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NJ Deac
Apr 6, 2006


CornHolio posted:

Belts:
Timing - Always, always, always replace this either when the manufacturer recommends, or sooner if inspection reveals it to be wearing prematurely. On an interference engine, if it breaks it means very costly repairs. On a non-interference engine, it usually still drives the water pump, meaning if the belt breaks and you don't notice your temperature climbing, it could still lead to costly repairs. A timing belt job is usually expensive, but cheap when compared to the alternative usually.

My car has a timing chain instead of a timing belt. I've done a bit of research and the manufacturer indicates it should last "for the lifetime of the engine." More like, the engine will last for the lifetime of the chain because if I lose the chain, there's a good chance I lose the engine. Does this mean I can safely keep the original chain forever as long as there are no problems? Are there wear indicators my mechanic can check for, or is there a danger that one day the chain will just give out and take my engine with it without warning?

I've started to worry a bit about this as I'm at around 130k miles and this is where I'd normally consider having the belt replaced. Is there a general rule on chains vs. belts, or does it vary from manufacturer to manufacturer? (Talking about a 2003 4.6 V8 Mustang GT in this specific case, if it's relevant)

NJ Deac fucked around with this message at 21:23 on Oct 12, 2009

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NJ Deac
Apr 6, 2006


skipdogg posted:


Flip poo poo around on them. They're the ones with a lot full of cars they're trying to sell. Offer a fair price and make them say yes or no. A car salesman will gladly take a reasonable offer they can close out in a few hours and get a unit moved off the lot. These things are commodities, unless you're trying to buy a some sort of special car. If you have to, make the offer over email, but don't expect them to be receptive. Showing up in person shows you're serious about buying the car and makes them more willing to do the deal.

Maybe this method doesn't work for you, it works for me. I love the car buying process.

I'm totally down for this approach, except for the drat information asymmetry. I feel like it's near impossible to determine what that "fair price" is. It seems like at some point in the last decade dealers/manufacturers realized everyone has access to the "invoice price" now and the model shifted to emphasize volume bonuses, manufacturer-dealer cash, and holdbacks such that at least for some manufacturers, you should expect to buy for below invoice, and anyone paying over invoice is actually getting hosed since the dealer is getting thousands in kickbacks and would have let the car go for way less if the buyer hadn't anchored on an arbitrarily pumped up invoice price.

Websites like Edmunds and Truecar give some info, but ultimately they get paid by the dealers so those numbers are only what the dealers want the general public to know. It all makes the process so inherently suspicious such that even when the buyer is fairly confident they're getting a fair deal, there's always the lingering suspicion that I failed to account for some variable somewhere that resulted in me getting screwed on a part of the transaction that maybe I never even considered.

Where do you go for reliable info to determine that initial offer of a "fair" price?

NJ Deac fucked around with this message at 00:42 on Mar 24, 2021

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