have repair estimate, need advice

Hello folks. I need a new water pump for my 1998 Audi A4 (V6, 2.8 liter, 06/98 manufacture date). It has 84,000 miles on it. I was referred to a mechanic who specializes in Audis. Here is the repair
estimate that he provided:
Parts: tensioner & timing belt kit - $350.00 water pump - $125.00 serpentine belt - $35.00 Labor: $460.00
TOTAL = $970.00 plus tax
He said that we could go cheaper by replacing only the water pump, but he highly recommends getting the other parts replaced because there is a good chance they'll break down within another 10,000 miles or so. Would you say that this is a fair price or am I paying too much? Many thanks for any thoughts you have.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You can get a timing belt kit from ECS tuning for about $350 that includes the water pump, serpentine belt, tensioner, etc. http://www.ecstuning.com /
Replacing the timing belt and associated stuff is definitely needed.
Labor is in the range of realistic if may be a bit high. It is about a five hour job. Be sure that the mechanic is familiar with Audis and has the special cam timing tool.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This proposal is quite reasonable. Your TB is due to be changed anyway and you will save significantly on labor to do all this together with the water pump. I would add that it wouldn't hurt to change the thermostat as well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the feedback! Tony I went to the link you provided (ECS tuning), but I could not find the timing belt kit that you spoke of. If you can point me to the exact link that would be great. In any case, I'm a little concerned that there is a $160 disparity in the parts estimate that the mechanic provided. Is the markup typically this high?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Your mechanic will probably be making a profit on the parts plus his cost may be fairly high if he's getting them from the Audi dealer. That said, you may want to ask him if he's OK with you supplying the parts before you show up with parts in hand. Many mechanics don't like to do that and may not warranty the work. When I was thinking about doing the TB myself on the same car as yours, here is where I looked for a parts kit http://tinyurl.com/79m3a Note they will also rent the special tool that makes the job much easier to do. Ultimately, it was a job I didn't want to get into so I had an independent mechanic do it for about the price you're being quoted. BTW, the consequences of TB failure are severe - many thousands of dollars in damage to the engine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The link: http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/pagebuild_v2.cgi?make=Audi&engine=V6%2030v&model %20A4&submodel=Quattro&category=Engine&subcategory=Timing
This is if you are DIY but if not, Ian S is correct in saying that the mechanic may not want to work with parts you supply and, yes, he may charge more but that is how mechanics earn their living. This is not an inconsequential job. A person can do it by themselves but only if they are experienced and have the special tools.
I did it with my son on his 98.5 A4 2.8q and borrowed the tools. It took 14 hours for a first time experience.
Ian S wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Forgot to mention in the last post:
ECS Kit $254 + shipping.
I have no affiliation with ECS but have bought from them and I am happy with their support.
Also, I would not attempt this without a shop manual, a friend who is mechanical and familiar with Audis and a case of your favorite adult beverage.
I wouldn't worry about the $160 disparity in parts costs. That much gets lost in rounding errors and is made up for many times over if your mechanic is a competent Audi technician by getting the job done correctly.
Ian S wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just don't start into the adult beverage too early. ;-) I bought both the Haynes and Bentley manuals when I was seriously thinking about doing it myself. Plus I have a decent tool set and experience in rebuilding various and sundry car systems years ago when I was a poor grad student. Ultimately, I decided it was not worth my time, effort, and aggravation.

As a businessman running my own small manufacturing operation, I mark up both labor and materials and don't begrudge a mechanic doing the same.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You are a very wise man, one after my own heart. May your cars always be reasonable to fix and run well. Mine have been, with this very same philosophy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't forget the thermostat, that also needs changing at the same time..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.