Last post on Feb 11, 2011 at 7:52 AM
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Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, GMC, Ford, Auto Body, Brakes, Electrical, Engine, Exhaust, Fuel System, Interior, Oil, Paint, Steering, Suspension, Transmission, Car Warranties, Coupe, Convertible, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan, Wagon, SUV
#1 of 632 Maintenance
Jun 16, 2003 (10:12 pm)
One thing I didn't realize before purchasing a 1999 A6 (std) with 55k miles was the Edmunds site left out in it's maintenance information was the fact that the timing belt needed to be replaced at 60k miles. I went to the Audi dealership in Tampa, Fl and they indicated it would be $1100 to do the 60K interval. Wow, what a blow for getting such a deal on the car. The normal hourly rate at this location is $90 /hour. No, that does not include a girl and a room.
#2 of 632 1996 Audi Timing Belt R&R
Jun 17, 2003 (3:45 am)
Mitchell Mechanical Labor Estimating Guide:
Timing belt - R&R
.2 seal, camshaft
.2 seal, crankshaft
Total labor is 3.1 hours. The parts must be gold plated.
#3 of 632 or delivered by unicorns
Jun 17, 2003 (12:48 pm)
changing the timing belt does slightly complicate the i$$ue, but I'd sure like to know if the following services are covered in the 60,000 package ::=
(*) rotating rocks in tire treads
(*) wash and fluff-dry all cottonwood seeds in air filter
(*) remove, clean, lubricate, and replace all bolts
(*) align all window stickers
if this is something like a $800 timing belt change due to parts removal, etc. and $300 of plugs, wires, lubrications, and gyrations, that's one thing. but a lot of "dealer recommended service packages" also contain items not in the carmaker's recommended service list, some of which are traditionally laughers in their own right. and yes, parts are often more expensive than they would seem... until you remember that you replace fewer of them and further apart these days.
with that labor estimate alcan found in mitchell's guides, I'm more than a little surprised at the final price.
#4 of 632 ah, an epiphany?!?
Jun 17, 2003 (1:30 pm)
it just occurred to me... three or so hours of labor in the $140 to $180 an hour labor range would do nasty things to the price of a timing belt change, wouldn't it? that would not be a shocker to find those kind of labor rates in a factory-trained german dealer's shop, the fargo Benz dealer was asking that kind of per-hour in the late 1980s.
Jun 17, 2003 (2:55 pm)
still only brings you to $600 or so for the swap-out. More than $1000 sounds WAY high.
OTOH, what about also replacing the fancy German water pump at the same time, as many places commonly recommend? That could easily bring you to $1000 at German parts prices.
#6 of 632 Repairs
Jun 18, 2003 (8:54 pm)
Given the reported high cost of parts, has anyone purchased parts say, online or at some discount auto parts store, and had a mechanic/friend/aquaintence install them? I can't imagine these cars are so mechanically complex that they are that difficult to work on.
#7 of 632 aftermarket parts availability
Jun 19, 2003 (7:16 am)
is a lot smaller for German brands than Japanese or domestic brands. It may be that for this job there is no aftermarket alternative. I wonder if there might be a dealer willing to sell parts at wholesale on-line, though.
#8 of 632 It depends strongly on the manufacturer.
Jun 19, 2003 (8:15 am)
I know that Audi is relatively high, but Mercedes is not nearly as high as one would expect. Simply splitting them into "German vs. Japanese" doesn't quite cut it.
I'd pay roughly $120 in parts if I wanted to replace the water pump on my '96 E-Class. It would also be a relatively easy fix, as it sits right at the top of the engine and is accessory belt driven, thereby very easily accessible. Definitely a DIY job.
Most of the stuff I had to replace so far (window regulator, belts, bulbs, battery) have not been outrageously expensive.
Parts availability also depends on the manufacturer. I've had to wait for BMW parts, but had plenty of choices for Mercedes. Even the dealer parts were often competetively priced.
Mercedes will get really expensive if one talks about a complete engine take-down or engine replacement. I believe a replacement engine would run me close to $8K. However, I would consider that a very unlikely event.
#9 of 632 my main experience
Jun 19, 2003 (11:05 am)
with buying parts for German cars has been for BMW 3-series cars, and those are expensive and not always available. Thank you for the reminder not to generalize to all German brands!
I have heard that Audi is expensive though - the one Audi I owned I sold quickly - the things I did have to replace were much more expensive than they would have been on a Toyota (window regulators for one)
#10 of 632 How much is a Toyota window regulator ?
Jun 19, 2003 (11:30 am)
I paid $126 for mine, after figuring out with the help of parts person at the MB dealer, that I would be able to salvage the motor by using a '99 model year part instead of the '96. (Otherwise, I would have paid over $200.)
I have since found out that the price of $126 was high, and that people have bought this part for as low as $80. Ah well, it was a kind of emergency.
Yes, Audi seems to be expensive. A friend of mine owns an Audi convertible and had to pay $400 (part only) for a replacement rear window. I believe I'd only pay around $140 for the replacement on my Z3.