Cost of timing belt & water pump

  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 97,458 MILES
Dear friend whoever you are,

I am a GRANDmother. And a GRAND mother. And a GRAND wife; not necessarily in that order. These people of whom I adore seem to feel the same way about me. I am 65 y/o. My dearly loved husband is 75 y/o. I have survived two late staged cancers over the past 10 years. He has survived open heart surgery and prostate cancer. We are both in full remission now, and doing well. Sorry for "playing" the cancer card. I do so to elicit your compassion (not pity), and your sound/honest guidance. My poor husband of 47 years can't even hang a picture on the wall without screwing it up. He, like many other men (sorry guys)refuses to ask for directions when we are clearly lost, and he also insists on diagnosing any problems dealing with my "most precious" 2000 Honda Accord. I have been feeling A LOT of anxiety lately. We live on not enough money to live on! I am an intelligent and educated woman who worked three jobs BECAUSE I loved my work (college professor and private therapist working with youth at high risk for dropping out of school). I cannot work because I cannot get hired with my health history. It is horrible and I could never prove that my history of cancer is the reason I don't ever land the job. It's always the same response when I call for an update; "Sorry, but that position has been filled." SO! Here it goes(guys), assuming that you know more about cars than my female counterparts. I have 96,000 miles on my 11 y/o Honda Accord. Low mileage thank God!I have had NO major work done (or preventative work). Regular oil changes and whatever the small stuff is that goes along with the standard oil change at a Jiffi Lube. No other "recommended" mileage milestones. Only new tires. Because of our financial BURDEN - and it won't change, I am HORRIFIED of blowing out my engine because I didn't replace the timing belt & water pump when I should have: Questions.

1. Should I buy those two parts (from a Honda dealer)or somewhere else?

2. If I have an honest guy who knows what he is doing and will do it for less money than the manufacturer, should I let this guy do the work (of course I wouldn't have a warranty)? And does the Honda mechanic who works on site give me a warranty on this work? And is it pretty much "a given" that the Honda "on site" repair garage will not rip me off?

3. How much money is too much to pay for this job?

4. Should I ask the privant party (mechanic) up front to give me the old parts just to check them out regarding the condition they were in at the time I had them replaced?

5. Because I keep getting what feels like some kind of premonition, what is the most important thing for me to do? Basically - is the red flag in my mind reality based?

6. Pretend I am your mother, your daughter, your sister (if you love them) and give me some really sound advice. I am SO vulnerable (because I know nothing about cars and upkeep) and have such a lack of trust in people for so many reasons (sadly); some of which deals with being terribly ripped off by a mechanic who supposedly fixed my husband's car. Bad bad situation, and we could not do anything except to pay more money to have it done correctly (one year before my first cancer). Our health problems and medical expenses backrupted us. We lost our home and every dime of savings. We can't even afford certain medications because they are not yet in the generic form.

7. Thank you to those who will read this long-sounding sob story, as I am counting on your empathy and assistance.

8. At this time in my life six-hundred dollars feels like six-thousand. But if the six-hundred helps to "save my car" then that's what I need to know. Please please help me and send your words of advice to my email address. That way I don't have to worry about not being able to find this post (I became a member one hour ago).

9. To those who respond, let me thank you in advance; thank you from the bottom of my old heart (I am not one of the old folks "yet" who really need to be takin' the bus as a protection to their fellow citizens)!

Good wishes and cheers to all of you.

GRANDmotherocks (according to my GRANDchildren)
is my "handle" or screen name). My email address is LRBogan@gmail. Com

Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 AT 9:30 AM

1 Reply

Hi GRANDmotherocks,

Thank you for the reading material. We have something in common here, we both are workaholics. Though I am not a grandfather yet, maybe in a few years time, but I am no more that young, though to old to be your son.

Lets se what we can do about your questions.

Normal replacement interval is at 105,000 miles or 84 months. Replace at 60,000 miles if vehicle is regularly driven in extreme temperatures (over 110 degrees F, or under -20 degrees F).

Above are suggested timing belt replacement schedules so now is the correct time to get them done as the age of the belt is already long overdue.

1. There are quite a numbe of after market parts available at parts outlets and they should come much cheaper than from the dealer. Don't go for those extremely cheap ones as they would not last half as long as OEM. Apart from the timing belt, there is the balancer belts and tensioners. The valve cover gasket, bushes, plug seals, camshaft and crankshaft seals is recommended to be replaced at the same time as they should be worn as well.

2. If the guy knows what he is doing, then yes, you can go to him but he should give you a warranty on the job, unless he is not sure of what he id doing. If you are looking for references, go to major parts stores and ask around for recommendations. If more than two places recommends a certain mechaninc, he should be ok.

3. Book time for replacement of timing belt and water pump is listed at around 4 hours. Rates differs region to region so you should ask the mechanic his labor rates. I am not based in the US so I am not sure of prevailing rates and understand it ranges from $75 to $ 120 per hour depending on area.

4. It is good to understand the replaced parts condition and telling the mechanic that you want to have a look at the parts is ok. Get him to explain the condition and his opinion, that would make him feel that his opinion is valued.

5. The time for the work is ripe and your woman's intuition should be correct.

6. I always give my honest opinion to whoever I deal with and is always sad when I hear of people who gets ripped off by mechanics. Those who do it are the black sheep of the industry and that is one of the reaon for our site here, to help people understand how to go about and avoid being taken for a ride.

7. I know how it is to be struggling with a tight purse string. Not all mechanics are making tons of money, unless I am the exception.

8. You would be notified automatically when a post is made so no worries about that but sometimes the notification goes to the spam folder depending on your settings.

9. You're welcome. Hope what I have for you is helpful.

Have a nice day and let me know if you require anything further by replying to this post.
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Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 AT 10:29 PM

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