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Timing Belt Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your timing belt replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your timing belt replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by R.E. Fulton, Licensed Insurance Agent —Senior Content Writer

How much does it cost to replace a timing belt?

You can expect an average cost of $400-$1000+ for a timing belt replacement, comprising of about $100-$350 for parts and $300-$650+ 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? In general, it takes around 4-8 hours on average, for a certified mechanic to complete the job. Your mechanic will perform a preliminary inspection to determine if a replacement is necessary, then follow through with the full replacement.
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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 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: The timing belt is the main component in the replacement. It connects the crankshaft and camshaft(s), ensuring that the valves open and close in synchronization. On its own, a new timing belt can cost anywhere from $15 to $400.
  2. Crankshaft and camshaft seals: These seals are meant to prevent oil leaks from the crankshaft and camshaft. It's a good idea to replace them during a timing belt replacement while the engine is already disassembled. Crankshaft seals generally cost $10 to $60, while camshaft seals are $5 to $35. 
  3. Tensioner: The
    timing belt tensioner
    is responsible for keeping the belt tight, which prevents slippage and maintains smooth operation. To avoid added wear and tear, tensioners are typically replaced with the timing belt. Replacement tensioners typically cost $20 to $125.
  4. Idler pulley(s): Idler pulleys keep the timing belts aligned and guide it around various other parts. These pulleys experience wear and tear, so they’re usually swapped out during a timing belt replacement. Idler pulleys usually come along with a timing belt.
  5. Water pump: The
    water pump
    is part of the cooling system, but it's driven by the timing belt. Water pumps become accessible when you remove the timing belt, so while it’s not necessary, it’s generally a good idea to replace both at the same time to avoid extra labor costs. A water pump costs $45 to $150 on average.
  6. Accessory Belts: While accessory belts aren’t directly related to the timing belt, it's best to inspect and replace them if they show signs of wear. It's more cost-effective to replace them with the timing belt since the engine is already opened up. Replacing accessory belts like the serpentine belt costs approximately $10 to $65.
We recommend purchasing these parts at local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon. Reputable brands like Gates, Aisin, SKF, and Continental offer quality timing belts, seals, and water pumps, while brands like INA and Dayco provide reliable idler pulleys and accessory belts for a successful timing belt replacement. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
Timing belt replacement kits and parts can be purchased at auto body shops and auto parts shops like AutoZone. You can also find kits on Amazon. Your vehicle’s owner manual will list the specs for replacements, which you can use to find the proper parts. 
When it comes to your timing belt, aftermarket parts may be the better option over OEM belts. At higher revs, OEM belts may stretch out and affect your engine performance. Aftermarket timing belts are often stronger and more affordable.

Where can i get my timing belt replaced?

Finding the right place to get your timing belt replaced can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a go-to mechanic. Luckily, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
can help you compare costs from over 2,500 vetted repair shops in the US. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates* from each shop using their real hourly labor rate. With Jerry's GarageGuard™, you can find out if you’ll need to budget for diagnostic fees (and if it’s included in the service cost), and you’ll receive real reviews to help you choose the best service.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
160 Reviews
O'Brien's Auto Repair LLC
address
46 Bayshore Rd, Green Creek, NJ
Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$631
(Parts - $219, Labor - $412)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$130
182 Reviews
United Alignment Tire Center
address
11251 Burbank Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$569
(Parts - $219, Labor - $350)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
156 Reviews
Elite Auto Group
address
625 Nelms Cir, Fredericksburg, VA
Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$569
(Parts - $219, Labor - $350)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$75
187 Reviews
1DM AUTO
address
7590 McGinnis Ferry Rd, Duluth, GA
Timing Belt Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$586
(Parts - $219, Labor - $367)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$65
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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?

