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14yr old timing belt

looking at 03 vue with 3.0 opel motor with original timing belt
it has 100k miles.
2nd owner has had it for 10yrs got it at 13k miles in 07
still runs so belt is good (not broke) at this time
has small radiator hose leak
he says it needs timing belt and waterpump job now and wants to move on
he said he is using 100k recommended service interval in manual.
must have missed the years portion of note

Offer him $200. If he balks, walk away. Fast.

an 03 vue w/100k miles which is due for a timing belt is worth 200?
it has new brakes and tires. owner does maintain it. just not the timing belt schedule

It’s worth whatever you think it’s worth. And you can certainly find out what a new belt will cost to be installed by a mechanic, and deduct that from the value of the car. An old timing belt has not damaged the engine (yet!), but it’s got to go. I have a 2002 Miata that lives in a garage in our mild Northern California climate and has very low mileage. It’s my toy car. The car is 15 years old, with 50,000 miles. I replaced the timing belt, etc., this past year because 15 years was far too long. The old belt looked just like the new one, but I tossed it in the trash anyway. Same with the accessory belts and the 11 year old tires.


Take it to a mechanic you trust and get a prepurchase inspection done. Add the timing belt, water pump, and new coolant to the list if they weren’t on it already. Subtract the cost of repairs from the private part sale price estimate at Edmunds or another pricing service. You will probably do a lot and maybe all of the work, but you need to get paid for your trouble. I’d guess the timing belt, water pump, and coolant will be around $1000.

1800 in average shape. he wants 800-1000

Or cooling leaks, or repairing a bad water pump…
He’s not maintaining it. He’s just saying he maintains it.
You can’t even test drive it.

There’s a good chance that this buggy has far more problems than just what he’s let on.
Buy this at your own risk… and IMHO it’s a big risk.

He is driving it. Water pump is not bad. WP is not leaking. FYI, the WP is driven by serp belt, NOT timing belt. You can change WP anytime you want. The radiator hose has a tiny leak. It drips. I guess people’s perceptions really does influence what they say.

Absent other factors, I don’t see any reason to balk at a purchase just b/c the timing belt is 14 years old. The price just needs to be discounted a satisfactory amount for the price of a timing belt/water pump job is all.

Have YOU gone for a test drive?
The impression I got from your original post was that it wasn’t drivable. But test driving it might disclose other problems as well as those known.

Leaky cooling systems make me nervous because they’re so often discovered after the engine overheats.

The water pump is typically replaced at the same time as the timing belt because you have to remove the timing belt to get to it. If that is not the case on your car, then no need to do the water pump at this time.

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So the seller will sell you the car for $800, and you know the belt needs to be replaced, and the car runs well otherwise. What’s the question? It seems to me you buy, fix up and sell cars from time to time, so you know the market. If you do your repairs yourself and think you can resell it for $2,500, make a business decision.

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Cavell seems to be running a buy and fix used vehicle sideline business so why does he need advice anyway?

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