Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

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Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby goru1 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:20 am

Please comment.

Thanks.

Lexus:
* 2002
* RX 300
* AWD
* V6-3.0L (1MZ-FE)
* Miles 93,000

Estimate:
Timing belt 89.00
Fan belt 51.00
Fan belt 14.00
Waterpump 183.00
Timing belt tensioner 94.00
Coolant 30.00
Labor 94.00/hr * 4.5 hr 423.00
Labor total 423.00
Parts total 461.00
Sub-Total 884.00
Parts tax
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby Ruby » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:22 am

I got almost the same estimate for my 1999 Honda Odessey. Did not do it.
Seems high. However friends told me around $400, with minimal changes, such as no water pump change is normal.

-- Ram
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby Keep It Simple » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:26 am

Is this quote from a dealership? It seems high. We had our timing belt and water pump replaced along with all necessary fluids etc at a cost of around $400.00 from the local mechanic.

Also, I thought Toyota/Lexus went to 110,000 miles before needing the timing belt. What does your manual say?

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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:29 am

Sounds a bit high, but the $94 labor rate contributes. You might find an independent shop to do it for less, but you want to be sure that they are using genuine Toyota parts, this is no place to go aftermarket.

I assume that the service interval on this is 90k, and if that is what is called for I say go for it. The water pump is included as they have it in their hands when the do the timing belt, it makes sense to go ahead with that replacement as indicated
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:33 am

Ruby wrote:I got almost the same estimate for my 1999 Honda Odessey. Did not do it.
Seems high. However friends told me around $400, with minimal changes, such as no water pump change is normal.

-- Ram


I believe this is an interference engine, when the timing belt goes there will be a catastrophic engine failure, BIG BUCKS to repair (likely a used/rebuilt engine) I would change the timing belt according to the manufacturer's advice.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby aude » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:43 am

Maybe a bit high, but not outrageous. Remember not to cheap out on things like the water pump on this job. If it starts leaking at 100,000 miles, you will be paying most of the same labor all over again to get it replaced.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:46 am

That is what happens when you are driving the high-end cars vs. the standard Toyota models.
Don't mess around with the timing belt - when you reach the miles, change it or an engine replacement will cost you far more.

It's the labor that costs.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby Toons » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:47 am

TheGreyingDuke wrote:
Ruby wrote:I got almost the same estimate for my 1999 Honda Odessey. Did not do it.
Seems high. However friends told me around $400, with minimal changes, such as no water pump change is normal.

-- Ram


I believe this is an interference engine, when the timing belt goes there will be a catastrophic engine failure, BIG BUCKS to repair (likely a used/rebuilt engine) I would change the timing belt according to the manufacturer's advice.


+1 Agree ,manufacturer's recommendation.
I had a 1989 BMW 325I,drove it beyond the mileage recommendation for timing belt replacement and belt broke(interference engine)Fortunately no engine damage.
When I bought my used 1999 Civic ,belt replacement recommended at 90k or 7 years.Belt had never been replaced,that was the first thing I had done. It cost around 350.00 :happy
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby livesoft » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:50 am

Check what a Toyota dealership will charge. :)
Also, this SUV is 12 years old. It is probably not worth more than $5,000, so a $1,000 repair (with tax) is probably not worth it. I'd drive the car another 3 years before doing this bit. If the car croaks, so what?

I have the same car, but older with fewer miles. I will give it to my daughter when she graduates from college. The timing belt will be her problem.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby johnep » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:51 am

Seems within the realm of reasonableness although $94 per hr service seems a little high. You have a good car and need to take care of it. You do not want to have a failed water pump or timing belt on the road. Both of those can cause big problems. I have been using Toyota products for nearly 40 years and have always found their service to be very good and not as expensive as some of their competition. I assume this applies to Lexus as well.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby bottlecap » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:53 am

You might could get it done for a couple hundy cheaper, but you bought a Lexus, they figure you can afford the work.

