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Timing Belt Replacement Cost

My son lives in Boston (going to law school) and has a 1999 Honda CRV with about 80k miles and has never had the timing belt changed. His mechanic recommended having it done (which I agree is prudent) but says it will cost $800. I live in rural Virginia and have a wonderful repair shop that specializes in Japanese cars and have had this procedure done on my Camry with a cost of about $400.

Is the Boston shop gouging my son at $800 or is this what one has to expect to pay “in the big city”?

PS: The repair shop is not Tom and Ray’s :slight_smile:

Why not go to Tom and Rays - you’re in Boston afterall! I just got two timing belt estimates. One was for almost 900 and one was for 500. The 900 was right in the heart of Washington DC metro accessible, the other one was right outside of DC in VA a little body shop mom and pop shop that does repairs for me just fine - but harder to get to. That was for a Honda Civic 96. So it really does depend on where you go as I understand it is labor intensive to get in there to repair it, so labor rates make a difference!!!

$800 sounds like alot to me for a routine (albeit infrequent) maintenance item. Ouch!

If done correctly, with a new water pump, tensioner, thermostat, radiator cap, coolant refill, and accessory drive belts, the cost of a Honda timing belt can be a bit more than a Camry. $800 is not excessive. High, perhaps, but big cities have higher prices.

I paid nearly $700 for this service on an Accord a few years ago, but I’d rather pay a bit more and have everything replaced than save a few bucks and have the belt only replaced.

Boston is expensive. Come on up to southern NH and you’ll likely save a few hundred…although that quoe doesn’t sound terribly outrageous if it includes the tensioner and water pump.

That timing belt is truly living on borrowed time since it is at least 2 years overdue for replacement on the basis of elapsed time. Sure, you could have him drive to VA in order to save $400., but after factoring in gas, tolls, and the very real possibility that the belt could snap on that journey, I just don’t think that your cost-saving idea has merit. Also, the amount of time that your son would have to lose from his law school studies could take a toll on his grades and his stress level.

That being said, yes, costs are higher in Boston, and this procedure on a Honda does likely cost a bit more than on a Camry. I would suggest that you “simplify your life” as well as your son’s life. Have the job done where it is convenient for your son, even if it costs more money right now. In the long run, this plan could wind up costing less–in more ways than one.

this is not a simple repair on hondas and it depends on what is included in the price…accessory belts, tensioner, water pump, etc. But dealers get about 700-800 and independents can do for about 500…make sure you use only the HONDA replacement timing belt…they are better than aftermarket…

Unfortunetly Boston is expensive. As MB suggested…drive up to So NH (about 30 minutes) and get it done up here…usually for a lot less. Also try the Good Times Garage in Cambridge. But I’ll bet their prices are high too because of the cost of everything else. A good mechanic in Boston can easily make $80k - $100k a year. But then again a 1 bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood runs $2100/mo.

A great Honda independent shop in North Shore (just north of Boston on coast) is Pearson Automotive in West Newbury MA. Highly recommend them. They use Honda oem parts on repair where it makes sense.

I used them a few times, smart marketing at their shop, they left a business card on my windshield at a commuter lot nearby. I happened to break down that day :).

I wish I could recall the shop name(almost a no name but cheap). Lawrence MA has a great Honda repair shop my wife frequented. Not the best part of town but my wife works at local hospital and speaks the language and understands the culture.

Thanks, everyone, for you quick responses. Much appreciated! My son says these comments are helpful and he will find a shop in Boston to do the work.