If it were a "grab", it wouldn't be a "Honda" grab, but a "dealer" grab.
The dealer is a totally separate company from Honda. But it's not a "grab".
I'd get the work done as per the dealer's recommendation, along with the
water pump, which lives under the timing belt.
Your maintenance schedule is 7 years and 105K miles. You're not quite there
with mileage, but are 2 years over for time. In theory, you could chance
leaving it for another year or two, but...
Look at it this way: The current belt will not go another five years
without serious risk of failure, so you're replacing it at some point
anyway in the next few years.
So, two scenarios:
1) If you get it done now, not only do you eliminate the risk of getting
stranded, or of expensive valve damage, but you get five years out of the
expenditure before you get rid of the car.
2) If you wait another year or two, you're running the risk of getting
stranded, or of suffering valve damage, plus when you get rid of the car
you've only got three or four years out of your expenditure.
Get on the phone and call a few dealers. You might be surprised and the
difference in prices. More than $200 between top to bottom when I did it.
On this job I'd try to stick with a dealer-certainly wouldn't go to a Midas
or one similar.
There is an independent import car repair in my town in Michigan. The
owner just replaced my timing belt and water pump for $480. The economy
is depressed here so the pricing is probably a bit lower.
He probably used aftermarket parts and aftermarket coolant, and didn't
change any of the oil seals. Or you've got a Civic and his shop rate is
Civic is going to be a lot cheaper than an Accord, or any V6 Honda. You
don't say what car you've got.
You do have to be very careful when comparing prices from one garage to
another, and when considering prices reported to you on Usenet.
Absolutely true, but I do believe that the price of $699.00 for the job
on a 2003 Accord with the V-6 at a Honda dealer, as was posted today, is
quite a bit more reasonable than $900.00.
I just haven't heard of any timing belt job on a Japanese sedan going
close to a grand in cost.
He used a new water pump, seals, and belt from Honda. I know because I
bought them myself. I have known him personally for years. He does very
good work. I trust him. That says a lot. My car is a 1998 CRV. He does
not mark up the parts. He charges the same price he pays. He just
charges labour. He tells me that it saves him time if I just get the
parts in advance over the internet or from a dealer in a town 40 miles
away. So, if I know what is wrong I buy the parts first. If I don't
know, I bring him the car, he diagnosis the problem and sends me away
until the parts come in. He told me that generally he would not install
non-honda parts. There are some exceptions. We live in a small town. He
values his reputation. He simply refuses to put in any part that he
feels is not up to his durability standards.
He rebuilds transmissions only because he found that he cannot trust
anyone else to do the rebuild for him.
He quoted me a higher price for this work, but charged me 150 dollars
less because he said it was a lot easier to do than he thought it would be.
He is the best mechanic I have ever known. His knowledge of automobiles
That's very odd. If he's operating as a business, he'd be paying 15% to
25% off full-retail for OEM parts. Garages normally pay this wholesale
rate, then mark it back up to full-retail for resale to you. They make a
good chunk of their gross this way.
If he's willing to let you pay full-retail for the parts, then bring
them to him, he's giving up a large portion of his potential revenue.
From a business perspective, this does not make any sense.
Again, this makes no sense. If he's operating as a business, the
dealership would deliver directly to him at least once a day at no
charge. So if the parts are in stock, he can get them in a few hours,
and more cheaply than you could. Even if they are NOT in stock at the
dealer, it just means he'd have to wait like anybody else (even the
Internet suppliers), for the parts to be sent to the dealer from the
nearest Honda DC.
He told me that Honda will not discount to him. I pay the same price as
does he. So, there is no point for him to buy the parts.
I was getting a new fuse box a little while ago and asked him again
about this. He told me to check the price I was quoted. Honda quoted him
the same price. So, it appears that Honda perhaps wants to discourage
third party repair shops.
A couple of years ago it was the ignition switch. The assy with wires
etc cost about 60 bucks. Same to him. This was the very problematic
ignition switch that would kill your engine as you drove around. I
bought the updated model coded red. Again, same price.
You mean the DEALER will not discount to him? Honda sells to the dealer;
the dealer then sells to the end-user (you or your mechanic).
What you describe is very very strange indeed. I have never personally
encountered, or heard of, a Honda dealership that did _not_ discount parts
sold to an independent garage. Parts sales to independents are a
significant source of revenue for most dealerships, so it pays for dealers
to court their business by offering good pricing and fast delivery.
Discounts from SRP are usually in the 20% range. If you're within 20 miles
or so, you can often get two or more deliveries a day. Dealers operate vans
or pickup trucks, delivering parts to independents all over their area.
These vehicles are usually prominently marked, as advertising to other
Perhaps the dealership nearest you is the only one around, and there is no
competition. In that case, there would be no point in discounting for
anybody, but that's a dangerous game to play.
Or maybe your guy is just slow in paying his bills, and the dealer is
retaliating by eliminating his discounts...
They must be pretty small potatoes if registering for sales tax is
something they want to avoid.
Any real garage with any sort of steady volume is going to make more than
enough money off parts-resale to offset the hassles of the tax code.
There are some things that I don't worry about getting genuine Honda
(or whatever make) parts. I'll probably replace my Dunlops with some
Kumhos, but my belts WILL be Honda parts.
The two indepent shops I've used in the past are about $5-$10/hr less
than the Honda dealers around here. Those are both good shops and do
you Honda parts unless you say otherwise.
Just had it done last week on my wife's 2003 V6 Accord at the Honda
dealer. Price for their package was $699 which includes the timing
belt, the drive belt, the water pump and replacing the antifreeze.
Brought it in at 9:30 AM and got called to pick it up at 2PM.
I like the way you think, Tegger. Great advice. What's your feeling on
the seals vs water pump? Ray mentions the seals but everything I've
read to date is water pump as in the complete unit. My thought is that
tossing a new pump in while "in the neighborhood" is doing the job right.
What say you?
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