Cost of running your car

  SB23 12:40 17 Oct 2006

As if cars didn't cost enough each year to keep on the roads, I've just been amazed at the cost of having a timing belt renewed.

My 1.6 escort is coming up for its belt renewal, 60000mile / 5 year, or whichever comes first, in November. Have just rung around to get a good price, and the cheapest was £251, plus they will check other items aswell, which could increase the price even more. (Although these extra items I am told depend on the condition of the timing gears etc).

Obviously because of the nature of this belt, I don't really have much of a choice, but to get it done, but is it me, or does anyone else think thats a bit on the expensive side?

  Cymro. 13:13 17 Oct 2006

There is probably no answer to your problem as changing a timing belt is hardly a D.I.Y. sort of job. I suppose you must consider if it is worth you spending so much on the car. How old is the car, how long do you intend to keep it, how much of a risk are you willing to take. etc. Even if you shop around you may not get a better price and anyone who was willing to do such a job cheaply would be rather suspishus and probably unreliable. My Ford Fiesta is now 11 years old and there is no way that I am going to spend that sort of money on it.

  SB23 13:20 17 Oct 2006

Its an R reg (97), with a genuine 45000 on the clock. The car is generally in good order, but I'm annoyed that, as you say, its not the sort of job you can do yourself, so you have to go to a garage who'll then charge a fortune.

  Cymro. 13:28 17 Oct 2006

I think that the car is definitely not worth spending that sort of money on it. I doubt if even with it`s low mileage it is worth that much. I would be tempted to just take the risk and run it in to the ground or part exchange it for something else. 45,000 is not even all that much for a timing belt. It will last you a while longer, probably!

  SB23 13:35 17 Oct 2006

I half agree with you, but even the garage said the same about the mileage. Its the fact that the belt can start to decay once the 5 years have come, and I don't have the money to replace the engine or part ex the car, for another.

I suppose I know the answer to this myself. I'll just have to get it done.

Thanks for your replies Cymro.


  Cymro. 13:56 17 Oct 2006

It all depends how much you depend on the car. As I don`t depend on a car I could afford to take the risk of running it as it is now, for a while yet.

  spuds 14:02 17 Oct 2006

Whatever happened to the old reliable chain driven drives?.

I have a 1987 Ford Sierra 1.8 Estate car,now used as a second vehicle for hay, midi moto, general rubbish and heavy item carrier, fantastic workhorse, and doesn't owe me a penny, totally reliable, which I purchased from brand new. In all this time it as only had one replacement cam-belt, and that was on the recommendations of the service depot's routine procedure, at the time of a service. Prior to that, I had a Ford Cortina Mk 5,in the very many years that I had that (new to graveyard), I suffered one broken belt, which was replaced after a tow-in job.

So perhaps I have been very lucky with vehicles that I have used or owned!.

Would mention that there was a 4 year old Ford Focus on eBay recently, that sold for less than £1.500. Required a new engine, but everything else VGC with photograph's to prove. Apparently the previous owner tanks up and down the M1 every day, and clocks up very high mileage. One day, his journey was interrupted midway, hence replacement engine.

  Pamy 16:01 17 Oct 2006

As the car does not appear to be worth too much, but you still nead it, why not try a cheapo mobile mechanic?(no overhads)

  Pamy 16:01 17 Oct 2006

or even overheads

  SB23 16:06 17 Oct 2006

You raise a possible solution to my question, I will have a look in my area to see if there any good privately run garages, as opposed to the dealership run ones, who, thinking about it are going to have higher overheads.

Will let you know


  Diemmess 16:11 17 Oct 2006

Timing belts decay like most man-made products from the moment they settle to work.
5 years or X0,000 miles is a manufactuers safety point to replace. When they break it usually means a new engine.
All in the interest of cheapness and relative silence, though I believe chains are returning to some brands.

Do some remember the fuss kicked up by Citroen diesel owners, when splashing through puddles in winter floods about a decade ago.
The designers had had a no-brain day and put the air intake nice and low as a ready scoop for any serious water to be sucked straight into the engine.
My neighbour did this at a junction not far from home where on a dry day 15 mph would be reasonable. Citroen's response was that it was abuse not their fault this had happened!

The local garage still has a selection of her twisted con rods and broken pistons on display, and the air intake on latterday Citroens has been moved.

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