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CostHelper > Cars  > Replacing a Timing Chain

Replacing a Timing Chain Cost

How Much Does Replacing a Timing Chain Cost?

low costLabor: $75-$120average costTiming Chain: $50-$250+high costProfessional Replacement: $300-$1,000
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A timing chain is a major component used to keep an engine's timing in sync, and replacing it is often an essential part of automobile maintenance. Timing chains typically last longer than timing belts and are preferred by some automakers for their durability. Most experts recommend replacing a timing chain every 100,000 miles or so. Timing chains might need replacement if there is excessive vibration or if the vehicle's ignition timing seems off.

Typical costs:

  • Hiring a mechanic to replace a timing chain typically costs $300-$1,000, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, its age and whether the work is performed at a dealership or an independent shop.
  • Purchased separately, a timing chain typically costs $50-$250 or more. For example, Ford uses a timing chain on its 4.6-liter V-8, which is found in several popular models, including the F-150 pickup. A timing chain for a 2004 F-150 with the 4.6-liter V-8 costs $53 from national retailer Advance Auto Parts[1] .
  • Timing chains are often sold in kits which contain additional smaller parts that can be used in the repair. Prices for kits vary considerably, from $20 to $1,000,as replacement parts for some original equipment manufacturers simply cost more to build than for others. Some kits might be built using expensive materials, adding to the cost. For example, Iowa-based Northern Auto Parts sells the Buick High Energy Timing Set[2] , which fits various General Motors vehicles built from 1962-1980, for $26; online retailer sells the CLOYES 90393SA[3] , which fits the 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty, for $406. One owner of a 1993 Nissan 240SX[4] asked an Internet forum what the typical cost for a timing chain for that car was, and the answers ranged from $200 to $400. By comparison, in a similar forum, an owner of a 2004 Cadillac SRX[5] was quoted prices of about $300.
  • Expect to pay $75-$120 per hour for labor, depending on whether the work is performed at a dealership or an independent shop. It depends on the model, but generally the job takes three-five hours. Costs can increase considerably, sometimes up to $700 or more, if the timing chain breaks before being replaced.
  • Timing-chain failure seldom occurs when the car is still under warranty, so customers will usually have to pay for the replacement themselves. Dealerships typically charge more, but their technicians are intimately familiar with the brand of cars they work on and they use factory parts. Independent repair shops may charge less, but they may use aftermarket parts, which are manufactured to factory specifications, but are not made by the automaker.
Related articles: Replacing a Timing Belt, Replacing a Water Pump, Replacing a Transmission, Replacing a Clutch, Car Battery, Car Rental

What should be included:
  • A timing chain kit should include the kit itself; any necessary seals, bolts and sprockets, and any other necessary accessories. A mechanic will be expected to remove and replace the chain, along with the aforementioned seals, bolts, sprockets, and accessories.
  • If possible, it is best to get an estimate before approving any work. However, if the timing chain has failed, the car will not run and this might not be an option.
Additional costs:
  • The water pump is sometimes replaced along with the timing chain. Normally, water pump replacement is typically about $300; however, since the technician is already replacing the timing chain, labor costs may not be charged, and the customer would only be charged for the part, which is typically about $100.
  • Some repair shops might offer a discount on repairs for regular customers, usually about 10%.
  • Discounts can also come from the manufacturer itself. For example, Ford offers periodic rebates[6] on a variety of routine maintenance.
  • Timing chain replacement is a difficult job best left to professional mechanics or those with advanced auto-repair experience. Those who choose to do it themselves will need to set aside two-six hours. A certified master technician provides a step-by-step guide[7] to replacing a timing chain.
Shopping for replacing a timing chain:
  • The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a non-profit trade group for technicians and other automotive service professionals, has a searchable directory[8] of certified shops.
  • Several online retailers, including[9] and[10] , sell timing chains. Timing chains are also available at national retailers, including Advance Auto Parts[11] and Napa Auto Parts[12] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
233,000 miles and timing chain kaput
Amount: $2,500.00
Posted by: Randy Craftmyer in Berkeley, CA.Posted: July 9th, 2015 12:07AM
Brand: ToyotaMechanic:
Hours of Labor: 2 days
Had one quote at $1400.00 Two others at $2,400 and $2,500.00.
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Engine Replaced Due to Timing Chain Break
Amount: $3,400.00
Posted by: TX DEDA in Dallas, TX.Posted: January 8th, 2015 09:01AM
Brand: Ford F-250Mechanic: Personal Friend-Mechanic Shop
Hours of Labor: 1 week
I had bought a 2005 Ford F250 brand new gasoline engine truck. AS of May 2014, engine blew. Ran great minimal maintenance done on it however. Timing chain broke so engine had to be replaced. Replaced engine. Bought used engine from a parts house. Cost 2,200.00 for engine, $754.00 for misc. parts and for replacing, and 450.00 to rental of a car for 2 weeks. All in all, VERY COSTLY repair! To boot, this engine did the same thing. Same amount needed to replace again!! I'm done gotta let her go.
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timing chain replacement
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Chris Clingshoff in Discovery Bay, CA.Posted: September 24th, 2014 03:09PM
2001 F150 timing chain, I'm getting quoted a grand more everyone on this site, why is that?
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Engine replacement of 1995Honda Prelude Si
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Carter in Fort Worth, TX.Posted: August 22nd, 2014 08:08AM
Brand: MfgMechanic: Honda
Hours of Labor: 16
My question is if you get a engine replaced why would they want to charge you again to replace the timing chain?
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