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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby tuckeverlasting » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:30 pm

This is why a vehicle with a timing chain, not belt, is my preference. Good for life of the car.

I learned this the hard way after a failed timing belt destroyed my vehicle back in the day!
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby serbeer » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:27 pm

I had estimate of over $1,100 for 90K service (that includes timing-belt replacement) for my ES-300 from Firestone. That did not seem bad in comparison with $1,500 dealer's fee. But I went ahead and go more quotes from local small shops, and found small shop with excellent yelp reviews in a less-well-to-do part of my metro area that did the same 90K service for... $550.

Despite great reviews and good vibes I got on the spot, I requested my old timing belt to be given back to me by the way, to be 100% sure that was done. The truth is, they just charge much cheaper labor rates than larger shops, and use non-EOM parts--which are just fine for my 10yo car. They told me that the same manufacturer produces EOM parts and that it really is the same item just under different label.

My advice: don't skip mandatory services but do shop around
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby MathWizard » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:35 pm

This does not look excessive. Do it and you'll never have to do it again for this car.

You could do it yourself and save the labor, but with a transverse mounted engine packed
tightly in the engine compartment, I wouldn't.

I just had the fuelpump and fuel filter in a Buick. That was about $1K, and my shop only charges 84/hr.
I considered doing ot myself, but things are packed in too tight anymore, and parts are placed
where it is very difficult to work on them, expecially without a lift.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby camaro327 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:48 pm

Back in '06 or '07 I had the timing belt changed for a '94 Acura Integra. Close to $400. A couple days later I heard a weird sound on my way home after work. After hearing the weird sound for 2 miles the car lost power. The new timing belt snapped. Fortunately the shop was honest and said they made a mistake, however I was really luck not to have any damage. The shop did test compression before returning it to me.

I would probably get a couple other estimates and then proceed given the additional information.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby EternalOptimist » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:10 pm

Doesn't sound that horrendous, I have a friend with a Jaguar and he spends $3-$4k for tune-ups!
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby bill99 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:12 pm

Non-luxo cars can be pricey, too. This is my repair note for my '98 Subaru Outback, 4cyl.:

Replace timing belt, water pump, timing belt tensioner, all 4 cam seals and front crankshaft seal; install new fan belts. Coolant.
(timing belt kit) $953.40.

Repair done by non-dealer small shop, top rated in local consumer magazine.

I can't remember is the cam seals and crankshaft seal were integral to the belt replacement, part of the kit, or something added to try to stop slow oil leaks? If this was a TV game show, I'd bet on "part of the kit." Final answer. :)

Cheers,
Bill

P.S. Edit note: Repair was 5 years ago; would probably cost more now. Subaru had 76M on it.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:22 pm

bill99 wrote:Non-luxo cars can be pricey, too. This is my repair note for my '98 Subaru Outback, 4cyl.:

Replace timing belt, water pump, timing belt tensioner, all 4 cam seals and front crankshaft seal; install new fan belts. Coolant.
(timing belt kit) $953.40.

Repair done by non-dealer small shop, top rated in local consumer magazine.

I can't remember is the cam seals and crankshaft seal were integral to the belt replacement, part of the kit, or something added to try to stop slow oil leaks? If this was a TV game show, I'd bet on "part of the kit." Final answer. :)

.


If I recall, these seals were suppose to fix a design flaw in this engine, Subaru did some of them under warranty. you can look http://www.scoobyenthusiast.com/subaru-repair/subaru-engine-oil-leak-causes-and-repair
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby WatchinU » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:40 pm

The estimate is not bad. you might be able to find a local mechanic that specializes on servicing Lexus vehicles who may be cheaper. Replacing the timing belt is at least a 4-6 hour job.

