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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 13 Sep 2006, 05:08 pm
gigelus2k3
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Default where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

Hello,

My 98 Civic LX with 87000 miles started making the tell-tale
high-pitched whistle, suggesting that a timing belt change is in order.

Where should I go do it? Or is this a routine job and would not matter
where I go? My local service center (SpeeDee in Westgate Mall, West San
Jose), to which I always went to do the oil change, quoted something in
the range of 700 bucks everything included.

Also, is this really a whole-day job?

Thank you,

Serban

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 13 Sep 2006, 06:59 pm
Elle
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Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

"gigelus2k3" <popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote
> Hello,
>
> My 98 Civic LX with 87000 miles started making the
> tell-tale
> high-pitched whistle, suggesting that a timing belt change
> is in order.


I think you're overdue, years-wise, for a TB change. Do you
have an owner's manual? It will say.

Don't put this off. A failed TB can destroy the engine.

> Where should I go do it?


A good import shop is a pretty good bet. Dealer will charge
more, but it's more likely they'll do it right.

> Or is this a routine job and would not matter
> where I go? My local service center (SpeeDee in Westgate
> Mall, West San
> Jose), to which I always went to do the oil change, quoted
> something in
> the range of 700 bucks everything included.


I think I'd go for a more specialized shop.

Call your nearest dealer and get a quote, as some kind of
benchmark. Dealer price should be closer to $700.
Independent shop, closer to $500.

Price should include new water pump, maybe a new tensioner
or balance belt, too.

> Also, is this really a whole-day job?


Technically, it's only about a half-day of work, but given
the juggling among repairs shops have to do, plan on leaving
it the whole day.


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 13 Sep 2006, 07:11 pm
gigelus2k3
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Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

Hello Elle,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I know that the TB breaking means curtains
for the engine (heard it on NPR's CarTalk, no less) and that I have to
do it pretty soon.

The issue I'm having is that all Honda dealers in the South Bay Area
have horror-stories posted in this newsgroup; because of this, I'm not
very willing to go to a dealer, except if someone recommends it.

What is an import shop?

Serban

Elle wrote:
> "gigelus2k3" <popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote
> > Hello,
> >
> > My 98 Civic LX with 87000 miles started making the
> > tell-tale
> > high-pitched whistle, suggesting that a timing belt change
> > is in order.

>
> I think you're overdue, years-wise, for a TB change. Do you
> have an owner's manual? It will say.
>
> Don't put this off. A failed TB can destroy the engine.
>
> > Where should I go do it?

>
> A good import shop is a pretty good bet. Dealer will charge
> more, but it's more likely they'll do it right.
>
> > Or is this a routine job and would not matter
> > where I go? My local service center (SpeeDee in Westgate
> > Mall, West San
> > Jose), to which I always went to do the oil change, quoted
> > something in
> > the range of 700 bucks everything included.

>
> I think I'd go for a more specialized shop.
>
> Call your nearest dealer and get a quote, as some kind of
> benchmark. Dealer price should be closer to $700.
> Independent shop, closer to $500.
>
> Price should include new water pump, maybe a new tensioner
> or balance belt, too.
>
> > Also, is this really a whole-day job?

>
> Technically, it's only about a half-day of work, but given
> the juggling among repairs shops have to do, plan on leaving
> it the whole day.


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 13 Sep 2006, 07:18 pm
Elle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

"gigelus2k3" <popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote
> Hello Elle,
>
> Thanks for the reply. Yes, I know that the TB breaking
> means curtains
> for the engine (heard it on NPR's CarTalk, no less) and
> that I have to
> do it pretty soon.
>
> The issue I'm having is that all Honda dealers in the
> South Bay Area
> have horror-stories posted in this newsgroup; because of
> this, I'm not
> very willing to go to a dealer, except if someone
> recommends it.


A timing belt change is very routine. I would have more
faith that dealerships will get this right. Do check prices,
though. You can call and the front desk service person will
be able to rattle off the cost. Takes a minute or so per
call, because it's such a commonly done job.

Some dealerships will charge way too much. But not all. They
seem more competitive these days.

> What is an import shop?


I mean a private, auto repair business unaffiliated with a
Honda dealership but specialized in, say, Toyotas, Hondas,
Nissans, etc. "Import car" = Car design originally done
outside the U.S.

Some independent import shops are indeed specialized in
Hondas. Look in your Yellow Pages under auto repairs, and
see if there is an "Import" section.

The Car Talk web site also used to have a section where one
could look up independent shops that were recommended by
others. Might surf that site a bit.

Check back. Someone in the SF area may chime in. Or they'll
reinforce or debate my opinions above. :-)


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 13 Sep 2006, 07:36 pm
MAT
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?


"gigelus2k3" <popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1158185292.151970.56320@h48g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
> Hello,
>
> My 98 Civic LX with 87000 miles started making the tell-tale
> high-pitched whistle, suggesting that a timing belt change is in order.
>
> Where should I go do it? Or is this a routine job and would not matter
> where I go? My local service center (SpeeDee in Westgate Mall, West San
> Jose), to which I always went to do the oil change, quoted something in
> the range of 700 bucks everything included.
>
> Also, is this really a whole-day job?



