I just had the valve cover gaskets replaced on my
2006 toyota solara and was informed after the job,
that my timing belt may need to be replaced. My
question is, could the timing belt have been
replaced more conveniently right then, while the
mechanic was already replacing the valve cover
and gaskets? Thanks
Not really, to replace timing belt involves a great deal more than just popping the valve covers off. Replacing leaky valve cover = simple fix, replacing timing belt or chain, major task that involves tearing down front of engine and often heads.
It certainly would have been helpful if they told you that while they had it in the service bay. As said, it is a much more complicated job, however while it was there, it may have been more convenient for you to have it done then, On some cars it is an 8 hour job.