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Discussion Starter #1
I took my car to a shop near my house and he told me before I did any modifications to my car I should get the timing belt replaced... since it hasn't been changed for the last 125,000 miles. I was reading around, and it seems like it's a long process and costly... and that the water pump should be changed as well, since it's in the same area.

So what should I get done to it? Think it's worth it to change the timing belt and water pump now? What about anything else? It's a hand-me-down car, and I don't get my license until next month... so I would like to do any maintenance that needs to be done to sort of give my car a fresh start.

Thanks again guys!

Kenny
 

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What year is your car and what engine does it have? If it is one of the non-interference engines, the engine won't be damaged if the belt goes but you'll need to have your car towed and at that point you might not have the money to get your belt done and then your car will be undrivable. I would spend your money on the belt first before thinking about any mods because with 125k you're already on borrowed time with it and what good is a modded car if you can't drive it?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Do you have any idea of the price range I'm looking at?

What other things should I request to get done since I'm looking for a "clean slate" with my LHS?
 

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What maintenance has already been done on the car, if any? I don't know how big of a job the 1st gen is, but with these ridiculous rates dealers are getting now I believe the 2nd gen 3.2/3.5 is upwards of $800 with parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not much, it was given to me by my mom's boyfriend, and he doesn't really take care of it. $800 for the timing belt?
 

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If you are mildly mechanically inclined, it's a pretty easy job to do yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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If you don't know much about cars you might want to take it to a shop you trust & have it checked out. With that many miles, there is lots of maintenace that should be done. Flush all the fluids, belts, hoses, spark plugs, timing belt, etc. If it has never been maintained it might need more money to get it caught up then what it is worth. Depending on how much work it needs it might be better off to not spend any money on it and drive it until it dies while you save for another car. It would be terrible if you put alot of money into it doing maintenance and then something expensive like the engine or trans goes because of the previous neglect. It is really hard to assess it without actually seeing the car. If you have some mechanical ability you might want to do the work yourself and then you can save alot of money and get it caught up on all its maintenance without putting alot of money into it.

Speaking from firsthand knowledge, 2 years ago when i got my license my grandma gave me her 97 cavalier. She bought it used and didn't drive it much and when I got it it was in good shape. I started putting alot of miles on it and stuff started to go. Figuring I didn't pay anything for the car, I started fixing the problems. Most of the stuff I did myself except for the steering rack, whick cost me $500. After about a year, $1500 & a whole lot of my time, the transmission went. Part of me wanted to keep it because I had invested so much time & money, but I decided to cut my losses & junk it before I wasted more cash. I don't mean to get you freaked or anything, but believe me it is not fun to spend $1500 on a "free" car and then watch it get driven away on the back of a wrecker. My best suggestion would be to pay a little to have a qualified mechanic go through it and then based on his assessment determine what is the best thing for you. Good Luck and sorry for my rant!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh, by no means apologize for your "rant" - I'm not mechanically skilled at all. I considered whether or not I want to put any money into my car for months... and I still haven't decided.

I am about to spend about $1700 on body work and planned to spend another $700 on interior work... plus the money I'd be spending on this maintenance.... it might be worth it to put the money towards a new car.

My girlfriend says I should put it towards a Charger (my favorite car) and my brother says I should put the money into my car, since I don't owe any money on it. What do you REALLY think would be the ideal plan?

Now, I am sorry for my rant!
 

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Honestly for the amount of money you're looking at spending for the body work ,interior work & maintenance, personally I would try to do any urgent mechanical things myself(such as the timing belt) without spending much and drive the car for as long as I could. It could be a dependable daily driver for 2 years with hardly any work, or the engine could go the day you take it home from the body shop after spending $1700! If it is the latter, you'll never get your money's worth. Its really a tough call and you have to assess how much work it needs, how much you want the car, and your current financial situation. I told you what I would do, but its gotta be a judgement call on your part.
 

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I'd be putting that money toward a newer car to be honest... after you put all that money into the LHS, it'll still only be worth what, $2k??
 

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well some information on the car would nice, what kind of shape it's in how many miles e.t.c. I wouldn't worry much about modding it up yet, I would just make it a dependable driver. 800 bucks seems like a lot for the timing belt, if your dad knows what he is doing see if he could do it. If not, try and get another quote.
 

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Nathan Clarke said:
well some information on the car would nice, what kind of shape it's in how many miles e.t.c. I wouldn't worry much about modding it up yet, I would just make it a dependable driver. 800 bucks seems like a lot for the timing belt, if your dad knows what he is doing see if he could do it. If not, try and get another quote.
Yeah that $800 does seem like alot, the reason I put that was because from what I've been seeing thats about the going rate for a 2g but like I said I don't know about the 1g. You've got about $200 in parts & figure the book puts it at a 6hr job at almost $100/hr and you've got $800. I'm so glad that I can do my own repairs or I would be riding a bike with what these shops are getting. Check this out.
 

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Look at it this way:

I bought a 1994 3.5L Intrepid with absolutely no idea of the basic engine condition or previous knowledge of its upkeep. My luck, I got a car that had absolutely no maintenence aside from oil changes for at least three years. It sat in a garage for the past one with half the engine torn apart. My uncle, who came along when we checked it out estimated that it needed a PCV hose and a tranny mount. It did, and then some.

So far I've put over $2000 in it in repairs, plus the $3000 I spent to start (all done myself except for some tranny work). These cars are relitively easy to maintain. The engine is big and easy to take apart, compared to anything else I've worked on. My very first project on any car was replacing my timing belt and water pump. It's easy on these things.

The best part: the car has never once let me sit. It gave me several scares, but the LHS is a solid platform, the engines are dependable, and they usually give a good indication of when something is wrong. Even with basic upkeep (for which the timing belt and water pump qualify) you'll get a good ammount of mileage from it. A little TLC and you could cap 300k, as many people here are.

Good luck and happy driving.

Edit:
I looked up what I paid for parts.
Timing belt: $42.99
Water pump: $34.99
Prestone: $9.89
 

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The timing belt its self is fairly cheap, its just getting it put on, costs a lot!!!!$$$$$
 

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i remember my first car a 1957 Hillman minx,, my father thought i was crazy to buy a brit,, it lasted a couple of years,, but that was 100 years ago,,, if i was given a car that ran and drove,, i think id spend a few bucks on it to see what it really is, no body or interior work,, but even if you spend a couple of hundred to have it checked out by a professional to see whats up,, if theres too much wrong,, sell its for a grand or so ,, and count your blessings,, or it may check out a/ok,, so at this point , its a crap shoot
id go that route
doc :Eyecrazy:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Was quoted $480, and he said it'd take a whole day to get it done. My mom and her boyfriend are telling me not to do it and that "timing belts won't hurt your engine, you can replace it when it breaks" ... every link online says it should be replaced at least every 90,000 miles. They think that because it's at 125,000 miles that it will last another 125,000 without engine problems.
 

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Kenny Pollock said:
Was quoted $480, and he said it'd take a whole day to get it done. My mom and her boyfriend are telling me not to do it and that "timing belts won't hurt your engine, you can replace it when it breaks" ... every link online says it should be replaced at least every 90,000 miles. They think that because it's at 125,000 miles that it will last another 125,000 without engine problems.

no, its not even a 90k maint, its a 60k maintenance! and the reason for that is becuase of hte water pump, if it locks up, which is usually what cuases our belts to break!

And also, when you do the water pump, timing belt, be sure to replace the tensioner pulley, as those bearings are probably shot!
 
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