Timing belt, serpentine belt, water pump repair costs

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I have a 91 Escort LX with about 96,000 miles on it. It broke down the other day on the expressway. I had it towed to Car-X and I just wanted to check their estimate of the cost to fix my car. They said the timing belt was shot. I researched this and found they usually go out every 90K miles or so. The serpentine belt was shot also. He also said that I should warranty my timing belt by replacing my water pump.

All this together with towing and a cooling system service comes to around $518. Does this sound about right?

thanks for reading

posted by  jazzbeats

Yes... About right. (Also you might want to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself (http://www.car-forums.com/talk/forumdisplay.php?f=25) section if you want more help)

posted by  Bubba

Yes I agree 500.00 for all is not too bad. The water pump is recommended to be replaced when doing timing on the Escort mainly because the timing belt needs to be removed in order to get to it so you may pay now and pay again later if you do not replace it at the same time and get soaked for labor twice to do so.

To be sure the price is fair use the three quote rule. Call around and get estimates from at least two other sources. Worse come to worse you tow it out elsewhere and maybe save some money. Just make sure you quote reputable houses. I would not recommend trying this "operation" yourself because for timing you need some tools most folks don't have laying around.

FYI I have a 96 Excort that I popped the timing on with 88k. I was going about 50 when it happened so I fear i killed my valves when it went. It has now sat in my driveway for 2 years unrepaired one because I am lazy, 2 because there are other front end alignment issue. and 3 because I paid 1500.00 for it and drove it for a year and a half. At cetain points you have to decide if something is worth it or not. I am not a big ford fan myself. I have owned two and both were a problem. Someone told me when I bought this one FORD stand for (FOUND ON ROAD DEAD) . Yours and my story support that to some degree. The cars get great mileage though so not knowing your finacial predicament you gotta ask yourself what is the car worth and is there many other things wrong that you have put off beyond this repair. Once you start sinking money into them things tend to start popping up and it become the 6 million dollar car. good luck whatever your choice.

posted by  REBEL08021

might be an idea to split the belts so you dont end up with a mess didnt know they ran serpantines

posted by  cinqyg

Fords aren't the only cars with rubber timing belts. Mazdas, some Toyotas, some Chryslers and GMs and Hondas. The recommended change interval for a timing belt is 60K miles. Some engines are interferance engines thus if you break the timing belt, you could screw up the motor and valve train

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I dint mean that, serpentine belts over here means that all the ansilars are ran off the same belt as the timeing which is quite frankly daft. Most modern engines have interfeance over here as short strokes are more effeicent. Most of the manufacutres that i know of have seperate cam belt, altenator belt, ac belt, so that if you stuff your altenator you dont need a whole new engine.

posted by  cinqyg

I must have gotten misplaced somewhere since I was thinking timing belt.

Breaking a serpentine belt (for accessories) will not damage engine if engine is shut down when it breaks. It is a pain in the butt to be stranded

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Umm i think its just those diffrences in american and international english.

Serpentine belt from where i come from, is one belt that runs everything, for example a dodge ram has that arangement and the belt is HUGE about 4.5 metres.

This may be another english differnce but since when was a altenator a accessory?

posted by  cinqyg

As big as the belts on the Challenger Tanks? :mrgreen: :orglaugh: :hi: :thumbs:

posted by  R34RB30DETTV

naah there chain driven mate.

posted by  cinqyg

LOL.. Doh..! Yeah, sorry.. I wasn't thinking.. They would be the same as diggers, tractors and trucks.. :thumbs: Is it possible for the "public" (i.e. me) to see those tanks where you work? :mrgreen: :hi: :mrgreen: :hi: :mrgreen:

posted by  R34RB30DETTV

Dont think that would be a good plan, if you were caught taking pics you would be shot on site, if you leave your camera at home them you just get to play with 15 of our pet pouches. They scare me more than being shot!

As i am sure you understand HM MoD doesnt take kindly to ppl snooping around partially complete pices of there equitment, best thing you can do is turn up at a military show and look around a Chalenger 1, there very similar.

With regards to belts driven, well they would need to be twice the width of a mini skirt to even come close to dealing with 1200bhp and most of that is derived from torque.

The yanks have followed out lead! they are scrapping there big P&W gas turbine, and replacing it for a perkins pretty much the same as ours. It has a bit more grunt as they feel like they need to charge around at 60mph, while every one else is happy with 45mph.

