Changing timing belt and water pump 1998 4Runner



The dealer want to charge me about $2000 for changing timing belt and water pump. Is this something I can accomplish with the help of certified ASE mechanic or should I let the dealer do it. On the military base they have certified ASE mechanics and they help you but you have to turn the wrench.


Wow, wow. $2k is insane.

$500-$800 is about par for this it seems like.

I would love to change my own T-belt for the learning experience and pride & satisfaction of doing the work myself, provided a professional was overseeing things.

I would capitalize on this opportunity, but that’s just me.


There is nothing special about this engine. Any good mechanic can perform this task. $2000 is awfully high. I’d get another estimate from a good independent.


I would check out the base hobby shop in person and find out what the real deal is and how long before you can get in…Rubber timing belts are an outrage by themselves, but $2000 to change one is larceny…


It does sound very, very high but if the dealer is in a high labor rate area like SF and using Toyota OEM parts it’s possible that it could legitimately reach that high.
(Seems like I read that some labor rates in the SF area are 200-250 per flat rate hour and even if 5 or 6 hours labor was figured along with parts, sales tax, enviro fees, and shop supplies charge it could easily hit that amount.)

It would definitely be cheaper to DIY if you’re even mildly mechanically inclined. Keep in mind that an ASE certification does not necessarily mean good mechanical ability. It just means that someone checked enough mulitiple choice answers on a test correctly.


They want to charge right in the ballpark of the bluebook price? No brainer.

Just be sure to preserve the rubber seals that go around the cover. They are actually several hundred dollars and it is a Dealer-only item.


You can see the replacement instructions at You’ll have to register, and choose a password to see the info.
No mechanic wants to do the look-over-the-shoulder instruction with someone who is not prepared. So, get the repair manual, and study it before going to the hobby shop. Take the supplies you’ll need, such as motor oil, antifreeze, parts. The hobby shop should have the impact wrench, hand tools, and jack stands you’ll need.
This is one of the easier timing belt changes (compared to other vehicles). The front of the V6 engine points toward the front of the truck.


Thank you guys so much. You guys are great. I will take all of your advice and I will shop around. Thank you guys again.