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View Full Version : How many hours of labor is it for a mechanic to change a timing and fan belt


Wesley Clark
07-25-2004, 03:41 PM
I'm approaching 95k miles on my truck so i may get the timing belt and fan belt replaced soon. I think both belts would only cost about $25-30 total and i'm going to try to get a mechanic who will allow me to bring in my own parts (so he doesn't charge me 3x as much as wholesalers charge) and who will only charge me for the hourly labor.

Does anyone have any idea how many standard hours this will take a mechanic to do? Its a 1999 Ford Ranger 4 cylinder 2.5L.

David Simmons
07-25-2004, 03:57 PM
I don't have a flat rate manual handy but I'm curious as to how close I can guess. So ignore this post and pay attention only to those who do have a manual.

However my guess is 3 hours @ $60/hour plus $40 for parts. $220 total.

Have a nice day and come back again.

LolaBaby
07-25-2004, 04:15 PM
I'm approaching 95k miles on my truck so i may get the timing belt and fan belt replaced soon. I think both belts would only cost about $25-30 total and i'm going to try to get a mechanic who will allow me to bring in my own parts (so he doesn't charge me 3x as much as wholesalers charge) and who will only charge me for the hourly labor.

Does anyone have any idea how many standard hours this will take a mechanic to do? Its a 1999 Ford Ranger 4 cylinder 2.5L.
I doubt both belts TOTAL would be $25-30 total. I've worked in parts too and I 'd say a more reasonable estimate for both (even with a discount) would be at least $50.

Also, I don't know about the guy working on your truck, but quite a few mechanics also recommend replacing the water pump and the timing belt tensioner while they are "in there". Obviously that will cost a bit more. The reasoning behind this, is because of the high mileage on your truck to begin with, but if they replace belts only, and then next week your water pump craps out? Yep, you guessed it. You are going to pay double labor.

Another thing with bringing in your own parts...most mechanics won't warranty their labor if you bring in your own parts. Say he charges you $300 to do it. The belt breaks in one week. S/he isn't going to warranty the work because they didn't get the parts. So you would have to pay the $300 all over again. I don't know what general policy on your area is, but that's how it's been as long as I can remember, since I worked on cars.

stockton
07-25-2004, 09:22 PM
...Another thing with bringing in your own parts...most mechanics won't warranty their labor if you bring in your own parts.

This is absolutely true in my experience, too.

Not too relevant to the OP, but amusing:

I usually change my own oil but recently went to a quickie-lube franchise because I had an hour to kill before my new spectacles would be ready to pick up and thought I'd spend $25 and the hour it would take to change my own oil reading old magazines and watching the little TV in the waiting room.

I was ready for the guy when he walked in with my 'dirty' air filter to explain why I needed a new one. I told him that I just replaced that one two months ago and have 2 more in the trunk, there was a sale at PEP-Boys, but thanks anyway.

He is unfazed. I sat and watched them drain the oil and pump in 5 quarts of new stuff. Then he comes in with my oil cap to show me how 'black and dirty' it is. He wants to sell me the $60 'engine flush', which his records (correctly) indicate that I declined the last time I stopped in there instead of changing the oil myself.

I politely decline again, and thank him for his concern about the matter.

"If you don't do the flush, I can't give you the warranty on the oil."

ME: WTF?
HIM: If you don't do the flush, I can't give you the warranty on the oil.
ME: Is this some kind of a joke? Do people often come in and ask for their money back if the oil somehow 'fails' them?
HIM: If you don't do the flush, I can't give you the warranty on the oil.
ME: I don't like the sound of that at all. Tell you what - just put my old oil and filter back in there and park her out front and I'll try my luck at the (other quickie-oil place across the street). I'm sorry I wasted your time.
HIM: Ummmmm... we can't do that.
ME: Well, where does THAT leave us?

Taken to extremes, the non-warranty can be hilarious.

Good luck with your belts.

danceswithcats
07-26-2004, 12:19 AM
When I pumped gas as a teenager, the fellow had a sign in his shop showing a guy with a pig under one arm and a chicken under the other. It read: "You don't bring your own ham and eggs to the diner and ask them to cook breakfast, so don't bring your own parts here for installation."

Early Out
07-26-2004, 05:41 AM
When I pumped gas as a teenager, the fellow had a sign in his shop showing a guy with a pig under one arm and a chicken under the other. It read: "You don't bring your own ham and eggs to the diner and ask them to cook breakfast, so don't bring your own parts here for installation."I've also gotta figure that, if they usually make, say, a $50 profit on the parts, but they let you bring your own parts, the labor charge is magically going to be $50 higher than it would be, otherwise. You can squeeze one end of the balloon, but the balloon isn't going to get smaller - the other end is just going to get bigger.

Maus Magill
07-26-2004, 01:04 PM
IANAM, but it's been my expierence that the major expense will not be the belts, but the labor. In order to get to the timing belt, usually a large piece of the engine will have to be removed. Compaired to the cost of labor for the 3-4 hour job of moving the radiator, changing the belt, adjusting the belt, and tuning the timing, the cost of the belts ill be a drop in the bucket.

Of course all this is MUCH cheaper than letting it go, and allowing the timing belt to break.

And the correct answer to the next question your mechanic asks is, "Yes, why don't you replace the water pump while your in there." ($50 now << $300 later).

Most mechanics actually are not out to get you.

bonitahi
07-26-2004, 01:21 PM
IANAM, but it's been my expierence that the major expense will not be the belts, but the labor. In order to get to the timing belt, usually a large piece of the engine will have to be removed. Compaired to the cost of labor for the 3-4 hour job of moving the radiator, changing the belt, adjusting the belt, and tuning the timing, the cost of the belts ill be a drop in the bucket.

