between 60,000 and 120,000km depending on the make and model.

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Toyota Yaris 2011 and Honda Jazz 2005: Engine longevity

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Feb 2020

A few factors determine engine longevity, so let’s start with the first of those, the basic materials and design of the engine in question. Both the Toyota and Honda have advanced small-capacity engines that are made from quality materials. So that’s in their favour.

The second factor is servicing. A lack of regular maintenance including fresh oil and filters will kill engines fast, so that’s crucial. And finally, how they are driven will also play a part. An engine that only does long distances in the country will always last longer than one that is subjected to frequent cold starts and stop-start traffic. An engine that is regularly revved to redline between the gears will also potentially die younger than one that is driven sensibly and with a bit of mechanical sympathy.

The bottom line? There’s no short answer. But I have seen small-capacity Honda and Toyota engines clock up 250,000km and more with correct maintenance. Things have certainly changed from the 1950s when the average car engine needed a rebuilt every 100,000km and what was called a de-coke and valve-grind every 30,000km. Ask your grandfather about it.

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Honda Jazz excessive fuel consumption

Answered by CarsGuide 2 Nov 2012

Not specifically, but the people who told you that it might improve after 5000-6000 km are having a lend of you; using premium for a short period, give me a break. Take the car back and demand they fix it. Honda claims it will do 6.6 L/100 km, and while the published fuel consumption is for comparison purposes the real life result should be close to that number. Yours is way off the mark, something is wrong with it.

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