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They will complete it better, faster and be much more qualified than probably 98% of the people in here as opposed to those trying it first time.
theres definitely a rich irony in dumping on the competence of the dealer techs, while suggesting to skip the various pulley locks and just mark-and-pray swapping the belt.

you do you i guess! :)
 

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I don't understand those comments. I can understand being timid and getting a new person with an oil change and forgetting something as that is usually the first "mechanic" work someone does, but anyone doing anything more complex especially internal engine is going to be much more highly trained and done the procedure numerous times, and at a dealer they will be ASE certified. They will complete it better, faster and be much more qualified than probably 98% of the people in here as opposed to those trying it first time.

I would most certainly trust a dealer do the work I don't want to do and they are more knowledgeable and capable than myself. I usually do my own once I am out of warranty because I enjoy the challenge, have the knowledge and like to save money. It certainly isn't because they aren't as capable as I am as I know they are more capable (that is their job, just like they aren't nearly as capable as someone who say works in Finance).

Also most comments such as those regarding the incompetence at a dealer is word of mouth or a bad oil change/tire rotation service, not at all indictive of their capability at much more complex tasks with their trained techs and all the correct specialized tools. Just like anything you are going to hear on a forum more negative than positive information, but there are far more positive interactions out there than negative ones, you just don't hear about them. Plus, they are human, they can have a screw up, at a dealer at least their work is covered and warrantied if there is a screw up, if you do it then it is on you...

Tyler
I do agree in principle, but with the caveat that the dealer makes all the difference in the world. I had a Dodge dealer drop a corner of my Challenger off the lift and crunch the rocker panel while replacing the clutch under warranty and they didn't say a WORD about it. I saw the damage and was like WTF?! Same dealer doing the 67,500-mile PCV filter and EGR cooler maintenance on a 6.7 Cummins didn't reinstall the cooler properly, reused spring clamps that caused leaks, and reinstalled some brackets and studs in the wrong locations or not at all.

On the flip side, the Honda dealer my wife used while owning her Pilot was great, had them do the timing belt and there were no issues after the fact. Similarly, my local GMC dealer had to repair some wiring right after I bought my truck and ended up pulling out the dash. I was worried about future rattles, but it's been fine.

I totally get not trusting dealers but that's because I have personal experience with problem dealers. I have no problems with dealers that I feel I can trust.
 
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Based on my own experience, dealers hire sub-par mechanics, in my area anyway. In my own experience, we had the inverter coolant pump replaced on our Prius under warranty. When I got the car back the engine was covered in coolant, the coolant tank was empty and the hose was pinched. I fixed the job myself. Then my wife got rear-ended in the same car, the same dealer fixed the damage. Long story short, some screws were run in at a 45-degree angle because they were too lazy to remove the rear wheel, and it was raining inside the car when it rained outside because they left a rubber boot in the top of the hatch dangling. For my Tacoma I bought the factory service manual and did all of my own work when possible. Multiple times I went to the parts counter asking for a specific part number for a sealant or lubricant specified in the service manual only to be given something else and told "this is what we use". They tried to give me lithium grease for the sliding axles when the manual clearly stated moly grease required. They told me they don't have any moly grease and "this is what we use". Sure you won't have a hard failure immediately, but you're going to be replacing parts a lot sooner than you should. Maybe it's better in your area, but in my area I don't trust dealers.
 

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On the flip side; at well over 100k miles the rear axle bearings went in my Tacoma, causing a gear lube leak on both sides, and replacement required special tools that I was not going to invest in. There was a local shop run by "car guys", they worked on their own project cars after work, etc.. guys who enjoyed their work, so I hired them to do the work. When I got my truck back it was immaculate. You could eat off of any part of the rear of the truck, not a spot of gear oil anywhere and it worked like new. Then unfortunately the mechanic who did the work left to start his own shop. There are good mechanics, I've just yet to personally see one at a dealer.
 

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Those kind of guys who love the work and have some skill are sometimes hard to find. When you do find them I always treat them like royalty and give them desirable farm products that sweeten the relationship as a token of my appreciation.
 

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2016 White Z71 Duramax CCLB
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If you need help PM me. You will at a minimum require the cam lock tool (not something you can fabricate easily). You also need a cam wrench but that would be fairly straightforward to make with a welder and some fab skills.
 

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So I ticked off 148k on the colorado this weekend and am beginning to plan for the 150k maintenance/timing belt replacement. Has anyone DIY'd this job? From what I can gather it is not rocket science, it just requires some time, patience and perhaps a few bloodied knuckles.

I plan to do some cleanup and flushing work while I have it down.

