Car Repair: Timing Belt

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    Nov 02, 2011 7:36 PM GMT
    Got an estimate from my shop yesterday for replacing the timing belt.
    It's a fairly routine maintenance since many cars use belts instead of chains.

    $1,200 + including a new water pump.

    Anyone else had this done recently?

    My ride is a WRX, btw.
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    Nov 02, 2011 7:40 PM GMT
    Beaux saidGot an estimate from my shop yesterday for replacing the timing belt.
    It's a fairly routine maintenance since many cars use belts instead of chains.

    $1,200 + including a new water pump.

    Anyone else had this done recently?

    My ride is a WRX, btw.



    yeah, i just did it on my Miata last weekend. that's almost all labor. Parts is probably closer to $300-400 (what it was for me). The subie boxers are all timing belt engines except the 3.0l 6-banger (timing chain). I guarantee there's a bazillion online forums for the WRX due to its awesomeness so they'll be able to tell you whether its an easy job like on my Miata or a pain in the ass that you'll be more than willing to shell out money to avoid tackling yourself.

    Oh, is it a turbo or N/A?
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    Nov 02, 2011 7:43 PM GMT
    Eh, seems a little on the high side but within the normal range. It depends on the vehicle. Some require pretty extensive disassembly. I was all psyched up to do it myself on the 4-runner (76-step disassembly, according to the manual) when the head-gasket blew. So I bailed and had both jobs done for about $2k.
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    Nov 02, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said

    yeah, i just did it on my Miata last weekend. that's almost all labor. Parts is probably closer to $300-400 (what it was for me). The subie boxers are all timing belt engines except the 3.0l 6-banger (timing chain). I guarantee there's a bazillion online forums for the WRX due to its awesomeness so they'll be able to tell you whether its an easy job like on my Miata or a pain in the ass that you'll be more than willing to shell out money to avoid tackling yourself.

    Oh, is it a turbo or N/A?


    Yep, all the WRXs are intercooled turbos.
    The horizontal configuration makes me not want to mess with it.
    With my luck I'd have it all opened up and there'd be something I couldn't tackle myself 'cuz it requires a special tool or something.
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    Nov 02, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    one thing a good shadetree mechanic can never do too much of is read. Read, read, read, read, read and when you think you've read enough? Read some more. Before i even sold my Civic i basically devoured the online Miata forums, checked out books, BOUGHT books, talked to people. When i finally bought the car i already knew where everything was on the engine and all the common issues. Ask people who have done it before. They will be able to tell you if any special tools are needed. From my brief research just now, (i don't know your model year) here is an example of a good DIY for the service. Its for an 04 STi but it shows what a quick search of the forums will turn up.

    04 STi TIming Belt Chage


    Usually the only "special" tool you will need is an odd-sized airhammer socket for the crank bolt and you WILL need a good torque wrench. Those old analog needle ones are practically worthless so either borrow one or invest in a good micrometer-style one (make sure it has sufficient range for what you need). Some home-brew "tools" make it easier on some cars. I have a custom seal presser for my front main seal and a flatstock lever that i bolt to the crank pulley to provide leverage against the person torquing the crank bolt to 120ft/lbs.
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    Nov 02, 2011 8:07 PM GMT
    @Roadster: you're right. I should do some research. I used to spend a lot of time on NASIOC. Should see if that's still around (North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club)

    @Mindgarden: $2k. Wow. I just spent a grand on my car about 14 months ago...brakes and regular maintenance. Makes me question if it's just as expensive to keep an old car as to own a new car and lose my pants on depreciation when I sell it in 3 years.
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    Nov 02, 2011 8:12 PM GMT
    Beaux said@Roadster: you're right. I should do some research. I used to spend a lot of time on NASIOC. Should see if that's still around (North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club)


    Its around, lol. it was one of the first five results when i googled "Subaru Forum"
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    Nov 02, 2011 8:43 PM GMT
    Beaux said
    @Mindgarden: $2k. Wow. I just spent a grand on my car about 14 months ago...brakes and regular maintenance. Makes me question if it's just as expensive to keep an old car as to own a new car and lose my pants on depreciation when I sell it in 3 years.