The finally caught on that gas turbines are great, few little problems, they run kinda hot, which means you cant change them quickly, there crap in urban enviroments, deserts present a whole host of problems, in terms of infra red , its a big roman candle. They had thought of most of this, its when a sweedish comander pointed out that he was actually going faster than them in real terms because he didnt keep running out of fuel. (Patton syndrome) Fuel tankers and battle fields dont mix well, if you want one sure way of attracting some attention from RPG's then put a fuel tanker on the field!

Heres a chance for you dodge, 72 tonne tank traveling at 45mph how much KE does it have :laughing: . At this point im very happy with to much to stand in the way.

posted by  cinqyg

I understand your point - My Crown Victoria has this arrangement too - youre right - its a long belt

posted by  tbaxleyjr

um, I recomend having the shop do only the timing belt, the cost should be under $200.

Drive the car home and change the serpentine belt yourself. If the water pump is not bad leave it in until it is bad. Leaking. Making noise. And then leave it in a while longer lol. And then replace it yourself also. Neither of those jobs are beyond a home mechanic. The large serpentine belt is much easier to change than the old seperate belts as far as I am concerned. I believe you can do it with your hands and a screwdriver.

The timing belt is a little tricky to experiment with so I would pay to have that done. If you do want to do it yourself, give yourself a week or more of free time because you may have to take it apart a few times and put it back in right. The whole process however is made for someone of about average intelligence with a $9.99 set of home tools and the BASIC MODEL MANUAL from haynes or chilton or whatever.

The thing is, if the timing belt is broken, the valves could also be bent. The repair could leave you with a wonderful timing belt on and engine that doesnt run at all.

That is why, you need to read your manual have a set of tools and get to diagnosing it yourself. You cannot really write a check off to a mechanic for anything until you know the problem yourself. Take the cover off the timing belt area and see that its broken.... make sure yourself with your own eyes...

So those are some of the risks involved.

posted by  stamar

Much truth to what you said

I haven't done the one on a 91 Mustang but when I did an Mazda 626 my daughter used to own, I had to remove the right front tire and wheel, the plastic fender liner (work from the side to get room to work), remove the valve cover and associated crap required for that operation.

Your manual will give specific instructions on getting # 1 cylinder to TDC and aligning the crankshaft and cam shaft timing marks as well as instuctions checking the belt tensioner

If a professional mechanic were doing this job, I would guess you are looking @ between 3 and 5 flat rate hours (I haven't looked this one up). Labor rates in my part of the US range between $65 and $75 / hr

Parts to replace while the car is apart Parices are based on NAPA's web site - Timing belt $14.00, camshaft seal $25.00, water pump - $20.00 (rebuilt), belt tensioner (if the car is 13 yrs old, spring is a little weak) $40.00 Total parts - approx $100 We'll use $125 for parts since your garage will mark them up some

Labor assuming $70/hr for figuring purposes - 4 hrs @ 70 = $280

Your shop will usually add 10% consummables fee to cover stuff like rags, sealants, etc. Of course, most states are like Tennessee and our state government gets its fair share @ 9.75%

Plan on spending between $400 and $500

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Not all vehicles are belt or chain driven, infact, most LGV's are gear driven I believe :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

GM 250 L6 :thumbs:

posted by  DodgeRida67

I have absollutelly no idea what that is...can you enlighten me please?....I'm guessing it's a GM produced car, just not sure of it's size :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

alot of cars are if they arnt ohc engines but trying to gear drive a ohc engine is a challenge!

posted by  cinqyg

Its a Inline 6 Cylinder engine produced by GM (250CID) that is gear driven instead of chain or belt driven as you were saying. :thumbs:

P.S: I posted this post a few hours ago, and now Ive seen it never did make the post. Damn forum :ohcrap:

posted by  DodgeRida67

Thanx for enlightening me DR, The reason your post didn't display was probably because you got an error message and then refreshed the screen?....from past experiences this does actually post your post.....it just doesn't show up for a few hours, as you hit F5 you were probably told you shouldn't be refreshing too....still, you probably know all of that anyways lol :banghead:

posted by  Cliffy

For the amount of work and the fact that after the belt is replaced they have to get the timming right too, this sounds good. I haven't changed a timing belt/chain since my 81 firebird but I agree go ahead with the water pump too.

posted by  charless

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