The timing belt on my 04 chevy aveo broke and it’s possible that all my valves are bent. I towed it to my dealer where I am awaiting an outrageous estimate. I worked for car dealers and know about dealer costs and retail costs. How should I negotiate with my dealer’s service manager for a reasonable bill? (I’m guessing the reapair will cost me about $2000). I really need some advice here. I’ve checked everywhere else.
Oh, and it has 67,000 miles. I’m just now learning that it should have been replaced at 60,000 miles.
Too Little, Too Late!
Sorry about your engine.
The bottom line here is that you saved a little by going over the required schedule for the belt replacement. I think it is now too late to negotiate a savings. This car is still pretty “young” in terms of age and miles, but you could look for a used head if the dealer would use it (depending on what they find).
At this stage in the game I would be more concerned with getting a quality repair and getting on a maintenance schedule. That’s an expensive lesson. I’m really surprised that belt broke at just past 10% over the time line. I wonder if a tensioner or water pump broke.
There’s Been Problems!
Two of 19 engine TSB’s (Technical Service Bulletins) pertain to 2004 Aveo timing belt problems. One talks about belts breaking prior to 60,000 miles. Maybe you can get a look at the bulletins, having worked at dealers. I can only get the summaries.
Although your car is undoubtedly out of warranty, maybe there is a “secret or extended warranty” because of problems or you could meet with a zone rep to politely discuss your case and their belt problems. They might cut you a deal.
Here’s the link I used. Click it:
Click the green “Search Technical Bulletins”
Put your car’s description in. In “Select Component - (optional),” select
"ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING: ENGINE"
Click “Get Summary” for each one.
Why should the dealer “negotiate” one dime with you? They should present you with an estimate and then it’s up to you as to whether you choose to repair it or not.
If you go into a restaurant do you “negotiate” the price of a steak dinner with the waitress/waiter or “negotiate” the price of a surgery with the doctor before he performs it?
You’ve made an error in judgement by failing to read the owners manual (a dust covered booklet in the glove box) and there is no reason why the dealer should cut you any slack. The dealer would not even be in business if they cut some slack for everyone who expected, or even demanded it.
If you really know anything about dealer costs and retail then you would not be expecting the dealer to take a financial hit because of your negligence.
Is it possible that there is no other damage than just the timing belt? My wife was driving the car when this happened and she didn’t hear any engine noise (like clanking, ticking, knocking). The car just lost power and she coasted it to a safe stopping point. Now the car won’t start.
Thanks for your positive feedback and help.
I really don’t know.
I’ve heard of it. I don’t know about it breaking while “cruising,” as opposed to just cranking slowly while starting.
I’d be interested in knowing what happens, if you could let everyone know.
As noted, there have been problems with these belts failing before the prescribed change interval and GM was doing a “goodwill” replacement campaign, but THAT party’s over.
Read a summary here: http://www.aa1car.com/library/timing_belt_aveo.htm
You’re not going to get any love at the stealership, you need to find a good independent shop if you want it repaired economically. If you bent some valves but didn’t ruin any pistons, you can get a reman head for $425 including shipping. Figure a couple hundred more for a belt, tensioner, and water pump. I’d guess 5 hundred or less on the labor, it’s a complicated repair but a fairly simple engine. A good tech could do it in less than a day.
If the pistons are toast, time to hunt down a boneyard engine if the car’s worth keeping.
Be prepared to pay the dealer for their diagnosis/teardown time at any rate.
It happened to a good friend of mine…But it’s NOT likely. He was coasting when it happened so the engine wasn’t running hard at all. Doing only about 20mph. When his engine died he quickly pulled over and stopped.
That sounds like what happened here. She must have been doing about 55 or so, considering the area she was in.
I read about the problems with the timing belt breaking before 60k miles. Why do timing belts for other cars last longer? The car has never given me any other problems until now. It’s been a great point A to point B car. I think I’ll keep the car after I get it fixed; but I’ll admit, I am affraid of the repair cost. Someone else told me it’d be best to just replace the engine. Oh well, guess I may just have to bite the bullet, eh?
It is very unusual for recent cars to have a short timing belt replacement interval of 60k. Few are 90k now but most are now 105k miles. But realize you purchased a Chevy rebadged Korean Daewoo where producing the cheapest entry price was a critical design criteria.
The idea that timing belt break prior to 60k is irrelevant to you. You were ignorant to the maintenance needs and sadly have to pay the price now.
There is no need to replace the entire engine. Just have the top end addressed and don’t worry about it.
If you want a cheaper estimate maybe try a decent independent shop for a cost estimate. A good independent usually prompts you on critical items like changing the timing belt.
okay, the service writer called me back. The out-the-door estimate is about $1500. Not as bad as I was expecting, but they don’t know how many valves they have to replace. Still, I guess it could have been worse.
I just did one of these. Not a difficult job. What I did is here:
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of a TSB which outlines chevy’s liability. Basically, if it breaks before 60,000 miles, chevy is liable. Also, no inspection is required.