    Wow, brakes usually cost about $30, unless the disks need to be turned. Then maybe a few hundred, if you replace the bearings too. Dunno though, the 4-runner has been through two head gasket jobs in 300,000 miles and 20 years. The first one was free because it was at the tail end of the warranty. I think that's about the only thing that I couldn't do myself in an afternoon. Oh... replacing the clutch (2x so far) was kind of a PITA - took a few days because wrestling that ginormous transmission out of there left me exhausted at the end of the day.

    Although I am about to throw in the towel and call for help on the 85 suburban. There's some electrical weirdness going on in that beast. I've traced every inch of the affected circuits and can't find anything wrong.

    One thing about old -car repairs: if you don't have the cash, you can usually put them off for a couple of months. You can't do that with new-car payments.
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    Nov 02, 2011 8:56 PM GMT
    1,200 sounds great...get it in writing; sounds low to me.

    I changed the chain and gears on our 03 Buick cost around $400. I put a new water pump on too. Had all the special tools I needed but didn't plan on charging the cooling and AC system.

    Being a belt...may be much easier though. Did my brother-in-law's MPV with twin OVC in about 3 hours spent maybe $50. It was all right there though.

    Good Luck.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Nov 02, 2011 11:48 PM GMT
    I am nothing like a mechanic, but is it not the case that the timing belt is so crucial to the operation of the car that you should be pretty experienced before you go trying to replace one? Or at least that if you have one go wrong you will wish you had a warranty.
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    Nov 02, 2011 11:53 PM GMT
    I live 1 mile from school and .5 miles from work/gym/REI/grocery store/etc.

    I drive my car once a month to Costco.
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    Nov 03, 2011 12:39 AM GMT
    Beaux saidGot an estimate from my shop yesterday for replacing the timing belt.
    It's a fairly routine maintenance since many cars use belts instead of chains.

    $1,200 + including a new water pump.

    Anyone else had this done recently?

    My ride is a WRX, btw.



    This sound very high to me. I have an older Honda Accord LX. In June 2009, I replaced the timing belt, a belt near it, the water pump, and the balance shaft seal. The bottom line was $578. I know prices have gone up in two years, but not that much. I also had the work done at a Honda Service Department, which has been the best place I've ever used for auto repair.

    The newer Honda Accords (and probably other Hondas) have been redesigned to use a timing belt, which does not have to be replaced every 60K miles. It may never have to be replaced.
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    Nov 03, 2011 12:54 AM GMT
    Yep. Usually they replace your hoses, water pump and all. You are paying for the labor as the parts are about $300 or so. The time is several hours of repair. I had this done 2 years ago on my light SUV and it was $1000. I would honestly say that unless you know of a good mechanic personally, this might be one of those repairs that you get done at the dealership. I know, I know. It's just easier to take it back if the mechanic fucks something up there versus a random shop, UNLESS, you know of a really good mechanic.
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    Nov 03, 2011 1:00 AM GMT
    wtf? lock flywheel with locking tool, mark off location of valve train sprockets, losen tensioner , remove, replace done.

    1000$ is a headgasket, not a Timing Belt...
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    Nov 03, 2011 1:03 AM GMT
    barry954 said
    Beaux saidGot an estimate from my shop yesterday for replacing the timing belt.
    It's a fairly routine maintenance since many cars use belts instead of chains.

    $1,200 + including a new water pump.

    Anyone else had this done recently?

    My ride is a WRX, btw.





    The newer Honda Accords (and probably other Hondas) have been redesigned to use a timing belt, which does not have to be replaced every 60K miles. It may never have to be replaced.


    Thats because it will either A. be burning oil by then and ready for the dump or a complete rebuild, or B. never last that long. If i have to replace my timing chain, you ll have to replace a timing belt. They are rubber and are NOT lifetime, ever. Unless you wanna be rebuilding the head, new valves , pistons, and cams , depending on how bad it fucks up when it finally does snap
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    Nov 03, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    Beaux said@Roadster: you're right. I should do some research. I used to spend a lot of time on NASIOC. Should see if that's still around (North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club)

    @Mindgarden: $2k. Wow. I just spent a grand on my car about 14 months ago...brakes and regular maintenance. Makes me question if it's just as expensive to keep an old car as to own a new car and lose my pants on depreciation when I sell it in 3 years.


    you got raped. Brakes are probably the EASIEST thing to do in the world.

