Harmonic Balancer question

Here is my situation:

My old Nissan Pathfinder 1996 with close to 198 thousand miles was recently taken to the shop to get the cracked belts replaced. In fairness, the mechanic pointed out that even though the Harmonic Balancer was on its way out, it could still gain some mileage. I took the car out on its first drive and the new belts gave way within 10minutes of driving causing the heat gauge to shoot all the way up.

It was towed back to the shop and now the mechanic is blaming it on the harmonic balancer.

I am now required to cough up another $550 to replace the harmonic balancer. Should I trust these guys. What course of action would you advise me to take in this circumstance.


If the mechanic recommended replacement of the harmonic balancer but acquiesced to your desire not to spend the money, then I think you should trust him here.

If the mechanic recommended leaving the balancer in under the premise that it still had life in it, than I think that since it failed immediately he should replace it for only the cost of the parts and “eat” the labor cost.

If one is actually checking the balancer hands-on, which he apparently was, a balancer 10 minutes from the end of its life should be loose enough to know that catastrophic failure is immenent.