A timing belt replacement requires a comprehensive understanding of car engines and mechanics, so you should take your car to a professional for this job. If your car has a bad timing belt, your mechanic will replace it with these steps:
  1. Preparation: Your mechanic will hoist or jack up your car to reach the engine’s undercarriage. They’ll also prepare their tools, and then wait for the engine to cool before beginning the replacement process.
  2. Remove the belts and timing case: Next, your mechanic will remove the power steering belt and the fan belt. In this process, the crankshaft pulley will also be loosened. After removing the belts, your timing case will be taken off of your timing belt and water pump.
  3. Remove the motor mount brackets: By unscrewing the bolts and screws attached to the motor mount brackets, they will be removed.
  4. Remove the crankshaft pulley: Loosening the upper timing case will give your mechanic access to the crankshaft pulleys, which will be removed.
  5. Timing belt and water pump removal: At this point, your mechanic will have access to completely remove the timing belt. Once the timing belt is out, the water pump can be removed as well.
  6. Reassembly: After removing all parts, your mechanic will work in reverse order to replace your timing belt, water pump, and any other parts that appear worn out.
  7. Cooling system refill: Last but not least, your vehicle’s cooling system will get a fresh refill of coolant/antifreeze.

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

If you notice any symptoms of a timing belt problem, don’t wait to get an inspection. A failing timing belt can lead to the following issues:
  • Lower engine power, overheating engine, misfires, or complete engine failure
  • Broken valves
  • Damage to your camshaft or cylinders
  • Piston damage
  • Oil leaks
  • Belt slippage (resulting in engine failure)

What is a timing belt?

A timing belt keeps the pistons and valves in your car’s engine running smoothly. In order to keep the correct fuel/air mixture running into your engine and exhaust gas leaving, the timing belt has to coordinate the motion of the camshaft and crankshaft, which control the engine’s pistons and valves. 
A failing timing belt can lead to engine misfires and eventually to catastrophic engine failure.

When should I replace the timing belt on my car?

The most common symptoms of a bad timing belt include:
  1. Engine misfires or rough idling: A worn-out timing belt can disrupt the engine's timing, leading to
    misfires
    or intense vibrations while idling. If you experience these symptoms, have your timing belt inspected.
  2. Ticking noise from the engine: A failing timing belt may cause a ticking or rattling noise from the engine, typically from the belt slipping or coming loose. If you hear these noises, it’s best to get your timing belt checked out.
  3. Oil leaks near the timing belt: Oil leaks can weaken the timing belt, causing it to deteriorate faster. If you notice oil leaks around the timing belt area, be sure to have it inspected as soon as possible.
  4. Difficulty starting the engine: If the timing belt is severely worn or damaged, it may make it
    difficult to start the engine
    , or cause it not to start at all. This is a fair indicator that your timing belt may be failing.
  5. Visible wear and damage: Inspect your timing belt for any visible signs of deterioration, such as fraying, cracking, or missing teeth. If you notice any damage, you should replace the belt immediately.
  6. Maintenance history: If you recently purchased a used vehicle or are unsure about your timing belt's replacement history, it's generally recommended to have it looked at and replaced if needed.

How often should a timing belt be replaced?

In general, timing belts need to be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. However, every manufacturer specifies an age or mileage limit for their timing belts, so check your owner’s manual or consult with a certified mechanic.

Can I replace my timing belt myself?

It’s possible to replace a timing belt at home if you’re confident in your DIY auto repair skills, but the multi-step process requires specialized parts and involves working directly on your engine. For most drivers, it’s best to let a professional replace the timing belt. 

FAQs

Your serpentine belt maintains the normal functions of your engine accessories by transporting power to your air conditioning compressor, alternator, power steering pump, and your water pump.
On the other hand, your timing belt is a part of your engine that specifically syncs your crankshaft and camshaft to make sure that the intake and exhaust valves open and close on time with the pistons.
A timing belt tensioner maintains the constant and correct tension of the timing belt to ensure it produces enough power to move the pulleys, which influence several of the engine’s components. 
Timing belts and timing chains both connect the crankshaft and camshaft in an engine. The biggest difference between timing belts and timing chains is their materials. Timing belts are made of rubber and timing chains are made of metal. 
Additionally, timing chains typically require fewer check-ups and replacements than timing belts, but they both perform well and equally reduce noise and vibrations from the engine.

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.