    1. remove wheel
    2. open bleeder on caliper
    3. undo caliper bolts
    4. slide off, remove pads
    5. undo rotor holding screw
    6. remove
    7. new rotor on
    8. lightly screw in positioning screw by hand, DO NOT TORQUE or you will have a super fun time taking it off when it seizes
    9.insert new pads into caliper bracket
    10. squeeze brake cylinder (s) into caliper with hand ( is your bleeder open??)
    11. slide caliper back on
    12. torque on
    13. close bleeder
    14. attach a bleeder hose to it
    15. open hood check brake fluid level
    16. go into car, press brakes all the way down with car off 3 times
    17. close bleeder
    18. reinstall wheel
    19. check fluid level , top up for next bleeding of the next wheel

    Time required 30 min for all 4. Cost: depends on fluid choice and brake choice, at top end around $500 , low end 150$
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Nov 03, 2011 1:17 AM GMT
    1200 bucks or new cylinder head. Unless a non-interference head. Depends. The water pump should always be changed.

    My last alternator cost 900 bucks because its hidden by my transmission.

    Shop around mechanics. Is your car making noise or are you doing it due to a maintenance interval requirement?

    If its not making noise you can let it go a lil longer until you get a quote you want.
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    Nov 03, 2011 1:21 AM GMT
    JP85257 said1200 bucks or new cylinder head. Unless a non-interference head. Depends. The water pump should always be changed.

    My last alternator cost 900 bucks because its hidden by my transmission.

    Shop around mechanics. Is your car making noise or are you doing it due to a maintenance interval requirement?

    If its not making noise you can let it go a lil longer until you get a quote you want.


    thats alot !!! mine was 150$
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Nov 03, 2011 1:26 AM GMT
    MrPolish said
    JP85257 said1200 bucks or new cylinder head. Unless a non-interference head. Depends. The water pump should always be changed.

    My last alternator cost 900 bucks because its hidden by my transmission.

    Shop around mechanics. Is your car making noise or are you doing it due to a maintenance interval requirement?

    If its not making noise you can let it go a lil longer until you get a quote you want.


    thats alot !!! mine was 150$

    Anytime one of the accessories goes out on my car its well over 500 bucks for a repair. Still cheaper than buying a new car.

    i just his 260k miles today and it runs like a top.
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    Nov 03, 2011 3:24 AM GMT
    Wow. $1200 is a lot. I paid a little over $900 for timing belt, accessory belt, water pump, labor. And this was from the dealer too.

    XvXIS.jpg
  • austex85

    Posts: 572

    Nov 03, 2011 3:30 AM GMT
    replaced the water pump and the coolant tank and it ran me around $1,100
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    Nov 03, 2011 3:34 AM GMT
    I had it done on my VW at the same time as they were doing some other stuff and had the engine apart, and I was nearing 100k on the original one so I went for it. Total bill was $900 I don't know how much was that.
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    Nov 03, 2011 3:55 AM GMT
    I had both replaced in my Honda Accord years ago. It was a b**** to do, and then I got hit by a drunk driver going over 100mph and totaled the car a few weeks later.

    Water pumps are cursed in my family. Cars always get totaled after they are replaced.
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    Nov 03, 2011 6:54 AM GMT
    Well it maybe expensive and maybe its not,god only knows what hi needed to take off to get to your timing belt.
    And there are parts thy are must expensive and there are hands we call it like that here (that's what car mechanic charges you for his work)
    I am a car mechanic i work in a Renault shop and i just worked on an Renault Clio 1,5 DCI and he is the hardest to work on.And it was around 200 euros for him 150 for parts i think and 50 for hands that i am sure

    77712_90155345_Clio.jpg

    fda5f33f8801-640x480.jpg
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    Nov 03, 2011 2:33 PM GMT
    austex85 saidreplaced the water pump and the coolant tank and it ran me around $1,100


    coolant tank? you mean the overflow tank?