Close

Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a timing belt idler pulley replacement is between $271 and $491. Labor costs are estimated between $228 and $411 while parts are priced between $43 and $80. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Get a repair estimate for your car

What is a Timing Chain Idler Pulley?

To properly route the timing belt to necessary components, the timing belt idler pulley is used. The idler pulley is a metal wheel with a smooth exterior, and serves no other purpose but to hold the timing belt in place as it drives the timing gears.

How does a Timing Chain Idler Pulley work?

The idler pulley is bolted through the center into the engine, and the smooth side of the timing belt turns the pulley to reduce friction and heat.

Find a Certified Mechanic

Find a high quality auto repair shop or dealer near you
x

What are the symptoms of a bad Timing Chain Idler Pulley?

If the idler pulley fails, there will be a very audible chirping noise from the front of the engine. This is because the idler pulley bearing is no longer smooth. If it is not changed immediately, the engine will being running roughly, or stall completely, and internal engine damage may occur due to slippage or breakage of the timing belt. The check engine light will illuminate on the dashboard in the event of total failure, and OBD trouble codes for misfires, crankshaft position, and camshaft position will be stored.

Can I drive with a bad Timing Chain Idler Pulley?

It is not recommended to drive a vehicle suspected of idler pulley bearing failure. This can quickly result in complete engine failure as described above.

How often do Timing Chain Idler Pulleys need replacement?

Timing belt idler pulleys are replaced during a timing belt replacement service, either as preventive maintenance or due to suspected failure. This means the average idler pulley replacement occurs between 60,000 and 105,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer specified timing belt service interval.

How are Timing Chain Idler Pulley issues diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a failed or failing idler pulley requires removal of many components, and hands on inspection of the idler pulley. If the servicing technician finds the pulley is loose or damaged in any way, they will recommend immediate replacement of, at minimum, the timing belt and idler pulley.

Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement Cost Estimates

The average cost for a Timing Belt Idler Pulley Replacement is between $271 and $491 but can vary from car to car.

How are Timing Chain Idler Pulleys replaced?

At a minimum, replacement involves removal of the timing cover, timing belt tensioner, timing belt, and, finally the timing belt pulley. When this service is performed, it is common to replace the timing belt, water pump, and seals. Once all components are replaced, the timing components can be installed onto the engine, and the engine will be tested for proper operation and timing.

RepairPal Recommendations for Timing Chain Idler Pulley issues

Since this service requires removal of the timing belt, it is recommended to replace the timing belt, water pump, and possibly front seals at the same time, unless they have been recently serviced. This is much more cost effective than returning for the same service after a partial service interval has elapsed.

What to look out for when dealing with Timing Chain Idler Pulley issues

Some engines use more than one timing belt idler pulley, which affects the cost of the repair slightly. The pulley can fail at random, especially if debris is pinched between the timing belt and the idler pulley. It may be necessary for the motor mounts to be removed from the vehicle, as well as engine cooling fans, the radiator, and all engine accessories.

Can I replace the Timing Chain Idler Pulley myself?

Since timing belt idler pulley replacement necessitates the removal of timing components, it is not recommended for the DIYer to attempt this task. A thorough knowledge of internal engine components, engine timing, and several specialty tools are required to properly perform this repair.

19,509 people trusted RepairPal with their estimates this week!