Cam Shaft & piston damage 96 SL1

I started hearing a clicking sound from the engine, local mechanic tells me the cam shaft has evidence of damage and the pistons as well. He can replace the
engine for $1500, which seems insane for an 11 year old car.
I'm shopping around, but I wonder if it's time to junk it. I have 83k on it.
I'm willing to go up to a $1000 for the repair if I have to..
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Did this mechanic come to this conclusion after pulling the head? If not then this diagnosis is purely a rectal extraction. The clicking sound is probably just the cam timing chain telling you it needs to be replaced. How many miles are on this car?
Gyz
NF wrote:

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says...

84k is not a lot of miles for its age. Its possible the timing chain tensioner got stuck at some point or backed off and allowed the valves and pistons to touch. Just like terminal cancer, get a second opinion.
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On Jun 11, 6:08 pm, BläBlä

This sounds like what I'm being told. I drove my 2001 L200 to run an errand last Saturday morning and when I came out to start the car it just cranked but sounds like its just spinning. Sputters a little but no attempt to start. Towed it to the mechanic and they are telling me no compression in at least 2 cylinders. Said they looked at the timing chain but it looks intact, maybe 1 tooth missing but otherwise it was okay. They did mention the tensioner may have had a problem and without pulling everything and really tearing into it and running up the bill that they can't tell what is causing such a loss of compression. I'm going crazy, I just went on a short trip 3 weeks ago, 32 mpg and smooth. The only thing I've noticed was what seemed to be a loss of power when accelerating last Thursday and Friday, so I decided to to work on it Saturday, but it died before I even got a chance to check it. I replaced the fuel filter and crank sensor to see if it would help but no good. Is my mechanic feeding me crap? I can't believe a car can go from running great to dead like that without any other symptoms first. Thanks for any input.
Steve
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Luckily, the car is still running (so far), I am in the process of getting a second opinion
says...

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wrote:

Your mechanic said there is no compression in two cylinders. How in the heck do you expect someone here to know if that is true or not? I don't understand why you can't believe it could break without other symptoms. Cars break everyday without advance warning. If I were to guess I would say that the timing chain skipped but you would be much better off trusting a mechanic that is standing there looking at it than some guy hundreds of miles away with a cold beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Steve B.
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You may be hearing a worn/loose timing chain but they usually last longer than this. They can get pretty noisy and if the break or jump time it will destroy the engine because it is a interferance motor (valve will hit pistons if cam gets out of time and it will not just make noisy when that happens, it woill break something and stop running. Time to talk to another mech. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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me the

the
it.
The timing chain should last more than 300,000 km. Haven't changed one since the sixties! Our cars had 300,000km 277,000km, 195,006km 177,000, and 159,00 on them; the timing chains gave any problems. Did you ever change the oil?? Dirty oil will trash the chains real quick.
Good luck, David
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I just had the oil changed and an inspection 2 weeks ago, from the same mechanic. My paranoia radar is ringing...

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Well, 2nd mechanic popped the top of the engine and confirmed. He thinks it may have been runnning awhile with no oil pressue (though I get regular oil changes and never got a warning light). Pretty much told me that since the car is running, it should last awhile and that the noise sounds worse than it is.
Time to go car shopping. Will I get another Saturn...hard to say right now...
the Honda fit is looking good...
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You're relying on the oil pressure light and not your eyes and the dip stick? Yeah thats a sure way to ruin a motor. You can ruin any motor running below a normal operating oil fill. Also I've never seen a Saturn more bone dry than a Honda. A Honda came in with a OBD II code set by the variable valve timing. The variable valve timing WAS NOT WORKING because there was NOT ENOUGH oil to work it. It had 0.3 quarts of oil in the engine. ZERO POINT THREE QUARTS! And no oil light... Good luck with that Honda.
Did you bother to check the dip stick multiple times between oil changes. Me thinks not...
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I was always getting my oil changed at 3k, I guess I should have done more...
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I find it interesting and somewhat revealing that people come here to find solutions to their own problems but seldom to learn from the mistakes and experiences of others. We have seen multiple examples of expensive repairs and engines ruined solely caused by the owners unwillingness to practice even the most basic preventative maintenance practices. I have no sympathy for people who are too lazy and/or ignorant to simply raise the hood and check the oil level EVERY time (minimum) they stop for fuel. The low oil pressure indicator is not called an idiot light for no reason, as only idiots rely on them to indicate anything other than imminent complete failure.
Check your oil level often, you will be paying yourself more money than you have ever earned in your life. I ran some (admittedly simple) numbers and calculate that the amount of money you are paying yourself is > approx $150/hr for a high mileage car and significantly higher (orders of magnitude) for a lower mileage car.
YMMV
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I keep telling people their hoods aren't welded shut but they don't seem to believe me... I say passing a Basic Automotive Course should be a requirement before getting a drivers license.
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BläBlä wrote:

I'd be happy if people just learned how to use turn signals! It's a good thing brake lights come on automatically.
--
Gyz

Everyone thinks they know how to drive.
  Click to see the full signature.
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