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Who just fell off the turnip truck?

I think I did. I got prices for replacing the timing belt in my 2005 Honda Accord 6-cyl. The first place I went is a private shop. They will replace the timing belt, pulleys, water pump, coolant, and serpentine belt. And they give a 24 month guarantee. It’s a good thing because they want $1419 for the job. (ouch).

The second shop will do the same ting for $1189; $866 without the pulleys. That’s a lot better. I know that both shops do good work, but I decided to get another quote.

I went to the dealer. They will do everything but the pulleys and provide a 12 month guarantee for $775. I think I’m going to the dealer.

This is a good place to find out what typical repair jobs should cost in your area:

At least the dealer will have done it before and probably have read the service manual a couple times. Don’t know why you would need to replace the pulleys.

@ Bing, because it is an interference engine, and it would be a shame if an idler pulley or bearing failed and caused the belt to jump because you didn’t replace it with the belt. I’ve seen it happen, and had to deliver bad news to the car owners.

Of course, I know the price of these pulleys, and question the $300 price difference without them. They must be sticking to labor book pricing.

But the dealer price sounds great. They must really be hurting for business.

I found the exact same thing when getting quotes for Civic timing belt. Prices hovering $400-$500 for indy shops.

I call the dealer and $300 including complimentary valve clearance check the others wanted more money for that check. I had to wait and dealer had done in <2hrs, while the indy shops made it out like it was really hard job. The 1yr/12,000 warranty on repair (labor/parts) is great from Honda. It works at any Honda dealer.

Pulleys??? I’ve NEVER EVER replaced a pulley on any engine in my life. Why is that considered a maintenance item??

Pulleys do indeed wear. With synchronous belts it doesn’t take a lot of dimensional change in the pulleys to compromise the life of the new belt. The first question is, are yours worn enough? The next question is, how long do you plan to keep the car? In this case it sounds like you could trust the dealer’s advice. If you are planning to keep the car another 210K the cost of new pulleys might save you enough on a premature belt replacement, or failure, to justify the additional cost.

If you are planning to keep the car another 210K the cost of new pulleys might save you enough on a premature belt replacement, or failure, to justify the additional cost.

I’m already PAST 210k miles. Our last 5 vehicles all over 250k miles…and 4 of them well past 300k miles…NEVER EVER did any pulley needed to be changed. Sorry…still don’t believe it.

By Cuz blew up not one but two motors due to timing belt issues. The first was not done on time, and the water pump siezed and took the belt with it… Boom… The second the tensioner siezed up took the belt with it and BOOm… Replace the pulleys, its cheap insurance (on the timing belt not the serpintine belt pulelys just to be clear)

I’ve done several timing belts on Subarus and have replaced the tensioner pulley every time. Not so much because it is a pulley but more because it has a built in tensioner that can get weak and fail.
Cheap insurance.
Hondas are different, though.

tensioner pulley every time.

Timing belt Tensioner pulley is NOT the same as the pulleys for the drive belts.


When you order a timing belt kit, it comes with new tensioner pulleys. These days, it’s assumed the pulleys will be replaced along with the belt.

[sarcasm] Welcome to 1998. [/sarcasm]

My Subaru mechanic did skip out on pulleys as they looked fine and no play at timing belt change time. While diagnosing a deathly noise after oil change he found a pulley spitting grease and I ended up changing all 4-5. Sadly the noise turned out to be a throw out bearing which turned into $850 clutch job + $200 pulley work + original $30 oil change we went in for :frowning:

I think I’d opt for the timing belt tensioner and any other idlers that might be on your engine’s timing belt. It’s cheaper than having to do it after one of the bearings in an idler fails. What does the dealer get with idler pulleys?

“What does the dealer get with idler pulleys?”

We didn’t discuss it. I got the impression that the dealer and one of the shops doesn’t think it’s worth doing unless an inspection shows otherwise. The engine is quiet.

Tensioner and idler pulleys should always be changed when a timing belt is involved. The fact that the motor may not be making any noise or that the pulleys may feel fine when rotated by hand doesn’t mean that much.

Sometimes tensioner/idler bearings make noise over a period of time and can be detected before they fail. In other cases any noise may not be detectable at all and sometimes total failure can come on very quickly when the hardened bearing surfaces start disentegrating.

Some years back my daughter bought a Mitsubishi that just went through a timing belt job; sans water pump and tensioners. Those parts were determined to be quote, “fine”.
Not many months later the water pump started seeping and upon teardown I discovered the tensioner pulley bearing was on its last leg.
It’s a good thing the pump started leaking because that car had an interference fit engine in it and it wasn’t many miles away from self-destructing.
Needless to say, the new timing belt was junk due to being saturated with coolant.