I use a mechanic that specializes in toyota and honda including luxury vehicles.I've noticed their labor rates have been rising over the last several years. The were $60 per hour when I started using them and now they are around $90 per hour. the labor seems in line with your quote.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby BenBritt » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:30 pm

Bottlecap: My thought exactly !
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby FrugalInvestor » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:41 pm

Looks a bit high but that is not surprising for a Lexus. As another poster suggested, get an estimate from a Toyota dealer. I had all my RX non-warranty work done at our local Toyota dealer - usually for 1/3 to 1/2 less than was quoted by the Lexus dealer. An RX is mechanically very similar if not identical to a Toyota Highlander.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby Sunny Sarkar » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:53 pm

TheGreyingDuke wrote:I believe this is an interference engine, when the timing belt goes there will be a catastrophic engine failure, BIG BUCKS to repair (likely a used/rebuilt engine) I would change the timing belt according to the manufacturer's advice.


I had a 1998 Toyota Camry - and it was NOT an interference engine, i.e. timing belt failure would not damage the engine - just stalls it. Don't know about RX 300 though, but maybe they are genetically related coming from the same gene pool.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby dognose » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:04 pm

Write the check and drive it for another 100K miles. It's a screaming bargain.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:20 pm

Sunny Sarkar wrote:
TheGreyingDuke wrote:I believe this is an interference engine, when the timing belt goes there will be a catastrophic engine failure, BIG BUCKS to repair (likely a used/rebuilt engine) I would change the timing belt according to the manufacturer's advice.


I had a 1998 Toyota Camry - and it was NOT an interference engine, i.e. timing belt failure would not damage the engine - just stalls it. Don't know about RX 300 though, but maybe they are genetically related coming from the same gene pool.


This information about interference engine was in response to a post about a Honda Odyssey (1999) which is an interference engine, :D
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby rocket » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:26 pm

Tell all your friends how much it costs to repair your Lexus. They might think your are very successful, rich, and wise, if they are young and stupid.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby mike143 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:50 pm

"Toyota all the way. After all, the RX is just an overpriced Highlander"...recommendation from another forum on this discussion said to get a quote form a Toyota dealership. Someone that worked for a dealership said they charged $850 also. This is the very reason I buy 4 cylinder engines with timing chains.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby StretchArmstrong » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:53 pm

The parts don't seem too high. $30 for new coolant is a good deal. All Toyotas come with the special red coolant and you never want to mix it with the other stuff unless you drain 100%. It's probably $40 just to buy a gallon to do a coolant flush yourself. I assume Lexus has the same red coolant? If you can get the part numbers you could probably order the water pump and belts yourself, but then you would have to find someone to put it on or do it yourself.

What about the thermostat? Might as well change that if you are changing the belts, pump, and coolant.

I have an older Toyota that is not worth very much. I have no problem dropping some serious coin on quality work and OEM parts. I have an obscure engine and had bad experiences with independent mechanics messing things up, putting in way too much oil, ect. Even though I do not like the dealer prices they know the cars inside and out.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby rr2 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:48 am

What timing for this thread and my car!
My 1998 Toyota Camry needs timing belt replacement as well. Total quote provided by a local independent reputable mechanic is $1060. This includes water pump and seals etc. I also needed a new radiator -- $500.
This car has been reliable thus far and gets lightly used, less than 5000 miles a year. It is at about 140000 miles. I've owned this car for about 7 years; it will hopefully give us another few years of service.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby CordMcNally » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:22 am

goru1 wrote:Estimate:
Timing belt 89.00
Fan belt 51.00
Fan belt 14.00
Waterpump 183.00
Timing belt tensioner 94.00
Coolant 30.00
Labor 94.00/hr * 4.5 hr 423.00
Labor total 423.00
Parts total 461.00
Sub-Total 884.00
Parts tax

The dealerships also have a solid markup in their prices. Just searching a popular national auto parts chain I came up with the following:
Timing belt: 21.99
Fan belt: 11.99
Waterpump: It said call for availability but another search revealed another site with them priced at 59.98
Timing belt tensioner: 55.99

I'd be willing to bet that this could be done with fairly common hand tools. I don't know what your mechanical comfort level is but I'd buy a Haynes Repair Manual for your specific vehicle and then knock it out in an afternoon. Then you could go inside, have a beer, and smile about the $650 you saved yourself.

