• January 6, 2019 at 1:34 pm #65783

    Question for the group.

    A shop discussion the other day on whether or not.

    If you are replacing a component, ie. Alternat

    or, a/c compressor, power steering pump, do you charge more money to replace the belt.

    we never have, a tech argument is, it is more involved now with having to route a serpentine belt around some of these cars.


    what are your thoughts?




    January 6, 2019 at 9:25 pm #75344
    Michael Bradbury

    You can’t replace an alternator without removing the belt (at least partially). Time for belt should be included in alternator r & r. Two things to consider; are you allowing the right time to do the task? Is the tech trying to squeeze more time?

    Would your customers understand two labour items for the one task?

    January 6, 2019 at 10:06 pm #75345

    We are a fairly top notch shop. This has been brought up in shop discussion. Yes we use Mitchell labor guide. The techs argument is on a lot of these cars doing an alternator or compressor you just have to loosen the the belt off of the component. As where most newer cars you have to go through and snake the belt around.

    January 6, 2019 at 10:20 pm #75346
    Michael Bradbury

    Then it becomes a management decision as to whether you automatically add .1 or .2 hr to the Mitchell time to allow for the belt.

    January 7, 2019 at 9:25 am #75347
    Tom Ham

    Add full belt labor? No

    Add .1 (and maybe in some cases a bit more)? Yes

    I think the tech has a reasonable point.


    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    January 9, 2019 at 8:56 am #75351

    Definitely takes more time to install a new belt and that has to be charged for like Tom says maybe .1 or .2  back when V belts were the norm not so much but now with serpentine belts the way they wind around everything it takes more time.


    January 9, 2019 at 9:04 am #75352
    Rick White

    I agree with Tom & Tom. If the belt is loosened only, then it should be an additional charge but not at the full rate as there is overlap.



    January 9, 2019 at 12:29 pm #75354
    Joseph Van syoc

    I hadn’t been charging extra for that, mostly because I get a 60% gpm on belts, however you do make a valid point about routing and installing serpentine belts on today’s vehicles, some of which require lifting the vehicle, removing splash shields or mounts etc to replace the belt   We are no longer talking about simply slipping it of the component being replaced and leaving it in place. Since many labor guides do not publish combination times for this, I would suggest using the factory warranty time for the belt.

    January 9, 2019 at 4:12 pm #75357

    “Reasonable point” yes, but maybe the labor guide has already taken that into consideration?

    January 9, 2019 at 6:25 pm #75358
    Joseph Van syoc

    Doubtful.  Most give you a time to perform a specific operation without much consideration to how most techs work.  If it does not say “includes” _______ you should not assume that it does.  It would be nice if more guides listed common combinations.

    January 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm #75361
    Richard Zaagman

    If there is more time involved to replace the belt that what is involved to just replace the alternator, then sure, charge more, why would you not charge more if more time is involved.  We sell time, don’t we?   I’m sure there are many examples of where there is not additional time involved but in other cases I’m sure there is.  Add another 10th or 2.

    January 10, 2019 at 1:38 pm #75362
    steve steeb

    Being an old guy – I have had issues with some serpentine belt installations.  I swear some of them just take two people to get everything in place!  So THANK-YOU for this thread.  I had never considered adding .1 or .2 to a component install for the additional time it takes for belt replacement.  But since I hate some of these things – I agree that it should and from now on I think it WILL!   🙂


    January 10, 2019 at 2:38 pm #75363
    Gary Keyes AMAM

    Depends, if the belt is free and clear when replacing the alternator maybe not. But some vehicles you can replace the alternator and the belt is trapped by motor mounts or additional belts or maybe just a SOB to get to, then we charge accordingly .

    January 10, 2019 at 3:44 pm #75364
    Frank Scandura III

    Why not include it (.1 or .2) in the component replacement and replace the belt every time?

    Frank M Scandura III

    January 16, 2019 at 8:38 am #75367

    What we decided to do,

    Transverse engines seem to be the issue, so on these vehicle’s if we are changing 1 component, belt labor would be at most an extra .3. That is still a basis per vehicle.

    Sometimes we probably undervalue our work.

    January 16, 2019 at 12:18 pm #75368
    Joseph Van syoc

    I will confess that I have not looked up many warranty times for belts, but IMO I would have to be pretty daft to perform any labor operation for less than what a factory trained tech, using factory tools, gets paid by the factory to work on their own product under warranty. JMHO

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.