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Questions for people who know something about cars.

DragkoniasDragkonias Registered User regular
edited March 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
So. Recently, I've decided to take my car in for inspection since my engine light went off and its been leaking oil.

So the first time I went in they were saying something about my crankshaft seal and front oil cover. They said it would be something like 500-600. That sounded about right so I was like sure whatever.

I saved up the money I needed so then I started talking to this other guy and he says something about my timing belt and a water pump. And that's like an extra 250 with tax.

That being said. My engine starts fine and my car hasn't been overheating so I don't know if I need to do that. That being said, I'm been thinking about getting the timing belt changed anyway since they'll be opening my engine anyway and I guess that would save money down the line.

That being said I've heard my from friends that the water pump is on the outside of the engine.

Basically, I'm asking if getting it done sounds like a good idea or am I getting taken for a ride.

That being said I have a '98 Camry and I've had it for 2 years or so with no major problems outside of the brakes.

Dragkonias on

Posts

  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    Timing belts are usually changed on a per mile basis, because the last thing you want is the timing belt to snap on a interface engine and bend half your valves, ding your pistons, and replace the engine. Generally you wont know that your timing belt is going out unless you look at it, or it fails on you.

    That said, it's common for the water pump to be driven by the timing belt. Which is the case here, assuming you have a V6 in there (i'm pretty sure the I4 is the same deal, but its been too long).

    Generally you'll want to replace the water pump when you replace the belt because in order to replace the pump you'll need to remove the belt. Also, if the pump develops a leak, it'll ruin the belt. Basically, it's a matter of 'better safe then sorry' and saving time and money later on. If you replace the pump later, they're gonna charge you for removing, retiming the engine , and replacing the belt anyways.

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    'It's working now' is a bad reason to put of a suggested replacement because it stopping working when you are out driving somewhere is 500% more of a hassle to deal with. Also stuff done at the same time as other stuff will probably save you labour costs in the long run.

    Sounds on the level to me but if you've not got the work done yet and the car is running just getting a second opinion from another garage will quickly confirm or put to rest your suspicions.

    Jam Warrior on
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  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    something you need to find out is when or if the water pump was ever replaced last. do you have the car's history at all? also, how much mileage do you have on the car?

    the folks above me are right in that usually mechanics will replace the timing belt and the water pump at the same time. you have to remove generally the same parts when doing either, so it saves some time and costs in terms of labor just to do them simultaneously. depending on the make and model of the car, it's recommended to replace the water pump at around every 60,000 - 70,000 miles, but this can vary.

    you're not necessarily getting scammed here, particularly if the car is a '98 model. but it'd be good to know how many miles are on the vehicle.

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  • TraceofToxinTraceofToxin King Nothing Registered User regular
    How many miles on it?

    If your seals are going out you're going to leak oil. If you let it leak enough oil eventually horribly bad things will happen.

    Similarly, if your belt is worn, and you let it eventually go on you, horribly bad things will happen. You can check this by feeling the belt, looking at it, see if it looks extremely old/worn, if it's got cracks, etc.

    Despite the fact that I'm repeating myself, if your water pump shits the bed, horribly bad things will happen. You can look and see if it's dripping water (Google will help you find descriptions of where it's at), or your temp will start getting up there even in normal driving conditions.

    Luckily, most of these things can be done at the same time, and it's a good time to get them all done. Usually it's called something along the lines of "60k maintenance" as in, it should be done every 60k miles. I'd estimate somewhere between 500-1000 depending on the shop. Doing it yourself is usually like 350-500 for parts, depending on the car, and for an experienced mechanic it should be a 4-6 hour job, unless your car is a huge pain in the ass.

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  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    When does the factory recommend you replace your timing belt? That should be in the manual.
    Does the factory recommend replacing the water pump? You might have to look online. If the pump has metal impellers, then probably not. If it's plastic then yeah, you should replace that. This also depends on what the factory recommends and why.

    As for the other ones, you'd need to get down and dirty to visually take a look.

    As for second opinion, you can always take it to another garage and ask them to take a look. But don't tell them that you're getting a second opinion for something, because they'll most likely just concur to drive up business. Or says those things are not wrong but it's these other things. Just play it cool and say it's leaking oil and you want an estimate.

