Question about 2004 Chrysler Sebring

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Timing Belt The owners manual recommends replacing the timing belt at 90k miles. I called and got a quote of $500. Ouch! Should I try it myself and if so how? If I do have to take it to the shop, does $500 sound right. The belt only runs $40-$50 at oreily.

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That is one of the least expensive jobs I've ever heard quoted. You will definitely want to call around and get some more quotes. I'd be surprised to see a 90k service cost less than $700-800. It's not just the belt that gets changed - the timing belt service is the "big" service that a car undergoes from time to time. Timing belt, timing tensioner, accessory belt(s), water pump, thermostat, plugs, all fluids, all filters, often cam seals and front main seal, sometimes crank sprocket, tire rotation, suspension inspection, the list goes on and on.

I have a feeling you were quoted the price to supply a new timing belt and install only that belt, none of the other parts, and none of the associated labor.

Don't take this the wrong way, but if you're asking about whether to attempt the timing belt at home, then you probably shouldn't - it's a very involved service that entails taking apart most of the front of the engine, and knowing how and why to align the engine's internals the proper way before starting, as well as the ins and outs of engine operation (in case it needs troubleshooting for not running right after reassembly, for example). It's pretty much one of the final things you'd want to try out during your vehicle education - you'd want to start with much easier procedures and get very familiar with engines in general and your engine in particular before taking the job on by yourself. It's not for the faint of heart (or faint of tools).

Posted on Sep 03, 2008

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