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Timing Belt Pulley Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your timing belt pulley replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your timing belt pulley replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a timing belt pulley?

You can expect an average cost of $300-$500+ for a timing belt pulley replacement, comprising of about $50-$100 for parts and $300-$500+ for mechanic labor. Prices can vary depending on factors like your mechanic and your vehicle.
How long does it take to replace a timing belt pulley? A certified mechanic generally takes around 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete the job. Your mechanic will start by conducting a preliminary inspection to diagnose the problem. If you need the timing belt pulley replaced, they’ll follow through with the service.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my timing belt pulley replacement and how much do those parts cost?

You can check your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic for precise parts, but here’s a general rundown:
  1. Timing belt pulley: The timing belt pulley is the main component in the replacement. The pulley's role is to maintain the alignment of the timing belt while it revolves around the crankshaft and camshafts, ensuring everything remains synchronized. On its own, a timing belt pulley costs anywhere from $35 to $80. 
  2. Timing belt: When replacing your timing belt pulley, your mechanic may determine that the entire timing belt needs replacement. A new timing belt can range in price from $15 to $400.
  3. Crankshaft and camshaft seals: These seals are designed to prevent oil leaks from the crankshaft and camshaft. Replacing them during a timing belt pulley replacement while the engine is disassembled is recommended. Crankshaft seals generally cost $10 to $60, while camshaft seals are priced between $5 and $35.
  4. Tensioner: Responsible for maintaining proper belt tension to prevent slippage and ensure smooth operation, the timing belt tensioner can potentially be replaced along with the timing belt pulley. Replacement tensioners typically cost $20 to $125.
  5. Water pump: Part of the cooling system and driven by the timing belt, the water pump becomes accessible when the timing belt is removed. Though it isn’t mandatory, you can consider replacing the water pump at the same time as the timing belt pulley to avoid additional labor costs in the future. The average cost of a water pump is between $45 and $150.
We recommend purchasing these parts at local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. Reputable brands such as Gates, Aisin, Continental, and SKF are recommended for their reliability. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
When it comes to your timing belt idler pulley, you should consider an aftermarket pulley over an OEM one. Aftermarket timing belt parts are often more affordable and end up lasting longer.
You can find timing belt pulleys at auto body shops and auto parts shops like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, Napa Auto Parts as well as online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. Remember that your vehicle’s owner's manual lists all of the specs for replacements, which you can use to find the right parts. 
Keep in mind: If you need to replace more than just your timing belt pulley, you should consider purchasing a full replacement kit.

Where can I get my timing belt pulley replaced?

Finding a mechanic to replace your timing belt pulley can be tricky, especially if you lack a trusted garage. Thankfully, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
can help you compare prices from over 2,500 reputable auto repair shops across the US.
Jerry's GarageGuard™ assesses fair price estimates* from each shop, considering their actual hourly labor rate. By using Jerry's GarageGuard™, you can determine whether diagnostic fees are part of the service cost and access genuine reviews to help you choose the optimal service.
Take a look at some of our vetted shops mentioned below and don't forget to download the app to compare automotive repair quotes in your area.
127 Reviews
Meineke Car Care Center 2435
address
5140 S. Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$65
198 Reviews
Harrell's Auto Service - Gillespie
address
1128 Gillespie St, Fayetteville, NC
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$129.99
110 Reviews
Stokes Garage
address
101 Baltimore Ave, Newark, DE
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$118
171 Reviews
Wrench Inc. - MSP

Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my timing belt pulley?

A mechanic will typically recommend a timing belt kit when it’s necessary to replace a timing belt idler pulley or any other component of your car’s timing system. Here are the steps that the mechanic will take during the whole process:
  1. Visually inspect the belt, tensioner, and pulley for wear or defects.
  2. Check the water pump as some timing systems also run the water pump.
  3. If even one of the timing components needs to be replaced, the mechanic will most likely replace all of them. This reduces the risk of another component going bad and having to repeat the work in the near future.
  4. After all components are replaced, the mechanic will ensure the engine runs smoothly with no misses or problems as it shifts through the gears.

What happens if I don’t replace my bad timing belt pulley?

If you notice any issues with your timing belt pulley or your timing belt in general, it’s best to act fast. A bad timing belt pulley that is ignored can cause the following issues: 
  • Lower engine power, overheating engine, engine misalignment, misfires, or complete engine failure
  • Belt slippage (resulting in engine failure)
  • Timing belt failure
  • Increased wear on other parts, such as the timing belt tensioner
  • Other engine damage, including bent engine valves and piston (or timing chain) damage
  • Costlier repairs

What is a timing belt pulley?

The timing belt idler pulley is a smooth metal wheel mounted on a bracket with a bearing that allows it to spin freely. The pulley keeps the timing belt aligned as the belt spins around the crankshaft and camshafts, keeping everything in sync.
The pulley can fail if the bearing becomes worn out or isn’t greased properly. Debris from the engine or timing belt can also damage the pulley.

When should I replace the timing belt pulley on my car?

If your vehicle’s timing belt idler pulley fails, it stops guiding the timing belt. Since the timing belt relies on the pulley, a failed pulley means a failed timing belt. 
Signs you may need a new timing belt pulley include:
  • Visible corrosion on the pulley. The pulley requires a smooth surface to function properly.
  • The idler pulley is loose, causing vibrations that interfere with the timing belt.
  • High-pitched squealing noises from the belt. This is an indication that the pulley is likely too tight, causing friction, or that the bearing has failed, restricting movement. 
  • Manufacturer guidelines recommend replacing the belt every 60K to 120K miles, even if no issues are present. Generally speaking, timing system components begin to wear out in about 10 years.
Keep in mind: These signs can vary depending on your vehicle and its engine type. It's always best to check your owner’s manual or ask a qualified mechanic to assess the condition of your timing belt. Regular timing belt replacements at the recommended intervals will help your engine perform optimally and last longer.

How often should a timing belt pulley be replaced?

While there’s no exact timeline, you should generally replace your timing belt (which includes your pulley) every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. 
But remember: Every manufacturer will specify a different age or mileage limit for their timing belt parts, so consult your owner’s manual or speak with a certified mechanic.

Can I replace my timing belt pulley myself?

While you certainly can try to replace your timing belt pulley yourself, you need to be confident in your auto repair and DIY abilities. Replacing this part is a complex process and involves direct interaction with your engine. 
For the average driver, we recommend letting a professional mechanic do the work.

FAQs

The timing belt replacement cost is typically around $0.
One of the first symptoms of a bad timing belt pulley is hearing squealing or knocking sounds from the timing belt. Moreover, be wary of rough idling (when the engine idles roughly), which could signal a broken timing belt. 
If a worn or damaged timing belt pulley is ignored for too long, the pulley and bearings may suffer a complete breakdown. This means that the rotation of the belt on the pulley can stop, resulting in a wide range of problems, including torn belts and engine failure.
A tensioner replacement costs an average of $0.
While a timing belt is located near the engine and synchronizes the crankshaft and camshafts, the serpentine belt (also known as an alternator belt or drive belt) is located outside of the engine and delivers power to many of the engine accessories. A serpentine belt replacement typically costs $0 to replace.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.