  • DragkoniasDragkonias Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Oh my car has about 160k on it.

    The main thing is that its just been leaking oil for maybe a few months now and I wanted to get that squared away ASAP.

    I have the 600 or so for that but I would have to save up another 300 for the other stuff and since I only work part-time that would take me 2-3 months.

    My car hasn't really been acting up though so mainly it is just me asking myself do I want to wait those few months and get everything fixed or not.

    Dragkonias on
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular

    Honestly, I would wait 2-3 months and get everything done at once.

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    a timing belt is a wear item that must be replaced at a specific interval or it will ruin your day (specifically ruin your head/valves, and sometimes the pistons themselves), which will cost a hell of a lot more to fix) - think of it like your oil (or similar) which must be replaced on a set interval rather than like almost everything else on your car that only gets attention when it breaks.

    a quick google shows that the 1990-2002 Camrys have a timing belt with a 60K inspect interval... that means you should have the belt inspected and replaced if necessary. this is pretty much BS b/c inspection costs almost as much as replacement... (cheap part, expensive labor)

    the water pump is typically replaced at the same time as preventative maintenance b/c it's belt driven b/c as above, it's a cheap part with expensive labor to replace.

    SO: you should check your maintenance records, to see when the last belt was changed. if it was at 100K, you should probably have it done soonish.

  • TraceofToxinTraceofToxin King Nothing Registered User regular
    If you want to live dangerously you can just monitor your oil levels and keep driving it.

    I've seen 90s civics driven for 40k+ miles with oil leaks and absolutely zero maintenance simply out of no-fucks-given. I drove an 88 Toyota Tercel for ~15k miles without changing the oil and totally ignoring pretty much every sign of "I AM DYING" the car gave me.

    But be warned, doing this puts your fate into the hands of a higher power, so don't go around kicking dogs or stealing newspapers.

    I'd generally reccomend you save up and knock it all out at once, since the majority of the cost will be labor that is all relatively linked.

    Everyday I wake up is the worst day of my life.
  • NewtonNewton Registered User regular
    Is it the 4 or 6 cylinder engine? If you have a mechanically inclined friend, you could bribe them to do the work for you cheaper than taking it to a shop. It's not a particularly difficult job, just time consuming, at least if you have a 4 cylinder. The 6 cylinder will make the job a bit harder just because there is a lot less space to work in. It's still a doable job for a shade tree mechanic, though. If you don't have a friend you trust to do this, then I would wait until you have the money to do all the work you need. None of the parts you need are expensive, so you're mostly just paying for labor. It will be cheaper to just do it all at once than one at a time. Just be sure to keep an eye on your oil level until you get the leak fixed.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    You can probably get a mechanic to do it cheaper, you just need to change the way you phrase it. Call up a mechanic and ask how much to install a crankshaft seal, front oil cover, timing belt and water pump. And keep calling reputable mechanics to get the price down, generally labor for the crankshaft seal is going to result in the mechanic taking all that other shit off anyways,

  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    the pump is a labor intensive job and it will have to be replaced eventually along with the timing belt. if your vehicle has been maintained the crankshaft seal and oil cover would not seem to be problems that require attention right away.

    With that in mind you should be very critical of your vehicle and keep and eye on all levels. Do regular oil checks to see if you are leaking and from time to time pop the hood and look for anything that screams something fishy.

    As a poor person I would say have the pump and belt taken care of first. Assuming that your oil leak is in no way harming your coolant system it is something that can be treated with a watchful eye until the complete fix can be afforded.

    If the timing belt or pump goes you will not see it coming and you will have had no way of prolonging the life of the equipment other than a complete replacement.

    Get them done. Be watchful. The fact is that you drive a very old car by modern standards and that means you'll have to put a lot more TLC into the vehicle than other folks or else you're going to end up paying the price of a new car in repairs.

    T & L optional.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    OH I almost forgot, sometimes high schools have mechanics programs in their school where you bring your car and the parts needed to do a job, they ask for some oil or a low fee, and they fix your car and the teacher looks over the work to make sure it is correct. When I was poor I had my alma mater do a few labor intensive repairs. That being said it takes them a week to turnaround your car.

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