Any tips or suggestions appreciated. Planned work is as follows:

Remove clean and and flush radiator and intercooler
Remove/replace serpentine belt
Remove replace timing belt
change XFER case fluid
change front/rear differential fluid
I might be able to send myself the tech data repair procedures from all data Monday and send you the file so you have a step by step
 

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2021 Black \/6 4WD Z71 Crew Cab Short Box
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Agreed with Tyler-
I hate taking my truck to the dealership- mostly because they abuse the paint and never do the work as well as I would.
certain tasks are more suited to a tradesman- engine work, transmission, paint, etc. I know it’s something I could do- but for 1000 or less I’m dropping it off and picking up a loaner. I’m guessing parts are 2-400 so If I miss a day of work I lose money doing it myself. This looks like a 4 day job for MrCamo- as I’m slow and like to drink beer while working on my cars. Also I have a 2 year son old I can’t say no to. I forget anything I was gonna do when I get home when I see that kid and end up sitting on a 1 foot tall chair playing with play dough at a table I can’t ge my knees under.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Mr. Camo. Hopefully that relationship will last a long time. Mine turns 19 next week and we still enjoy time together. Attended a car show Sat. together and worked on fabricating some parts for his Imapala last night. Trying to make the most of it before he flies on his own in a year or two.

I called the local dealer yesterday just to get an objective viewpoint. Here is what I got.

Ring up the dealer and ask for the service manager. Service manger comes on and I am surprised to here a female voice. No big deal, I am sure she is just as capable as any man but surprised me. I told her I had a 2016 colorado diesel, needed to get the 150k mi service performed, and would like to get an estimate. She asked me for the last 8 digits of the VIN and then put me on hold for a few minutes. When she returned, she said the only thing she saw in the 150K service interval was Xfer case fluid, differential and radiator flush. I told her I thought the timing belt was supposed to be done as well. She puts me on hold again. When she returns she says yes, the timing belt is due at 150k and they would be happy to do it. Cost to change the timing belt would be approx. $450.00. Wow, I think, thats a bargain so I press a little further to see if that includes installing a new Timng belt tensioner and water pump. She replies no, and asks why I would want to change those. Now I'm starting to feel a little uneasy. I explain that the tensioner likely needs to be replaced to ensure the new belt runs true and lasts another 150k mi and the water pump is easily accessible and all the fluids will be drained and repalced so it is ideal time to change it out. She says she can quote me the cost of book labor to add those to the work order and get them done but I will need to talk to their parts person to get pricing on the additional parts. I say that will be fine. She transfers me to the parts department. The parts person also has a freindly female voice. I explain to her the situation ans ask her for pricing on the timing belt, tensioner, water pump, and cam shaft access plug. She promptly prices the belt. 66.00. Then she pauses and says the tensioner is not in stock and availability is not promising. She sees only one or two in the system at other dealers and they may not sell them. If they do, I would need to pay shipping costs. They are 95.00 pluss shipping. Same goes for the water pump which is 255.00 plus shipping and they may not be able to get it. As for the camshaft end cap, she doesn't think they have one, but she will check with the diesel mechanic. She puts me on hold. She comes back and tells me he isn't familiar with replacing the cam shaft end cap on a timing belt change but he is going to check the service guide to confirm. It will take a minute. While waiting, I probe a little deeper. I ask her if they do many Colorado diesels. She openly admits that they don't see many and she can only recall them ordering parts for one timing belt change they performed. The mechanic then tells her yes, the cam cap may need to be changed according to service guide, but he thinks they usuallly are re-usable. I ask her to transfer me back to the service manager. She does so and I ask the service manager if would be ok If I supply my own parts if they have problems with parts availability. She says that is no problem but they can only warranty the labor on customer provided parts. I politely thank her and say goodbye.

If this were your dealership, would you have them perform the service?

If I can rent the tools for 99.00, and have a service guide to follow as well as better parts availability, it seems like I might be in a better position to perform the work as I can take my time, clean everything thorougly, and am not expected to complete the job on a time clock. I am not saying I am more qualified, or there is anything wrong with the mechanics qualifications or work ethic, I am just being objective. There is also a significant savings I can achive, not just on the labor, but by not paying the dealer markup and shipping costs on the parts they apparently can't get but are available outside approved dealer channels, still buying OEM AC Delco parts.

Speaking of parts, looking online, it looks like the timing belt and tensioner is sourced from Gates. The part number is identical for both the Gates part and the AC Delco Gold/Pro are identical, and the OEM tensioner actually appears to be stamped Gates on the back. Looks like maybe the OEM part has a slightly different spec than the gates or econoline AC Delco branded that have the same part numbers.


tensioner.png

I believe Gates is also the timing belt manufacturer for AC Delco branded belts. I am willing to pay more for the ACDelco belt, just to be sure it is right in this critical application but I am curious if there is any serviceable difference as the gates belt has the same part number T349, vs AC Delco TB349. The Gates is $21.79 AC Delco Pro/Gold is 27.99 and it doesn't look like the OEM is available, even through ACDelco parts direct.
 

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Being a good mechanic at a good dealer can be a pretty darn good job. The shame of it is "good" dealers are more and more rare. All too often there is overwhelming pressure to beat the "flat rate" (especially on warranty work) and the job becomes a grind. Independent shops tend to be more laid back, but they generally don't have the resources, salary and benefits package for their techs like a dealer does. As a result it is hard to win when it comes to trusting that the work will be done well.

