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Am I getting hosed?

I’ve got a 4cyl 1995 Camry with 190K on the clock.



The mechanic is charging me $360 to replace the harmonic balancer, cap, and rotor. That seems fair to me… what do you guys think?

What we think means nothing…If your mechanic is happy and you are happy, that’s all that counts…

Maybe so, but I just want to make sure no one comes in and says “Hey! You should only be paying $100!”

I just moved here, and don’t know much about any of the mechanics yet.

Have him check the Helsinki smash rods while your at it.

The Harmonic balancer is a big job, or at least it was on my old Prizm (Corolla). $360 seems to be about par for this.

How close are you to needing a timing belt replacement? The harmonic balancer has to come off to do the timing belt and maybe water pump. If the mechanic has not brought up the timing belt subject to you, get a second opinion. IMHO $360 sounds pretty high for just changing the harmonic balancer, cap, and rotor but I don’t know what the price of the parts would likely be. I would guess less than an hour of shop time to R&R the parts using air tools.

When you get this job done, post back so we can get some feedback on the actual cost.

I already had him do it, because the balancer was shredded and it was already at the shop.

He checked the timing belt, and said it looked good (had it done @ 130K, same time as head gasket).

And what’s strange is that it happened sort of randomly. I pulled up to the grocery store, and noticed a flapping noise. Went to look, and the alternator belt had come off the balancer, which was out of plumb. So I tightened it up enough to get my groceries and get it out of the parking lot. When I got home, the pulley for the alternator belt was completely off, and laying on the bottom of the engine compartment. Never noticed any real vibration - maybe there was enough mass left on the shaft to balance it.

Yes, that’s fair. It’s a good amount of work on a transversely mounted engine and not something most people are prepared to do themselves.

Happy motoring.

A harmonic balance is likely a $100 part. A cap and rotor from auto parts store is about $50 with markup.

That only leaves about $200 for labor. Labor obviously differs locale to locale from $60(low here) to $100/hr.

The price sounds reasonable. What doesn’t sound reasonable is eyeballing a timing belt and pronouncing it good. It’s been 60k miles and depending on just how many years ago that was it might be a good idea to do it again; and especially if the tensioners and water pump did not get replaced at that time.