The Average Price to Replace a Timing Belt

by Lynda Moultry Belcher

When it comes to auto repair, costs vary according to the car part. When it comes to the timing belt, dealers and mechanics recommend replacement every 50,000 to 60,000 miles for most cars, while manufacturers advise replacement every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. Pricing varies according to the type of vehicle, the average cost of labor in your region and additional issues that may pop up when your mechanic gets under the hood.

Average Cost

According to, the cost of timing belt replacement varies between $250 and $750, depending the make and model of the car as well as the price of the labor. To offset any sticker shock, it's best to discuss cost in any initial consultations with your mechanic. In addition to pricing the part, get a specific estimate of labor costs. Ask for a written estimate of the cost. Be aware that an estimate is just that and a reputable mechanic will provide a range of time depending on the make of the vehicle.


When it comes to timing belt replacement (and any other form of auto repair), the labor drives the price of the repair. Replacing a timing belt can take as little as two hours and as much as six hours, depending on the skill of the mechanic, the make of the vehicle and any additional existing problems. In regions where the cost of living is fairly low, labor runs about $40 per hour, while labor at high-end dealerships in metropolitan areas runs between $110 and $150 per hour. In the San Francisco area, the average repair shop quotes $55 to $80 per hour, while dealerships, on average, quote $80 to $90 per hour.

Additional Costs

Be prepared to have additional maintenance work done when replacing the timing belt on your car. The owner's manual of some makes of cars recommend additional part replacement when replacing the timing belt. Replacing the water pump at the same time as the timing belt is a common example of multi-part replacement and repair. Moreover, if a mechanic spots another issue, you may save money in the long run by having them make the repair on the spot instead of letting the problem worsen over time. Discuss this possibility ahead of time so you are prepared for additional costs.


While price is a consideration, working with a mechanic certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is just as important. ASE-certified mechanics undergo extensive training regarding auto repair of all varieties, which means they are most likely to repair your timing belt properly. While the cost might be more for a reputable mechanic, it is worth it for the quality you receive for your timing belt replacement.


Shop around for timing belt replacement pricing in your area to ensure you are not being ripped off by a mechanic. If the average price of replacement in your area is $300 to $350, your mechanic should charge you a price within that range; if not, continue to shop around until you find a mechanic that you are both comfortable with and provides you a reasonable price for timing belt replacement.

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