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A new car repair scam uncovered

Updated on October 31, 2017

Timing Belt

Many moving parts
Many moving parts

Educate yourself about your role in repair

Welcome to the incomplete job scam. You shopped around, got the lowest price for your timing belt job and your car was delivered on time. Finally a reasonable experience within the realm of the infamous car mechanic.

Now imagine two months later there is a problem with your recent timing belt job. No worries, right? The mechanic will stand behind their work. Sorry, the blame for the recent timing belt failure falls to a part that was not replaced.

Now you are in a new world of hurt because the repairer undersold the timing belt job by leaving one or more moving parts off the list of things they changed as part of the job. A complete timing belt job in most cases includes a new water pump, timing belt, oil seals, belt tensioner, and idler pulleys. If those last two items are not replaced the job can fail without liability of the repairer.

Apples to Apples

When shopping around for prices on a complex maintenance job you must know specifically what items are included in the price and make the value judgement based on a fair comparison. Do not settle for an all-in-one price, always ask for detail prices on estimates for repairs.

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    • hardlymoving profile image

      hardlymoving 

      9 months ago from Memphis, TN

      I've must have done over 100 timing belt replacements and you're right .... too many shops do not replacement the idler and tensioner pulleys to save on their parts cost. What they'll say is that they had inspected the pulley's during the belt replacement and they were okay. But they won't guarantee that the pulley's will last till the next schedule belt replacement interval ... which could be @ 100 k miles ... that's if you were smart enough to ask. Water pumps too, will not last to the next service interval as well. The problem is, I've seen too many replaced water pumps that failed in half the time of the original timing belt. Don't used cheap aftermarket water pumps. Recommend getting a factory original pump or from a company that is a OEM provider to the manufacturer. Camshaft and crankshaft seal wear can vary. On some makes they never seem to leak and others barely last 100k miles. Getting to them can be a real pain. Have to remove the Camshaft pulley with a chain wrench to prevent the camshaft from moving, remove the dust shield and use special tools to remove the old seal and install the new.

    • WheelScene profile image

      WheelScene 

      9 months ago from U.S.A.

      Most states require shops to be legally required to return the broken part to you, this will help you to understand why they fixed the part and where/how it failed.

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