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Old 02-04-2011, 10:13 PM   #1
wwilson
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Default When to change timing belt on LW?

So, I just turned over 100,000 miles on my 2001 LW300 and see according to the maitenance schedule that the timing belt needs to be changed. My question is....is this car one that you are in danger of damaging the engine if I wait and it goes out?

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Old 02-04-2011, 10:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: When to change timing belt on LW?

Yep! Its due along with the water pump and spark plugs. Interference engines leaves no room for errors if a timing chain or belt fails. Pistons meets valves resulting in expen$ive rebuilding. The water pump leaking or the timing belt simply shredding prematurely is an expensive gamble to wait and see. All you need are some examples of failed timing belts; just read past posts. Not many but they're there for a historical record.

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Old 02-05-2011, 12:45 PM   #3
Jonnyferrari
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Default Re: When to change timing belt on LW?

So the question is (Which I have yet to get a response to) HOW MUCH does taht 100k package generally cost, and where should it be done? Thanks, we would both appreciate answers.

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Old 02-05-2011, 01:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: When to change timing belt on LW?

I'm not an authority on repair prices for Saturn but do know by what members have been quoted (if you take the time to read past posts ) as anywhere from $800+. Most of that cost is labor time while the rest is mark up on parts. Expect prices that high since shops are in business for profit and have their over head costs no one wants to hear about. When finding a shop that can do this for much lower costs, expect anything; poor knowledge, no experience, short cuts, or maybe the most professionally skilled mechanic that knows what to do and isn't gouging his customers because he can do the work in a fair amount of time while still eeking out a profit because he's the one that has business all the time. Steady work and great repairs almost guarantees a steady income. The rest of us mangle our tools, scrape skin, and howl at the moon attempting half way decent repairs to keep money from leaving our wallets. Some of us actually fix things right.

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Old 02-05-2011, 01:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: When to change timing belt on LW?

You will want to make sure that the water pump as well as all of the idler pulleys and the tensioner assembly are changed along with the timing belt. To give you an idea, these parts in a good brand (Gates) purchased on-line from RockAuto.com will cost you a little more than $200 including shipping. Most shops will mark up parts quite a bit, maybe another $200. The rest is labor. I would recommend those who are not confident that they can perform this work well - it is not a beginner's kind of job- choose a shop or a mechanic who has done this work on the same engine before. The labor costs will be much lower because the mechanic should have the tools and most importantly, the know-how to perform the work properly and more quickly, saving you money and increasing the probability that the work is done correctly.

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Old 02-05-2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: When to change timing belt on LW?

Thanks...And it will be hard to find a shop that already has these parts as they will all be ex-saturn dealerships. Who seem to charge quite a bit more..

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Old 02-05-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: When to change timing belt on LW?

Even though there are no more Saturn dealers, these common parts should be available from many of the after-market vendors like O'Reilly's or NAPA that supply independent shops and mechanics. You could buy the parts yourself and offer to provide them to the shop or mechanic. Many don't like to do this because it deprives them of the opportunity to make a profit on the parts, and/or it forces them to use parts they are not familiar with and therefore may not be willing to guarantee. If you do make this offer, you should mention the brand name you are willing to provide like Gates or AC Delco. If the GM part numbers match, the parts may also be available from a Cadillac dealer as for some years the Catera engine was similar/identical to that used in the Saturn L. You usually pay a pretty good markup on parts from a dealer, though.

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