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Timing belt replacement cost and dealer vs local repair shop

I went reading this related article:

My 2006 Suzuki Forenza has just under 60k miles to it, but is about 7.5 years old now, over the warranty period. According to Suzuki maintenance guide, the timing belt should be replace now or soon (it should be replaced at 60k or 6 or 7 years forget). The article above mentioned $600-800 but which included pulleys, water pump. They weren’t mentioned in Suzuki manual & at 60k I’d assume those don’t need replacing yet, so just the belt? In which case, what would be the average cost of that including labor, at dealer or repair shop?

Then I wonder whether I should get the work done at a Suzuki dealer or some local repair shop since Suzuki is not so common a brand. He’s a video of someone showing how to dismantle and/or replace the Suzuki timing belt:

that something I can trust a local repair shop to do? I’m a novice to cars, that seems a bit complicated with all the removal steps. Also, the belt at least from the top seems shielded/hidden by a plastic cover plate. Will that cover plate help prevent engine/valve damage should the belt break?

Damage due to belt breaking depends on the engine being “interference” or not, not the cover. Just google your engine or look on the gates belt website, there is a PDF file with most engines listed and the ones that are interference have * next to it. An interference engine would have the valves and the piston contact each other if the belt is snapped and they are free spinning.

As far as who is best to do the job, get some quotes and references, I do not see an independent shop having much trouble with this.

The water pump is usually changed with this job just because it does not cost much in parts-the labor is rather high, so if your pump decides to say goodbye in another year, then you are on the hook for pretty much the same amount of $$ san the belt price.

Its a business decision. Get quotes from your dealer and one or two (or more) local independent mechanics that have a good reputation. You probably won’t need a new water pump or pulleys, but all the labor goes into getting to the belt, replacing those other things adds very little to the total cost. You may be due for a coolant change by now anyway so that part is covered as well.

If something were to go wrong with the idler pulley or bearing, oil seals, or the water pump, it will damage the timing belt, possibly damage the engine as well and then you have all that labor to pay again. It just makes since to be proactive. Once and done and you are good for 6 more years. pay me now or PAY me later.


I recently did the timing belt job on my Camry. It was due by time. I had a complete kit ready (timing belt, tensioner, idler, water pump), plus cam seals, crank seal and accessory drive belts.

As soon as I removed the timing belt cover, it was clear that the water pump was leaking. I was pretty glad I had bought the complete kit.

I say replace everything now and know that you’re good for several years