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Old 06-02-2008, 12:20 PM   #1
biglarstoo
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Default Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Can anyone tell me why the dealer wants $187 to replace a $17.99 serpentine belt idler pulley?

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Old 06-02-2008, 12:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Labor.

Mechanics make roughly about $70-$80 an hour.

If you figure in an hour to get to Idler Pulley:

Based on taking the wheel off, splash guard off, removing the serpetine belt, removing the idler pulley, replacing with new idler pulley, reinstalling serpentine belt, reinstalling splash guard, reinstalling wheel....that's $187 right there to the dealer.

...
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94 SL2 225K Miles
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:53 PM   #3
Low Saturn
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

I'll do it for $50.

...
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn View Post
I'll do it for $50.
Do I have to come to you? How come there aren't guys like you here in Houston!?


...
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Based on taking the wheel off, splash guard off, removing the serpetine belt, removing the idler pulley, replacing with new idler pulley, reinstalling serpentine belt, reinstalling splash guard, reinstalling wheel....that's $187 right there to the dealer.
Wouldn't the idler pulley be easier to reach from above, than from the wheel well?

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Old 06-02-2008, 01:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSaturn02 View Post
Do I have to come to you?
Yep, unless you want to pay for a plane ticket too.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSaturn02 View Post
How come there aren't guys like you here in Houston!?
Dont know. I once swapped out an upper engine mount in the parking lot at a Saturn dealership for a lady. The service department wouldnt stay opned an extra 5 minutes to do it, so they watched me do it in the parking lot for her.

...
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Wouldn't the idler pulley be easier to reach from above, than from the wheel well?
Yep. But thats not how it shows it in the book. So they'd either:

1. Go by the book because thats what its says to do. Or

2. Do it the faster, easier way and still charge the same amount.

...
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn View Post
2. Do it the faster, easier way and still charge the same amount.
And I suppose the "same amount" includes time to read the book.....

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Old 06-02-2008, 04:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Wouldn't the idler pulley be easier to reach from above, than from the wheel well?
I prefer to go in through the wheel well, although I know you can go in from the top, I prefer going in from the bottom. To me it's easier, that way I can lay on a creeper, or on the floor in my garage and get to where I need to get to, I think going in from the top limits you a bit because you are standing and have to deal with the fender, etc. and you almost have to stand stratigecally to get to the stuff on the Serp Belt.

That's me, but everyone has their own way of working on their car. To me there isn't a good or bad way, just as long as the car gets fixed and back on the road to drive it

...
Bryan

94 SL2 225K Miles
97 SW2 255K Miles

Garaged
94 SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

Never Forget
94 SC1 340,501 Miles
Original Engine/Auto Trans
02/97-10/08
Gone 03/12


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05 VUE
91 SC

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Old 06-02-2008, 07:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post

Mechanics make roughly about $70-$80 an hour.

You are so wrong on that statement it is not funny!

If you can find a mechanic that makes that much per hour let me know where they work. I will pack up and move to there to work and retire in a couple of years.

Shops may charge 70-80$ an hour (very low door rate) but techs don't get that much.

...
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:51 PM   #11
TXSaturn02
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
[B][U]
Shops may charge 70-80$ an hour (very low door rate) but techs don't get that much.
Yeah, like in most type of business, the "house" gets at least 50% of the loot. The rest goes into keeping the shop up and paying all those hard working executives (the masterminds) for their desk jobs.

That is why so many of these shops are always trying to upsale you something and "try" to find something wrong with your car. I know that is how Brake Check operates. They want you to schedule your appointment on-line so that they can keep their schedule booked. If the shop is making 80/hour on labor and paying their people $20/hour and they keep four of those guys busy all day, then the shop is making 240/hour or about $2000/day. Trick is to keep them busy all day. I've noticed that most repair shops are usually busy all the time.

...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
Sticker: $13,995 As of 07/14/14: 194,301 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
Sticker: $20,850 As of 07/14/14: 10,364 Miles

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Old 06-03-2008, 06:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
You are so wrong on that statement it is not funny!

If you can find a mechanic that makes that much per hour let me know where they work. I will pack up and move to there to work and retire in a couple of years.

Shops may charge 70-80$ an hour (very low door rate) but techs don't get that much.

I was just using some general numbers, I know they were a little high...meaning that Mechanics are paid pretty hefty to do simple work on these cars...I am sure some of the dealers around here, some of the mechanics are paid close to $50/hour at least, maybe less maybe more.

By using those numbers, I was just trying to illustrate that Mechanics are paid alot, whether that be $30/hour or $100/hour...regardless. Mechanics are paid quite a bit for their work.

...
Bryan

94 SL2 225K Miles
97 SW2 255K Miles

Garaged
94 SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

Never Forget
94 SC1 340,501 Miles
Original Engine/Auto Trans
02/97-10/08
Gone 03/12


92 SL1
05 VUE
91 SC

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Old 06-07-2008, 02:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by biglarstoo View Post
Can anyone tell me why the dealer wants $187 to replace a $17.99 serpentine belt idler pulley?
I think they misunderstood you and give you a labor quote on replacing the drive belt tensioner..

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Old 06-07-2008, 02:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn View Post
I once swapped out an upper engine mount in the parking lot at a Saturn dealership for a lady. The service department wouldnt stay opned an extra 5 minutes to do it, so they watched me do it in the parking lot for her.
Was she hot?
Wait, if she was they would have stayed open for her...you must just be a nice guy!

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Old 06-15-2008, 01:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Taking off the wheel was definitely the way to go. Thanks for the tip. I also found a couple of other things that made the job go easier for me. I cut an 8" piece of PVC pipe sized to fit over the other end of my 14mm wrench. This gave me more leverage and let me extend it to lock the idler pulley open allowing me to then slip the belt onto the a/c pulley without that extra set of hands. The second thing was discovering there is no need to remove the splash guards. Simply popping off two latches on the front lower splash guard allows you to open it sufficiently to gain fairly easy access.

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Old 06-15-2008, 08:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Just did mine the other day...thats a good price if it includes a new Tensioner in it....i got a dayco tensioner for 87$ at advanced the other day...and the pulley was plastic....so if thats the price for a installed OEM part...then thas a good deal to me!

...
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:45 AM   #17
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Default Re: Replacing the serpentine belt idler pulley

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnASmith View Post
Taking off the wheel was definitely the way to go. Thanks for the tip. I also found a couple of other things that made the job go easier for me. I cut an 8" piece of PVC pipe sized to fit over the other end of my 14mm wrench. This gave me more leverage and let me extend it to lock the idler pulley open allowing me to then slip the belt onto the a/c pulley without that extra set of hands. The second thing was discovering there is no need to remove the splash guards. Simply popping off two latches on the front lower splash guard allows you to open it sufficiently to gain fairly easy access.
The idler pulley doesn't "lock" open. It just mounts with a single bolt to the timing cover. If you did it through the wheel well, you must have had to reach past the tensioner to reach the idler.

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