My generic advice is to check the individual dealer websites in your
locality for service coupons. There's usually a timing belt special at one
of the local dealers. Once you have this as a baseline you can consider
your other options.


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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 14 Sep 2006, 12:48 am
John Horner
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

gigelus2k3 wrote:
> Hello,
>
> My 98 Civic LX with 87000 miles started making the tell-tale
> high-pitched whistle, suggesting that a timing belt change is in order.
>
> Where should I go do it? Or is this a routine job and would not matter
> where I go? My local service center (SpeeDee in Westgate Mall, West San
> Jose), to which I always went to do the oil change, quoted something in
> the range of 700 bucks everything included.
>
> Also, is this really a whole-day job?
>
> Thank you,
>
> Serban
>


You want to make sure that top quality parts are used, which means
staying away from the chains for the most part.

If you don't have a dealer you trust, then use a specialist import shop
like Made In Japan, 1011 Dell Ave, Campbell, CA 408-370-2572.

John

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 14 Sep 2006, 01:15 am
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

John Horner wrote:
> gigelus2k3 wrote:
>> Hello,
>>
>> My 98 Civic LX with 87000 miles started making the tell-tale
>> high-pitched whistle, suggesting that a timing belt change is in order.
>>
>> Where should I go do it? Or is this a routine job and would not matter
>> where I go? My local service center (SpeeDee in Westgate Mall, West San
>> Jose), to which I always went to do the oil change, quoted something in
>> the range of 700 bucks everything included.
>>
>> Also, is this really a whole-day job?
>>
>> Thank you,
>>
>> Serban
>>

>
> You want to make sure that top quality parts are used, which means
> staying away from the chains for the most part.
>
> If you don't have a dealer you trust, then use a specialist import shop
> like Made In Japan, 1011 Dell Ave, Campbell, CA 408-370-2572.
>
> John
>

do they do frame straightening?
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 14 Sep 2006, 07:58 am
Michael Pardee
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

"jim beam" <spamvortex@bad.example.net> wrote in message
news:mIGdnQ4s88LubpXYnZ2dnUVZ_vudnZ2d@speakeasy.ne t...
> John Horner wrote:
>> If you don't have a dealer you trust, then use a specialist import shop
>> like Made In Japan, 1011 Dell Ave, Campbell, CA 408-370-2572.
>>
>> John
>>

> do they do frame straightening?


I think most shops farm out frame straightening (and often all body work) to
independents specializing in body work. When our Volvo was hit and the
unibody bent the dealer farmed the work out to a local body shop. The
results were amazing. I looked hard at the places I knew were creased and
couldn't see a trace.

Mike


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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 14 Sep 2006, 08:48 am
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

Michael Pardee wrote:
> "jim beam" <spamvortex@bad.example.net> wrote in message
> news:mIGdnQ4s88LubpXYnZ2dnUVZ_vudnZ2d@speakeasy.ne t...
>> John Horner wrote:
>>> If you don't have a dealer you trust, then use a specialist import shop
>>> like Made In Japan, 1011 Dell Ave, Campbell, CA 408-370-2572.
>>>
>>> John
>>>

>> do they do frame straightening?

>
> I think most shops farm out frame straightening (and often all body work) to
> independents specializing in body work. When our Volvo was hit and the
> unibody bent the dealer farmed the work out to a local body shop. The
> results were amazing. I looked hard at the places I knew were creased and
> couldn't see a trace.
>
> Mike
>
>

great, but where? i've been looking for a frame straightening shop here
in the bay area [my civic is a little too short] but most places want
you to spend thousands on a total body re-do, they won't do just the
frame. i want to find a shop that knows what they're doing and will do
what i want.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 14 Sep 2006, 09:49 am
Apple Dumpling
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: where in Bay Area to go change the timing belt on a 98 Civic?

In article <c9udnQYEJ5OUOZXYnZ2dnUVZ_o2dnZ2d@comcast.com>, MAT
<marcoat*RM_@SPAM_*hotmail.com> wrote:

> "gigelus2k3" <popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1158185292.151970.56320@h48g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
> > Hello,
> >
> > My 98 Civic LX with 87000 miles started making the tell-tale
> > high-pitched whistle, suggesting that a timing belt change is in order.
> >
> > Where should I go do it? Or is this a routine job and would not matter
> > where I go? My local service center (SpeeDee in Westgate Mall, West San
> > Jose), to which I always went to do the oil change, quoted something in
> > the range of 700 bucks everything included.
> >
> > Also, is this really a whole-day job?

>
>
> My generic advice is to check the individual dealer websites in your
> locality for service coupons. There's usually a timing belt special at one
> of the local dealers. Once you have this as a baseline you can consider
> your other options.
>
>

I did a lot of looking around and found even independent shops asking
as much as $800 for a complete 90,000 mi service. I finally found a
shop on San Antonio road in Mt. View, Valero Automotic Unlimiter who
did a complete 90,000 service for about $575. They did the coolant,
all belts inc timing, water pump, transmission, oil and filter. So far
no problems. They were recomended to me by another customer. Call
Fred Cheung at 650-941-2541. Bob
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