2000 Protege needs $500 timing belt?

I bought my 2000 Mazda Protege brand new and it has 95k miles on it now.
Had it at the dealer the other day and they are stressing I should spend $500 to get the timing belt
changed. Some potential that if the belt breaks it could ruin the engine. And at 95k miles it likely is worn and needs replaced.
Since the car is only worth abt 6k..... I'm ambivalent if its worth doing this. Maybe I should trade up?
You see.....it also needs a 90k tune up...and the rear passenger power door lock quit working
Between all of these I'm thinking its gonna take abt $1k. Ouch!!
Advice? Would you have it done and just put another 100k miles on it and THEN think of getting rid of it?
John
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If you are gullible enough to take it to the dealer, you should pay him the $500, and give him another $1000 as a Christmas gift.
The belt may well be up for replacement.
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Sounds about depreciated enough for me to consider buying it, if I needed a used car at the moment.

I don't know Mazdas very well, but many small cars have a timing belt, a long-term maintenance item whose life expectancy has been creeping from 30 to 60 to 90k over the years (depending on model), and whose failure definitely leaves you stranded and in some designs could ruin the engine.

Here are your alternatives:
1. Put a thousand dollars' worth of maintenance into that car. (Perhaps less at a good independent mechanic than at a dealer service department.) Assuming that it is in good running order in other respects, you continue to enjoy the payback years -- that golden middle of a car's life when the payments and the expensive kinds of insurance are behind you, but it is still reliable and satisfactory. This on what I remember from a rental experience to be a rather more than merely decent little car that is easy on gas.
2. You sell it and buy another used car -- which will also need routine maintenance, and may also need who knows what repairs. They all do.
3. You trade it in (probably trade *up* -- most people want to, and you yourself seem inclined in that direction). The depreciation in the first couple years is comparable to the entire bluebook on your present car. The first two or three payments are comparable to the upcoming maintenance bill. Collision and comp become again your boon companions. Between the dealer markup, the charges and dubious-value options and so forth that always seem to sneak in, and the profit on selling that nice used Protege, the car salesman trades up too -- finally after all those years a real silk sport jacket and a pinkie ring measured in whole carats!
4. You rid yourself of car that is a turkey in potentially expensive ways you haven't mentioned, or that no longer meets your needs. Grudgingly and guardedly you avail yourself of options (2) or (3)... after pruning up in cold bathwater several nights in a row because "Don't Get Taken Every Time" and other such consumer jiujutsu manuals were just so good you couldn't put them down.
One man's opinions, worth what you paid if your connect time is cheap, --Joe
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My only complaint abt the Protege is that I can haul no cargo whatsoever. The trunk is useless. Example.... went to circuit City to buy a small TV. Couldn't get the box in the trunk..and this wasn't a big box. had to put it in back seat and it barely fit there.
If I had to do it all over again Id buy a hatchback.
John
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Not understanding you above
The point?
John
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If the car doesn't meet your needs (plus or minus the fact that everything is a tradeoff -- to engineer is to compromise or specialize), that's a good reason to trade.
So is the realization, bolstered by a talk with your mechanic, that the thing is basically a lemon, or that it's really comprehensively tired (machines are like that: http://www.williamson-labs.com/one-hoss-shay.htm ), either of which could lead you to try and get rid of it while it still has some positive cash value.
Of course, buying a new car just because you want one and you've got a lot of money is fine sport. Just go into it with your eyes wide open about the cost... and study up on how to recognize and counter the more blatant of the consumer rips that are built into the business (e.g., http://www.dontgettakeneverytime.com/default.asp ).
Cheers, --Joe
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Yes the belt is at a point it should replaced the book labor time is 3.0 hours plus the belt, the price may include a water pump or tensioner and/or the drive belts, ask the shop.

