My 2003 Chevy Malibu recently, out of nowhere, starting idling really hard. It shakes and jumps quite a bit when it idles, much like a car creeps when it’s about to run out of gas. It drives fine at speeds over about 10-15 mph, but then when it slows down it gets shaky and bumpy.
I took it into a shop and was told that cylinder 4 has no compression. He wasn’t sure specifically where the problem is, and to find out would require some expensive digging. The fix he quoted me would be about $1500-$2000, not knowing if it’s the gaskets, head bolt, or what. The other option is to change out the motor completely.
I’m wondering if this sounds right. I’ve never heard a mechanic say that it would cost over $500 just to pin down the specific problem, but he came highly recommended and seems to care about being honest. I’m also wondering if a car with a KBB private sale value of $2500 is worth this kind of money, considering that it only has 96,000 miles on it. Can I get 3-5 years out of this kind of investment?
Anything helps, and I can provide more information if needed.