PS: Where are you located? If you're in my area, I'd be willing to help you out for free. :sharebeer
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:04 am

CordMcNally wrote:Fan belt: 11.99
Waterpump: It said call for availability but another search revealed another site with them priced at 59.98
Timing belt tensioner: 55.99


I would be wary about using anything other than Toyota parts for this repair, the quality can vary tremendously as compared to non-official brands. If you are doing it yourself, there are places to buy the official Toyota parts at discount from the dealer price, search and you wil be rewarded.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby mike143 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:29 am

OEM parts all the way. Only parts/fluids I don't use OEM is brake drums/rotor, brake pads, oil and oil filters. The only reason I don't use OEM on those is I believe there are better quality sources for those items. It is not worth the potential early failure and paying to have the job done a second time by using inferior parts. I understand this logic isn't universal and that there are a small amount of vehicles that have an aftermarket that does better than OEM.

For non mechanical items, interior/exterior components, I have used ebay and rockauto.com.

CordMcNally wrote:Timing belt: 21.99

No way I would put a $22 timing belt on a $35k vehicle let alone a $20k one.

If you want to DIY or get an idea of the work involved: toyotanation.com: 1MZ-FE DIY Timing Belt

There are some YouTube videos of the procedure a few post down.

More: http://diyservice-en.blogspot.com/2011/ ... mz-fe.html
More: http://hardlymoving.hubpages.com/hub/To ... alon-ES300
More: http://yotarepair.com/1FZ-ME_timingbelt.html
More: http://www.justanswer.com/uploads/johnd ... 405_X0.pdf
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby l2ridehd » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:57 am

It is a challenging do it yourself project, but can be done. On my 2005 Honda my son in law spent about 3 days getting it accomplished. Problem was breaking the crankshaft bolt to remove the timing belt pulley. Because of the transverse mounted engine, you get at it through the tire well. I had a socket with a 6 foot pipe extension and it would not loosen. Had to go borrow an impact wrench and was finally able to break it loose. And even with the impact wrench it was a challenge. However once past that step it was a fairly straight forward project. Doing it yourself with some OEM and some Honda parts total cost was around $250.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby Mister Whale » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:20 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:That is what happens when you are driving the high-end cars vs. the standard Toyota models.


I just bought a 2005 Sequoia (not a Boglehead car wrt fuel consumption, but it was a stonking deal) that had never had the timing belt changed and was at 133k miles (recommended: 90k). I shopped around at multiple Toyota dealerships to have the work (along with the water pump replacement) done. The dealership that did the pre-purchase inspection offered a "special deal" of $900. I called other dealerships and made mention of a "special deal" offered at the first. Got another place closer to my home to do the work at 10% off. Total cost: about the same as the OP's cost. About the same regarding labor rate and time as well.

Around $900 sounds about right to have it done at the dealer.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby stingray5688 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:30 am

MathWizard wrote:This does not look excessive. Do it and you'll never have to do it again for this car.


I agree that it is not excessive, but never say never! I'm on my 3rd timing belt. (98 4Runner, 190K, still running strong)
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby cleosdad » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:48 pm

stingray5688 wrote:
MathWizard wrote:This does not look excessive. Do it and you'll never have to do it again for this car.


I agree that it is not excessive, but never say never! I'm on my 3rd timing belt. (98 4Runner, 190K, still running strong)

I agree. We have a 96 4Runner with 201,000 and on third belt. We always replace everything and hope for 300,000. According to Gates belts your car 2002 Lexus RX 300 3.0L has an interference engine.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby nhdblfan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:07 pm

Go to the local TM dealer ( and buy some TM stock its on a tear),we took my wife's RX330 there for the timing belt,same engine as the Highlander ( and they have to do them too-there is NO more cost involved in driving a RX 300(330) then a Highlander) and the tech who does your will have dome more then the one at the Lexus dealer

get the water pump and have them check the pulleys/tensioner
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby Frugal Al » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:24 am

StretchArmstrong wrote:The parts don't seem too high. $30 for new coolant is a good deal. All Toyotas come with the special red coolant and you never want to mix it with the other stuff unless you drain 100%. It's probably $40 just to buy a gallon to do a coolant flush yourself. I assume Lexus has the same red coolant? If you can get the part numbers you could probably order the water pump and belts yourself, but then you would have to find someone to put it on or do it yourself.

