Mechanic question

The car has been somewhat neglected. It’s likely those are the original spark plugs. I say it’s necessary to change plugs that are old enough to vote. :wink:

The t-belt job itself was around $800. The rest of the bill is the other stuff, like cam seal and engine mount. They also noted that they “inspected damage.” I imagine they checked for damage resultant from it running out of oil. The price doesn’t seem all that bad to me considering the buffet of services they did to it – I didn’t even mention the brake job.

You can’t just leave the hood closed between services

You need to check the fluids regularly, say every weekend. If something’s low, top it off. Don’t wait until the low oil pressure warning comes on and/or the engine shuts off

You should also check the tire pressures regularly

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No, I have always known the car is a 4 cylinder, I was referring to the quote about the job should be a $1000 less for a 4 cylinder. I may have misunderstood.

No, the car has not really been neglected, the car has been in the family since purchase, I guess I may have somewhat neglected it by not checking fluid levels. I am good about regular oil changes but I guess with the age it is I should maybe take it to a mechanic for a regular check, I’m not sure.

The spark plugs are also not the age of the car, they had been replaced about 3 years ago.

There’s no way in hell where I can see where a shop can do all those repairs for a $1000.00.

The parts alone were $600.00!


Seems more than fair price, an excellent value for all that work. This car should have quite a few more miles on it now. Good idea to get in the habit of checking the engine oil level and coolant level at every other re-fueling. And review the suggested maineance intervalchart in the owner’s manual and try to keep all that up to date as you go forward. Timing belts are usually spec’d for 80-100K miles and/or 7 years, whichever comes first. I presume you were a little past that … :wink: Oh, well, no harm done it appears. Looks like you are good to go, and yes you seem to have found some good mechanics.

Depending on whose recommendation you wish to follow you have gone more than two or 3 times the mileage for replacing the timing belt and almost 3 times the years recommended. You are very fortunate that this car does not have an interference engine like most cars with timing belts.

If it did, your valves would have hit the pistons and you would have been calling the junkyard.

The idea that one doesn’t need to lift the hood to check fluids periodically is potentially a very expensive one.

You must get in the habit of checking your oil EVERY time you fill up for gas or you WILL be left stranded by the side of the road waiting for some “prince” to give you a ride with a blown engine.

Maybe it had SOME oil but none was registered on the dipstick. No matter, you got VERY lucky the belt broke first.

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Not sure I would have paid for timing belt, water pump, or brakes until they were for sure the engine was ok.
Considering you ran it apparently VERY low on oil, the engine shut itself off, and wouldn’t restart, and the 230K on the odometer, I would want to be positive the engine was fine before putting a bunch of non-immediate money into this thing. (that is assuming that the timing belt did not break at the time of the original breakdown.)

Hopefully they did a competent engine diagnoses.

@tester. There seems to be a lot of other work done and the total is reasonable. The $1000 I was referring to would be the timing belt change out alone.

P.S. My neighbor recently had the timing belt replaced on his wife’s Camry Solara V6. With water pumps, seals, etc. it came to $1050, as expected. The car had well over 200,000 miles on it and he had never replaced it. I think the first owner would have done so at 6 years as per he owner’s manual.

This car is now close to 20 years old!

My local dealer would have put a charge in for “shop supplies”.