Firestone told me that they had to replace the VVT solenoid when they replace the timing belt on a 2001 Escort. The part and labor is $850 plus the timing belt. They swear this is required, while the Ford dealer says he never heard of it.
I never heard of this, either. If the VVT solenoid was not malfunctioning there is no reason to replace it. Lots of cars have variable valve timing, and when the timing belt is replaced that’s all that’s replaced. If it were required I’m sure the Ford dealer would know about it.
I question the wisdom of having a timing belt replaced at a tire store, but that’s beside the point.
Maybe the mechanic means the Crankshaft Position Sensor? That’s the closest thing I can think of - its in the right place, and is in charge of timing. But McP is right, there is no reason to replace it unless it is a problem. There are some things you replace when doing the timing belt - such as the water pump b/c most of the problem w/ installing a timing belt is the labor in tearing everything down. So it makes sense to do the water pump.
But the CKPS makes no sense b/c all you have to do to get to it is pull the wheel and splash shield. So - if it wasn’t a problem tell them not to bother.
Needing to replace a VVT solenoid ( at the front of the exhaust cam ) is extremely rare. When changing a timing belt, 2.0 L dohc, you will want to seriously investigate the condition of the pulleys it goes around, tensioner and idler. Labor wise, now’s the time to do those.