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Greetings to everyone.

I recently went to a honda dealer and was advised to replace timing belt/water pump/drive belt and tensioner on my 2013 Crosstour (112K miles), with a price tag of $1,725. Considering other people's estimates and charges I have found via google search, the estimate $1,725 seems too high. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
 

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It does sound a little high, but it sort of depends where you live. I'm told that in places like Hawaii and Alaska and other obscure places, nearer the $2k mark is pretty common. I would suggest that you call a few more Honda dealers and get estimates. You might also try looking into some independent garages which will certainly cut the cost substantially. There are many good independent shops that have great techs including laid off Honda techs. In my city we have five different Honda dealers to select from. Smaller towns have less, bigger cities have more. When I purchased my Crosstour I started at one Honda dealer and then shopped and found the same car thousands less at another Honda dealer. Shop Around to get the best price.
 

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Hi Hankk. No doubt they are quoting you all the parts (belt, tensioner, idler pulley water pump, gaskets) and the timed quote from their standard procedures. While an experienced mechanic will find ways to shorten the time, they will still get paid for the time the "book" says it should take. I've reviewed the procedure and it involves removing an engine mount, jacking up the engine on that side, pulling the crankshaft pulley, changing the water pump, removing three covers, etc...that, and making sure that the crankshaft and camshafts are in proper alignment at top dead center during re-installation. If you have a good independent mechanic who has done this before, you can save some money by either purchasing your genuine Honda parts on-line, or through the dealer using the Costco 15% discount, if you're a member, and having another shop do the labor. However, what you shouldn't do, is ignore getting your timing belt changed, it's time you did that. (Water pump is up to you; the thought is that you have to go through all this trouble to remove the timing belt if you have to change your water pump, so it's preventative maintenance. However, water pumps usually don't experience catastrophic failure that will cause your belt to break...they just being leaking so you can save some money by not replacing it, as well. Same with tensioner and idler pulley, but the belt is good to change.)
 

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For what it's worth, an independent shop (without tv, cappacinos or shoe-shines in the waiting room ...in fact, there IS no waiting room) in the St. Louis area just quoted me $850 including water pump etc. They told me to count on leaving it there for the day, because it's an all-day job.
 

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There are pros and cons for using an independent shop.
PROS = cheaper price
CONS = Lower quality parts, techs are not always knowlegable with the repair or updated service bulletins. Shorter warranty. And no shoe shines.

Sometimes going independent garage is the way to go. Personally I have found most independent garages hire inferior mechanics (if they were any good they would be working in a dealership making more money). They use cheap parts to save money that create problems very soon and then don't stand behind their work (warranty).

I have worked both in the independent shops and dealerships. Honda has specific methods for doing jobs. In the Honda dealership that i worked in, they had one specific tech who only did the timing belt maintenance. That was his only job. He knew all the tricks and torque specifications by heart. He would often have 3 or 4 of these maintenances going on at the same time with never a comeback problem. He was an expert at this. His salary was over $100K per year because he earned it. I know who I would want doing my timing belt maintenance. Yes, it costs more at Honda, but you get what you pay for.
 

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I have experience with both...

independent and dealer. I've put over 300K on two J35 engines, so I've had his job done 3 times and definitely think the Honda Dealer is the way to go. Just too many moving parts to not have the backing of a Honda Dealer behind the work.
 
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