-
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OK
I will forget abt the dealership and find an independent
Sounds like its best to keep the car and make the repair
And sounds good on having the water pump replaced as well.
Go ahead and replace the coolant hoses too? Might as well huh?
John
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John
You bet your bippie.. Aftermarket coolant hoses are relatively cheap. Replace them now...there will never be a better or easier time.
Find a good independent that will do the work well and wont hump your leg. The dealership usually sucks.
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Ok guys you've convinced its worth keeping the car and getting some more value from it....and getting that belt changed
I just got off the phone with local mechanic and he says he can do all the above for under $300
I will get timing belt changed.... water pump...and all coolant hoses
Thanks so much for your time!
John
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net writes:

Thermostat too. $3 part that can cost you a $2000 motor. It would also be a good idea to get a new timing belt tensioner(s), and balance shafts belt if you have one on your car.
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Advice? Either fix it or junk it. Choice is yours.
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Hey thanks so much for that advice
It was great!
John
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( snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net) writes:

Some years ago people realized the high quality imports need expensive maintnenance at about 60k miles (100k kilometers) but then would run trouble free for another 60k (100k). I think it's a good idea when buying a used Asian import with about 60k on it to find out how much of the maintenance has been done. If the owner just got fed up with the sudden cost of repairs and has had most of them done then it could be a good buy. If they haven't been done then it's not such a good buy.
I also agree with shopping around for the best price on parts and repairs. An hour with the Yellow Pages on the telephone can save hundreds of dollars in repair costs. If you know a mechanic who will let you bring in your own parts you can save up to half the cost of parts. Dealers have to buy parts from the manufacuturer and have a high markup so you pay more for parts. Chains and independents usually buy parts from the one supplier, it makes the paperwork simpler, but if you call around you can often get the identical part for less from a low cost parts supplier.
However, if you travel a lot it's better to have repairs done at a dealership or national chain who offer a nation-wide warranty. You can get any mistakes corrected at any one of their locations when you're on the road. I'm careful at brake-and-muffler chains who have a reputation of overselling.
-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ William R Watt National Capital FreeNet Ottawa's free community network homepage: www.ncf.ca/~ag384/top.htm warning: non-FreeNet email must have "notspam" in subject or it's returned
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Depends on price of the vehicle. You can use this to your advantage by negotiating the price down based on the cost of the repair at a dealer. You could then either do the work yourself or take it to an independent mechanic. In either case, you come out ahead. --------------- Alex
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If it doesn't meet your needs then sell.
Personally I'm driving a 1990 Protege with 240,000 miles (no power anything- less to break) on her, original engine, tranny and yes, clutch too, getting 30mpg around town and 35hwy, and wouldn't consider selling with gas going up. She's due a timing belt now and I'll probably have the water pump swapped out too.
Who needs a car payment?
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Well, lets try some simple math here. If you save money by not spending the $500.00 and the engine is ruined on a $6,000 car then are you really money ahead if you have to go out and spend another $6,000 on a replacement?
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Unless you have been neglecting your engine, at 95k, it should not be worn and should have lots of miles in it. Me and my family have gotten well over 150k from our cars, some over 250k, with no rebuilds.

$500 is not a lot to spend on a car worth $6k. You decide if you prefer to spend $500 now, or $500/month in car payments. I would change the belt and keep the car.

90k tune up? Is this what the dealer is trying to sell you? Check the service schedule for your car and see what it recommends. Have the dealer do only the work in the service schedule. Don't fall for the dealer scam of doing unecessary work.

A lot cheaper than new car payments.

If the car is otherwise in good condition, I would invest the money and keep the car. If you are just looking for an excuse to buy a new car, this is a good one. -------------- Alex
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote in

protege aside......500 bucks is way outa line for maint. timing belt R&R but, your owners manual is very correct on this item. ive had to replace blocks for belt breakage in the past (all fords). i dont know if protege' eng. is freewheeling or not. if not, when a piston hits a valve (multiply X 4) its not pretty..................IMHO, kjun
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