Verify Timing Belt Replacement?

I just paid over $1000 for a major 60K service on my 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse (4 cyl), which included among other things replacing the timing belt and water pump. I assume I actually got all of the work listed on the service order, but is there an easy way to verify that the timing belt and water pump were actually changed?

The short answer is NO there is nothing to easily check. The only way I know is to remove the timing belt covers and look, and it is not easy.

You’d have to look to see and that may not be easy when buried behind a cover.
A new timing belt will have nice clear bold printing on the flat side; numbers, brand names and such. Because the belt has pulleys that ride on that side the numbers wear with time, the sooner you look the better.

Do you not believe them ? Then you must look to see.

A new water pump could be faked by cleaning.
Giving you “the old parts” could even be faked.
Cleaning up the worked on area could fake a real job.

But the wear on the belt can not be faked.

When I get a new timing belt I request a “sticker” giving the mileage, date, as confirmation of a new timing belt. You can look at the side of the motor housing the belt and see if you can tell whether bolts have been removed and replaced. Otherwise the motor should look just the same. I also request to see the old parts on all my car repairs and I look them over when I pick up the car.

The easiest way would be to remove the top section of the timing belt cover. (Not that hard to do on these cars.)

Since this was just done the belt should appear as new. In a month or so it may not appear as new so any questions should be resolved now.

In the future always ask for the return of old parts. It would be a great idea if all shops did this as it can promote trust but I can see some of the reasoning behind not doing so.
A tech does not want to even bag nasty parts and place them in the car and sometimes the junk parts pile can get pretty big pretty fast and take up a lot of work space as the tech does not know who does or does not want parts retained for inspection.

I’ve always held stuff until that question was answered before pitching it or returning certain items as cores.

When I had the belt changed on my 2000 Camry V6 I wondered the same thing. I looked at the bolts needed to be removed to do the job and they all looked like they had had a wrench applied to them. So, I figured they actually did the work.

one of Ca.s good laws, few and far between as they are, is the requirement for repair shops to give you back your old parts, be they warn, broken or barely servicable. The draw back to this law is that you have to ask for the parts. Still, it would be nice if all states had such a law, so you could at least know they had some old messed up parts on hand that might have been taken out of your car.

Don’t most shops have the old parts where the customer can view, or even carry the parts with them. Of course, they would pay the core fee on rebuilts. Here, we box up the parts and keep them in the office for customers unless we know they don’t wish to see them. With a Mitsubishi it would behoove you to make certain that the job was done and done correctly. The more I read here the more I understand walk in customer’s attitudes.

Would you really have the car towed,(dangerous for the engine to operate with cover removed) to the shop and say, “This writing on the back side of the belt is not bright enough, I want to stand here and watch as a new belt is put on” you have no where to go with this.An old sying fit this situation well, “you have made your bed, now you must sleep in it”.

not all repairmen/shops are as good natured and professional as you. Let me give you a for instance, I went to Kennedys auto repair on Convoy in Kerny Mesa Ca. back in the mid 90s. that shop is now extinct thank goodness, it shows that crime dont pay I guess. I had a datsun 1300 pick up truck for which I had just replaced the front and rear brake shoes, drums, cylinders, and spring sets. I did the work myself. I bled it extensively but the brakes were still a little soft, so I took it in to have it power bled. On the way to the shop I filled er up with gas. It was raining. I left it there while I went across the street to a mini mall, when I came back in one hour, the mechanic told be I needed to have my brakes completely rebuilt and he handed me an estimate for 300 bucks. I told him to let the truck down from the lift he had it up on, and I sat down to wait. half an hour later he gave me back the keys to my truck. I got in and drove away. I noticed the gas gauge was reading less than 1/4th full. the creep had stolen 3/4 of a tank of gas while he had it up on the lift. I could see the truck through the window in the waiting room, (while I was standing at the counter, not when I was sitting waiting) and I had wondered why he had a drain unit under my truck. so maybe that is why some people have attitudes about repair shops? you think maybee?

No, there isn’t.

The first time I had a timing belt job done, I asked to see the old belt. It looked brand new, so a visual inspection of your new belt might tell you nothing. Perhaps you should have asked to see the old one when they did the job?

This brings up a more important question. Why did you give more than $1,000 to someone you evidently don’t trust?