If it is at all possible, I like to do what I can myself, and take it to a good local independent shop if I can't. They are not cheap, but they stand behind their work, which has been good so far. When it comes to my Canyon's timing belt service, I will probably take it to a local independent diesel shop that has a good reputation modding and repairing the full size diesels. It is gonna cost, but that is alright, it is not a service that needs to be done often.
 

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Being a good mechanic at a good dealer can be a pretty darn good job. The shame of it is "good" dealers are more and more rare. All too often there is overwhelming pressure to beat the "flat rate" (especially on warranty work) and the job becomes a grind. Independent shops tend to be more laid back, but they generally don't have the resources, salary and benefits package for their techs like a dealer does. As a result it is hard to win when it comes to trusting that the work will be done well.

If it is at all possible, I like to do what I can myself, and take it to a good local independent shop if I can't. They are not cheap, but they stand behind their work, which has been good so far. When it comes to my Canyon's timing belt service, I will probably take it to a local independent diesel shop that has a good reputation modding and repairing the full size diesels. It is gonna cost, but that is alright, it is not a service that needs to be done often.
Independent shops still have efficiency requirements like dealers, it's how they make money and can pay their techs well. It's been a while, but IIRC in a given 8-hour work day if you're not logging around 14+ hours of book time then you'll be the first to go when there's a downturn in work because the margins aren't there. Independent or dealer, they have to have competitive hourly repair rates unless they're specialized and can demand a higher rate. Even at independent shops you'll get charged full book time (Mitchell, etc) for jobs. Book says 2 hours for brake pad and rotor R&R but only takes 45 minutes to complete? That's gravy work because the shop and the tech get paid based on book time logged and not actual hours worked.

Small, independent shops can be better to work for if properly run. Dealers are big machines so it's easy for individuals to get caught up in business drama.
 

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Just throwing a suggestion out here because I haven’t seen it mentioned before, if you’re unable to rent the special tools consider buying them and then reselling them on eBay once the work is complete. Seems like those tools are a little hard to come by so I would think you’d have little trouble selling them and getting most if not all of your money back.
 

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Sigh. So, I called my local GMC dealer to get an estimate on timing belt and water pump replacement. The conversation went something like this...

"Hi, I'm looking for an estimate to replace the timing belt and water pump on my 2017 GMC Canyon."
"Oh, those don't have a timing belt."
"Sorry, I have the 2.8 Duramax which has a timing belt."
"Well, I'm pretty sure they have a timing chain and not a belt."
"Nope."
"Ok, well I don't know. I'll have to research and give you a call back. Can I have the last 8 of your VIN to look this up?"
"Sure."
"Ok, I'll give you a call back."

Not off to a great start.

So as I'm typing this they call me back.

"So, it looks like the timing belt is on the back of the engine and doesn't drive the water pump so that would be 2 different jobs."
"No, the new 3.0 Duramax has a belt-driven oil pump on the back of the motor. The 2.8 Duramax has a traditional timing belt on the front of the engine that drives the water pump."
"Ok, if that's the case...move this over there...do be do...just a second...ok, since doing the water pump involves removing the timing belt I'll just use the water pump estimate. You're looking at about $1,400."

Thankfully, I'm nowhere near needing to have the timing belt done but based on that conversation and the price I think it's safe to say that if I were needing to have it done then I'd be hard pressed to have them do it. Granted, the service advisors aren't techs and don't represent their ability to do the work, but it's clear that they don't see a lot of 2.8s in their shop and probably have never done a timing belt for one. Perhaps in a few more years or so when it's time to be done they'll have their act together.
 
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Yeah- I would talk to a couple dealerships first. It sounds like either he’s playing dumb to rip you off, or is too lazy to actually figure it out. He should have looked it all back up and given the actual price.
 

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Yeah- I would talk to a couple dealerships first. It sounds like either he’s playing dumb to rip you off, or is too lazy to actually figure it out. He should have looked it all back up and given the actual price.
He seemed to come across as more lazy than anything, maybe having a bad/off day because before I even said my first words he sounded annoyed when initially picking up the phone. And then for me to ask something that required legwork after having to tell him multiple times there's a timing belt...

With the last 8 characters of my VIN he should've had no problem looking up estimates and part costs, but ultimately it seems like it just looked up a random timing belt estimate since he didn't even have the correct info when he called me back. I'm sure even if the estimate were wrong and the estimate were higher than it should've been they would've stuck with it rather than be honest, whereas the local independent shop that I've used for some work provides a worst-case estimate and then adjusts it based on the actual work that needed to be done.

Anyway, it'll be some years before I hit 150k so I'm hopeful that shops become more competent, or at least more aware, when it comes to the 2.8 when the time comes.
 
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149,500 miles to go and counting . Could be awhile with our driving habits .
 
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