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That is a lot of $$$$$!!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well Lee just called and told me that my car needs a new timing chain. Is not broken down but it is rattling bad and it is only a matter of time before it breaks. We called around and the lowest price to get a new one put on is $500! Ouch!!! And at the Pontiac dealer they want $833!!! Why does somehting so simple cost so much! Too bad Lee can't do it himself!!
post #2 of 16
Its been my experience that the auto dealers will charge the most for any work. Is there a independent mechanic nearby that would charge less??
post #3 of 16
A timing chain is VERY expensive to do by itself and involves taking apart the whole engine. I know when I have had some major engine work done before, the automatically have replaced the timing chain in order to not have to do it by itself.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Mine is rattling terribly and if it isn't replaced now before it breaks then it will lock up the engine when it does break!
The $500 is from a guy we know who is only going to charge for parts and labor. He usually charges a little extra for his own profit but he isn't for us.
post #5 of 16
What model of car is it? On some cars replacing the timing chain isn't too bad at all. On my stang and any other windsor block ford, it just involves removing the fan, water pump, harmonic dampner and timing chain cover. I had to do it twice! Really simple and can be done in probably... 3 hours. Of course that's on rear wheel drive cars... Front wheel drive cars usually have the engine mounted transversely, making it a real pain to get to the chain or belt.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
I drive a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire. Front Wheel Drive...
post #7 of 16
Yah, it'll probably be a little hard to get to then. Just don't drive the car till it's fixed!! You don't want smashed valves
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
We don't have a choice but to drive the car. W have switched vehicles though since I drive A LOT further to work than he does. So I am driving the big f-150 with the big wheels (getting the oddest looks because I am 5'2 and have to hoist myself into the truck ) and he is driving my car (getting odd looks because he is 6'3 squeezing into my tiny car ) The chain has been rattling for 3 years! LOL
post #9 of 16
Years ago I had a timing chain break on my car while I was driving on an expressway! The entire engine was ruined. Do not drive it! You will pay far more in repairs if it breaks while in operation...if it can be repaired at all!
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
We are looking into buying anohter car right now. He isn't working again until monday so we will have to see. We don't have the money right now to fix the car. i would have to go get a loan. I could but if I don't have to I dont want to.
post #11 of 16
Well I did some searching on the Sunfire and it looks like it's pretty common. No recalls on it, though! Drat! Anyway, after looking it over, I'd say it's pretty safe to drive it... lots of complaints about timing chain noise and stuff, but no cases in which the chain actually broke! Might just be a loose/worm tensioner or chain guide somewhere... doesn't seem like the belt is in danger of breaking really.

Good luck!
post #12 of 16
Oh, and also from looking at pics and stuff... doesn't look too bad to replace! Maybe grab a wrench and go at it?
post #13 of 16
The timing chain is a very critical part of your engine. If the chain breaks it will probably destroy your engine and that's going to cost you a heck of a lot more than $500.

On our VW Diesel cars, we change the timing belt/chain every 10,000 km just to be safe. We've seen the engine of a car where the driver didn't change his and his repair cost him a new engine - several thousand dollars.

If you continue to drive the car you are playing Russian roulette.
post #14 of 16
On my 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix, replacing it was a huge job. Most of the cost is in the labor, because it is time consuming.
Fortunately, on the new van, DH can replace these things. I don't know why they are so hard to get around in a Pontiac.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
The guy at the auto parts place said that it would be ok to keep driving but to get it replaced soon would be the best idea. Thanks Brandon for searching it for me!! My car has really been ggreat for the 3 grand we spent on it. I plan on getting it relace soon!
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yay! We no longer think it is the timing chain. Its been rattling like that for 3 yrs and we talked to a mechanic today and he thinks its just the tensioner. I mean if a chain was rattling it would be like when your bike chain started to mess up as a kid and you wuld know by driving the car. Well my car doesn't do that! Plus it got new spark plugs and Lee said it runs tons better now!
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