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James, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 580
Experience:  6 years automotive 4 years mining electrical
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2008 Suzuki: with 200,000 km (120,000 miles)..hesitates..dealership

Customer Question

Our vehicle is a 2008 Suzuki XL7, with 200,000 km (120,000 miles). The engine light is on, and the vehicle runs a bit rough, or hesitates when driving. The dealership service center has diagnosed this as requiring a new timing chain, indicating the timing chain is stretched. Costs are estimated at $4,500.00 Cdn, which includes 20 hours of labour. This is a bit of a shock, and so we are gathering information. We were wondering:
a) Costs for repair of a timing chain - does this seem reasonable?
b) Complexity of repair - could we take this to a basic repair shop eg) Canadian Tire, to have the same work done, with lower labor rates? Or is this type of repair better suited to dealership service centres?

Thank you for any help you can provide!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Hi there

Thanks for using just answer.

Replacing the timing chains and related parts starts at around $2500.

With inclusive labor @ aroud 100 an hour sounds about right.

One of the things that the have to checked once torn down is the camshaft end play in the heads.

If that is out of spec then you also have to buy new cylinder that point it is cheaper to find another engine.

Dealerships are one of thoes funny things. you cant expect them to clean your car properly or even do a correct inspection but for internal workings of the engine normally they are quiet good.

This is due to the quality the workshops using genuine parts also most dealership's have a laptop next to them and follow a details process of removal and reinstation.

In a smaller workshop they grab a manual and go from there so its more up to the quality of the mechanic rather then following a detailed steps.

I hope this assists you with you train of though if you need any other info about this please feel free to ask.


James and 3 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is it an option not to get the timing chain replaced immediately, and continue driving the vehicle for awhile?
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
I think you most that likley could keep driving it for while as long as your gentle on the car and its not making large chattering sounds.

The risk you are taking is the chain snapping and causing more damage to your engine." unlikely but possible"

I hope this assists



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, this is helpful. Just one more final question. Are you able to say whether the timing chain is something that commonly stretches in this model? In other words, if we invest $4,500 now to replace, is it likely we will need to do this again in a year or so?

We're wondering at what point we would 'cut our losses'. That's it!

Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Hi there

The timing chain is more prone to wear than stretching.
After 120 miles 200km its somthing you would expect.

Lets just say i would expect the same thing in another 200kms
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. Thanks again for your assistance. It's helped us to make some decisions.
Have a great day!
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
No problem at all