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Old 04-05-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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I am transferring my old 98 Honda Civic DX to a relative. I think the only thing I need to do is a timing belt change (oil/oil filter replaced, brakes and tire tread are still good, and spark plug/distributer cap replaced)... I called around and they are quoting me $350 to $380 for parts and labor with 2-3 hour timeframe... Is that a good price or can I "haggle" them for a lower price and how much lower can I go?
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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Hard tellin not knowin what shop rate is where ever you are....
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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That doesn't sound bad to me. Timing belts can be pretty labor intensive and do usually run at least $350. For an experienced mechanic, replacing the timing belt on a Civic will take about 2.5+ hours.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,429 posts, read 42,886,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilnewbie View Post
I am transferring my old 98 Honda Civic DX to a relative. I think the only thing I need to do is a timing belt change (oil/oil filter replaced, brakes and tire tread are still good, and spark plug/distributer cap replaced)... I called around and they are quoting me $350 to $380 for parts and labor with 2-3 hour timeframe... Is that a good price or can I "haggle" them for a lower price and how much lower can I go?
I wouldn't dwell so much on the price for this service, I'd go with the shop with the best reputation. Keep in mind if the belt breaks the valves and pistons have a close encounter of the very expensive kind. The very lowest price you can get on this work is lowest for a reason.

I would look for an excellent shop, one that uses Honda parts, IIRC the water pump is inside the TB and needs (should) be changed at the same time, when the coolant is drained is a good time to replace at least the upper radiator hose, I'd do the thermostat too, fill back up with Honda antifreeze (or equivalent) and distilled water.

Do it like that and it's ready to go I think 90K till this needs doing again.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Incognito
7,001 posts, read 18,201,980 times
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That price range sounds pretty reasonable. Like Mitch said, look for reputation when searching for a shop.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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How do you look for "reputation"? I am in the Virginia Beach, VA area.. I been calling chain shops like Meineke and Midas
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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If you don't know of a good shop it's possible the dealer might be a good option. It's possible the chain shops might be good but you never know as they hire all types of people. You might get a good mechanic who really cares and you might not - independent and dealer shops generally have higher end talent (they pay the most).

Also it doesn't matter how long it takes the guy to change the belt, what matters is what the "book time" of the repair is.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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Im doing one right now. Its not easy and the parts alone run well over 100 bucks. Even if the water pump isnt leaking you need to change it also if you plan to keep the car. 350 is not a bad price and some places get 450 or more and this is not a job the average person can do.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,429 posts, read 42,886,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilnewbie View Post
How do you look for "reputation"? I am in the Virginia Beach, VA area.. I been calling chain shops like Meineke and Midas
NO NO NO NO NO!

Good grief, post up on your local forums, find a good indy shop that does Hondas.

Let me give you one example of how this job can be FUBAR'd - if you hit the cam sprocket with a wrench while doing this job, and raise a burr, that burr can cut into the timing belt and cause it to fail prematurely.

You want a real craftsman who has a reputation to protect and beyond that is proud of his (her) skills.

I know more about BMW than Honda, there is a network of "known good" shops for BMW, probably for Honda too. I Googled Va Beach import service and got the below: I am 99% sure they are better than the chain garages...

Import Service, Virginia Beach, VA : Reviews and maps - Yahoo! Local
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Hernando, FL
749 posts, read 2,023,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nativechief View Post
Im doing one right now. Its not easy and the parts alone run well over 100 bucks. Even if the water pump isnt leaking you need to change it also if you plan to keep the car. 350 is not a bad price and some places get 450 or more and this is not a job the average person can do.
Agreed, I paid $500 to have mine changed only because I was long distance OTR truck driving at the time, otherwise I would have done it myself. It's a pain, especially on FWD, I would have to get the AC compressor and water pump (among other things) off first just to be able to get at it on my car.
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