Of course all this is MUCH cheaper than letting it go, and allowing the timing belt to break.

And the correct answer to the next question your mechanic asks is, "Yes, why don't you replace the water pump while your in there." ($50 now << $300 later).

Most mechanics actually are not out to get you.
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My Honda dealer had a 10% off deal for my Civic belt. His deal price was $685 + 6% for service equipment plus 2% for 'stuff' plus 6% tax. Some deal! That was last fall. I took my car and had the work dine at a private garage for $374 + tax. Works great.

Maus Magill
07-26-2004, 03:20 PM
My Honda dealer had a 10% off deal for my Civic belt. His deal price was $685 + 6% for service equipment plus 2% for 'stuff' plus 6% tax. Some deal! That was last fall. I took my car and had the work done at a private garage for $374 + tax. Works great.

Well, you're talking about a dealer. Dealers are evil, and the above rule doesn't apply to them.

NurseCarmen
07-26-2004, 03:36 PM
Make?
Model?
Year?
Color? :D

threemae
07-26-2004, 03:51 PM
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My Honda dealer had a 10% off deal for my Civic belt. His deal price was $685 + 6% for service equipment plus 2% for 'stuff' plus 6% tax. Some deal! That was last fall. I took my car and had the work dine at a private garage for $374 + tax. Works great.

Not to hijack, but this reminds me of why I refuse to buy a cell phone. You pay the price plan, plus taxes, plus a lot of companies that charge $1-2/month to help cover the cost of "complying with various government regulations. This fee is not a tox nor required... blah blah blah," WTF? I mean, here's our price, plus another price just tacked on for the absolute hell of it just to allow us to charge a bit more. Uhhhggg...

cornflakes
07-26-2004, 03:57 PM
"If you don't do the flush, I can't give you the warranty on the oil."Did you offer to sue for fraud if the oil wasn't API grade SH (or whatever) and/or if it didn't perform to grade specs?


I think that the Ranger 2.5 L is a stroked version of the old 2.3L Pinto motor. I won't guess at what a mechanic will quote, but it's pretty easy thing to replace the timing belt on these engines.

LolaBaby
07-26-2004, 04:55 PM
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My Honda dealer had a 10% off deal for my Civic belt. His deal price was $685 + 6% for service equipment plus 2% for 'stuff' plus 6% tax. Some deal! That was last fall. I took my car and had the work dine at a private garage for $374 + tax. Works great.
Question is, did they do exactly the same thing and change the same parts as the dealer said they were going to change?

Dealers almost always quote the more thorough job so they can cover their own ass.

LolaBaby
07-26-2004, 05:07 PM
Called a shop I used to work at, they have Chilton's.

Labor guide time for that is 2.0 hours for the timing belt, and adds on another 0.5 for the water pump. Another hour for replacing cam and crank seal.

If I were you, and you are keeping the truck, I'd do the water pump, tensioner, and cam and crank seals while s/he's in there.

Don't be cheap, it may come back and bite ya on the rear.

Mr. Slant
07-26-2004, 06:26 PM
I think you may have your answer by now, but my approach with auto repairs is to negotiate based on the total price of the goods and services being offerred.
I could care less if my garage has $300 worth of profit in the labor for my next repair, or whether it breaks even on the labor on my next repair and marks up my parts $300.
If you don't like the quoted price from the garage in question, call another shop and see what it will cost there. If it's $20 off, big deal. If your garage is an absolute rip compared to other places, find a way to gently mention that to the service writer... see if they're paying too much for something, using non-comparable parts, or quoting a different job.

Wesley Clark
07-26-2004, 07:58 PM
Called a shop I used to work at, they have Chilton's.

Labor guide time for that is 2.0 hours for the timing belt, and adds on another 0.5 for the water pump. Another hour for replacing cam and crank seal.

If I were you, and you are keeping the truck, I'd do the water pump, tensioner, and cam and crank seals while s/he's in there.

Don't be cheap, it may come back and bite ya on the rear.

What are the cam and crank seals for? I don't know much about cars.

How much would the parts for a cam and crank seal cost at an everyday auto parts store? I am going to see a guy who charges face value on parts so that should let me get a good ballpark estimate. How many extra hours would that tack on also?

olefin
07-26-2004, 10:17 PM
I changed the broken timing belt on my Ford Courier pickup a few years back... minor job for me and it was my first one. I think it took about an hour.. but I did have a manual describing the procedure. The fan belt would have been a snap but it didn't need changing.

LolaBaby
07-27-2004, 02:49 AM
What are the cam and crank seals for? I don't know much about cars.

How much would the parts for a cam and crank seal cost at an everyday auto parts store? I am going to see a guy who charges face value on parts so that should let me get a good ballpark estimate. How many extra hours would that tack on also?

Usually seals are cheap, they'll probably cost you anywhere from $2 to $5 each...however I HAVE seen expensive seals, but I don't think this is the case for Fords.

The aforementioned cam and crank seals are what are called oil seals. (http://sterndrive.info/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/87650-oil-seal-omc-gimbal-bearing.jpg) The hard outer part fits into a machined hole, and the inner rubber seal goes around the ends of the camshaft and crankshaft (to which are attached the cam and crank sprockets). Timing set-up shown here. (http://mie.utoronto.ca/labs/cvdl/SDS2.gif) The other part I recommended was the tensioner. (http://shokan.com/catalog/images/078-109-243R.JPG) (note that these are generic pictures, I don't know exactly what your set up looks like).

As for "book time"

Another hour for replacing cam and crank seal.

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