Timing Belt Replacement

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by SethH, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Hi there,

    I have a 2000 Dodge Intrepid with the infamous 2.7 liter engine (if you haven't heard about it search google for "dodge 2.7 engine" or go to intrepidhorrorstories.blogspot.com). Anyway, to head off common problems I am planning to replace the timing belt at 80,000 miles instead of the recommended 100,000 miles. Does anyone know how much it costs to have a timing belt replaced? 80,000 will be my next oil change so I'm trying to figure out how much money I need to have on hand.
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I'd suggest just calling the local Dodge dealership's service center and getting a quote over the phone. That should be the worst case price. Then call around some other local auto repair places that service Dodges for other quotes.

    (My guess it'll range from $350-$450).

    My Hondas get the water pump replaced at the same time as the timing belt because you save on labor since you get it done at the same times (and replacing either component requires servicing the same area under the hood, so you might as well kill 2 birds with one stone).
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Thanks Patrick. I was actually going to ask about the water pump because I've heard it come up in many discussions of timing belts . . . I guess what you said explains that. Thanks.
     
  4. JamesMH

    JamesMH Stunt Coordinator

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    Yup, I agree on the $350 price point too, but it depends on where you live too.
     
  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Not familiar with that engine, but 350 in labor is probably about right. Ditto on the water pump, they're cheap, and better safe than sorry.

    To do a TB on my miata it took me about 4 hours, and $75 in parts, and another 75 for the h20 pump. The dodge might be harder, or easier [​IMG]
    There may be some seals in there to replace too, cam seals, crank seals, a belt tensioner, the dealer I'm sure will include these bits in their estimate, probably replace the pulleys too while you're there, hate to have one go out. I didn't do the idler and tensioner pulleys on the miata as they're $50 each, I probably should have.
     
  6. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the advice Philip, I will definitely ask about all of those things when I take it in to have the work done.

    Well I called three dealerships within reasonable driving distance. I asked each to give me an estimate for replacing the timing belt and water pump on a 2000 Dodge Intrepid with a 2.7 liter engine. The closest dealership put me on hold for while and then told me that my model car does not have a timing belt and to replace the water pump would be $510 labor and $102 parts. I laughed. Then I called the second one. They said they could do it all (belt/pump/labor) for $325. The third came in at $375.

    So $325 sounds like a pretty decent price from what you guys tell me. I've read on the internet that timing belts can cause problems because often mechanics put on the wrong type (I think there's three different types: 1 sqaure and 2 round or something like that). Because of this I'm rather hesitant to look for a place other than a dealership. Should I be concerned about this or should I get quotes from other places too?
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    is it possible that engine has a chain instead of a belt? if so, life is good and forget about it.

    Is there a dodge forum around? perhaps you can find a reccomended mechanic. If you go to the dealer and buy the proper belt, there should be no question on compatibility, and you probably want an OEM belt and seals and pump anyway.

    I know on my car, if a TB change isn't done properly it can lead to the crank nose breaking free [​IMG]
    There's always the DIY route too [​IMG]
     
  8. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    It actually is a timing chain. The Owner's Manual suggests replacing at 100,000 miles. I'm replacing at 80,000 becuase of very common problem where sludge causes the timing chain to break during operation destroying the engine. Here's a link to a picture of an engine that this happened to:

    http://www.hillsgarage.com/dodge_eng...ure_photos.htm

    There are a few people out there who claim that all these are caused by poor maintenance, but there are also stories of people who have records of every oil change every 3,000 miles and the chain will break as early as 50,000 miles. I bought my car with 27,000 on it, so I don't know how well it was treated before I got it, so I'm trying to do things right and make this car last as long as possible.
     
  9. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    eeentereting. Typically a chain is good nearly indefinitely. Sure they stretch a little, but they usually don't snap. If you've got an interference engine I suppose it's not worth the gamble
     
  10. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Yep, it's an interference engine. Typical going price to fix the destruction is around $5000. I can't tell you how many stories I've read about people still oweing $10,000+ on the car and having to put a rebuilt $5000 engine in it. I don't owe anything, but I certainly don't have $5000 to drop on anything except for grad school tuition (and most of that is loans)
     
  11. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    tell me about it.
     
  12. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    Wise of you to replace at 80K rather than 100K. Years ago I lost a car because of a broken timing chain/belt. The car just stopped with no warning.

    Had it checked out and turned out the belt had broken, but the engine kept running for a few seconds without it. I'm hardly a car mechanic, but if I remember correctly, I was told it bent the rods, destroyed the pistons, or whatever else may have happened. In other words, my engine was toast and the car never ran again because the repair costs were way beyond my means at that time.
     
  13. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    they are using nylon gears (gm has done that in the small block chevy for many years) those gears wear down and the chain can literally jump a tooth, when I first got out of school I was a gm mechanic we had a car a week with a bad timing chain
     
  14. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    If your car is out of warranty, I'd suggest you get a price quote from some highly regarded independent shop too. I started taking mine to one after it the warranty expired and I discovered the dealer wanted $360 for the 30,000 mile service. I went to a really good shop that a friend recommended, gave them the list of what needed to be done and it cost me less than half that. Don't tell me it's cheaper doing it myself, I know, but I'm not very talented when it comes to mechanics. Anyway, it's worth checking out. I guess the prices depend on the car and how far the engine has to be taken apart to change the belt. It's not uncommon for a dealer to charge $600 or more.
     
  15. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    most dealers now have the same pricing as local places as far as labor, many locals use parts I won't use in my cars (they get the cheapest pep boys stuff) that's where the big price difference comes in
     
  16. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    I beg to disagree with you. I don't know how it is there, but here in New York there are plenty of good qualified independent repair shops that do as good a job as a dealer using quality parts and at a better price. Sure the "hourly rate" might be the same, but most dealers use an inflated "flat rate" on most jobs. The price they quote will be based a certain number of hours labor for a specific job. If it's based on say four hours,it may actually only take two and, you've still payed for four. Hey, if you're happy using a dealer I have no problem with that, I did too for many years, but now that I've found a good independent I'll stick with him.
     
  17. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    I know gm (I worked for them) requires all their service plus dealers to have competitive rates with local independants, ford and chrysler are supposed to have similar programs. most of the independant shops I've dealt with buy parts from auto zone or advance, neither sells quality parts
     
  18. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Most around here seem to use NAPA or carquest, neither is all that bad IMO, I would never, EVER buy hard parts from checker or autozone.
    Though, with the advent of the internet I can get OEM parts for very little more than the aftermarket anymore I suppose. Learned my lesson long ago on aftermarket.
     

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