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Hi guys,

Did a multi-point inspection on my car after an oil change and a battery change. Did it at the dealership where I expected them to put in a SAAB / GM battery but ended up with a Interstate battery (Made in Mexico).

Anyway- everything came back in the green except a recommendation to replace Serpentine drive belt and tensioner (part 93-185-756 and 12-626-644). The estimated cost for the job is $453. They say it's worn out but not shot yet.

1) Don't we have a chain?
2) Is that the belt that might cause false knock and then retard? I have knock retard :(
3) Is that a reasonable price? How labor intensive is this?

Recommendations and ideas are encouraged. Thanks.

z
 

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The serpentine belt is always a belt, ime. You're probably thinking of timing chain(s). Having done the belt myself, I'm not surprised the labor cost is that high. Getting to the tensioner will involve more work than getting to the belt. I haven't done the tensioner but I'm willing to bet they'll either pull the engine or have to take apart the passenger side half of the vehicle to get at it. It is really stinking tight in there. Probably took us an hour and a half to do the belt with two people and we took apart as little of the car as possible.

Side note on the battery, stock GM batteries are pretty wimpy. The Interstate battery is probably better.
 

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Is the tensionner really due? Or is it normal Saab says you should do?

I don't know about the tensionner, but doing the belt is not that hard. I'd say 1-1/2 hr alone.

You have to remove the air filter and box and remove the engine support and a big cover that goes over the belt.
 

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The interstate battery is a great battery for the price. They are manufactured by Johnson Controls. They make lots of OEM and high price batteries that are all essentially the same internal design with sometimes slightly different casings and of course branding. My current Interstate battery in my V6 spent 4 years in Las vegas heat and is still strong.
 
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