Cost of Timing Belt replacement

Hello! I have a 2004 Subaru Outback Legacy, with approx. 105,000 miles on it. I’ve had it for about three years and drive it quite a bit. I just replaced all four brake pads & rotors, which was the first major repair i’ve had to do since I bought it. The garage told me at that time that I really need to replace my timing belt as well, which he estimated would cost about $1,000---- I am not that knowledgeable about cars, but this seemed a lot— several people I know have had their timing belts replaced for around $600. While I was there, the guy who owns the garage had a conversation with one of his mechanics asking him if he “thought he could do what he did to his friend’s/cousin’s timing belt to mine” / after talking about the mileage on mine, they said I should really do it “this way”, meaning it would still cost 1,000. I want to do it the right / safe way—and am planning on getting a second opinion, but just curious what the average price is, and if the mileage / year of my car would or should make a difference. I appreciate any helpful advice! Thanks!

We had our 03 Legacy done about two months ago, and the price was around $900 or so. This included a full timing belt kit with tensioners, new thermostat and water pump, and accessory belts. I use an independent shop. Verify if you are getting about the same parts replaced.

Also keep in mind that your costs could be higher due to geographic location. East and west coast labor is generally higher than what I pay.

As jayhawkroy implies, no proper timing belt job involves only the replacement of the belt. But one can’t count of a standardized list of what will be done. Get a full and complete list of what - exactly - will be done with the belt and post it.

Just FYI: Most of it is probably wise to do, and most of the cost of a timing belt job is in the labor. However, giving people a breakdown of the estimate - parts & labor will help in making comments about whether or not the price is in the ball park.

Your car is due for timing belt replacement based on mileage. Better to do it now than before it breaks.

As for cost, here at my shop, the price to replace just the timing belt–nothing else–would be about $350. To replace the timing belt, hydraulic timing belt tensioner, timing belt pulleys, camshaft and crankshaft oil seals, water pump, thermostat, bypass hose, accessory belts, coolant, about $950.

It’s reasonable to expect a water pump, oil seal, tensioner, etc. to last 100,000 miles, so those parts may not show any fault now. But if one of those parts fails 2 years from now, you’ll be paying for the same job again, and then some, also with the chance of doing major engine damage.

It’s your car and your money, you decide. Any reasonable shop should give you options as to how to maintain your car.

Thanks everybody---- I went to another shop, a little further away, that is family owned, where my sister gets work done on her car. The owner was able to give me an exact list of what might need to get replaced (additional belts, water pump, etc.), as well as a lower estimate-- maybe cheaper labor?? Either way… getting it replaced tomorrow.

I spent $450 getting the timing belt, tensioner and pulleys replaced on a 2005 Legacy GT. The water pump and other stuff is prudent but not critical.

My 2002 Sienna had the belt replaced at 90,000 miles. At that time, Toyota recommended inspecting the other parts. They said all were okay. Now, at 180,000 miles they said the other parts needed changed, so I did. That is Toyota, the difference is part of what you pay extra for as a new car.

Note also that maintenance will affect this. A water pump which is pumping mostly acid will certainly need replacing more often than one which has been kept fresh and nice by occasional flushing and installing good coolant.