+1 It's a fair price for a V-6 with coolant change out, water pump, tensioner, belts. You might be able to go to a small shop and save a hundred or so, but make certain they refill with the good coolant, not some cheap coolant with silicates--good luck with that.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby NateH » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:34 am

don't do it if you are going to buy the Sienna in your other post.
otherwise, seems like a fair price.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby Cash » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:08 am

I have a 2002 IS300, so probably the same engine. I had my timing belt replaced by Lexus a few months ago, and the price was similar.

livesoft wrote:Check what a Toyota dealership will charge. :)
Also, this SUV is 12 years old. It is probably not worth more than $5,000, so a $1,000 repair (with tax) is probably not worth it. I'd drive the car another 3 years before doing this bit. If the car croaks, so what?


I also debated this in my head. In the end I decided that I'd rather pay $1k to keep the car running for a while longer than $MultipleKs to buy a new one...
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby BrandonBogle » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:19 am

During my oil change yesterday, the local Toyota Dealer told me my 06 4Runner had a leaky water pump. Only has 56k miles on it, but is a 6.5 year old car. They quoted me $750 for the water pump and timing belt (since they would already be in there). I'm going to check around and see about pricing. First off to check with the other 3 Toyota dealers around me. Also had a recommendation for an independent shop and need to research them. I'm also concerned about having inferior service done, but know that traditionally, dealers were viewed to be swindlers.

They also said my front brakes need to be replaced for $250. These are the original brakes, so I knew that one was coming someday. These would be the first major-ish repairs on the truck since I got it. Everything else has been oil changes and tires.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby cleosdad » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:05 pm

BrandonBogle wrote:During my oil change yesterday, the local Toyota Dealer told me my 06 4Runner had a leaky water pump. Only has 56k miles on it, but is a 6.5 year old car. They quoted me $750 for the water pump and timing belt (since they would already be in there). I'm going to check around and see about pricing. First off to check with the other 3 Toyota dealers around me. Also had a recommendation for an independent shop and need to research them. I'm also concerned about having inferior service done, but know that traditionally, dealers were viewed to be swindlers.

They also said my front brakes need to be replaced for $250. These are the original brakes, so I knew that one was coming someday. These would be the first major-ish repairs on the truck since I got it. Everything else has been oil changes and tires.

I would get another opinion. We have our 96 4Runner serviced at a very good independent shop. We have 201,000 miles and have had 3 timing belts and water pumps,tensioners,etc. done by them. 96 calls for 60,000 replacement. The strange thing is we are still on the original brakes. Every year I take it in for brakes. They pull off a front wheel and show me there is plenty left. Please no comments about bleeding lines, hoses,etc. This is a Good shop and I am a way past former mechanic. Trust is nice.Good luck.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby ataloss » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:43 pm

The usual rationale for replacing the water pump is that it is a cheap part but the labor to get to it is expensive. Doesn't make as much sense to me when they are charging $183 for the part. 40 plus years of driving, mostly older cars and no water pump problems yet.
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Re: Lexus RX 300. Timing belt. $884.

Postby wander » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:14 pm

aude wrote:Maybe a bit high, but not outrageous. Remember not to cheap out on things like the water pump on this job. If it starts leaking at 100,000 miles, you will be paying most of the same labor all over again to get it replaced.

+1. $884 is fair price. I used to pay $700 for timing belt, water pump and other belts but my car was about half the RX 300 price of same year.
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