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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Everyone...I need help.

I was recently given my Aunt's 1997 Camaro (V6, T-Tops) in excellent condition (currently 128,000 miles) this past May. Around December my check engine light came on, so I took it to the local dealership and they explained there was 4 things wrong with it:

1. 02 Sensors needed replacing
2. Fuel Filter needed replacing
3. 2 Engine Coils were rusted and needed replacing
4. Fuel Regulator was leaking and needed replacing.

Being a college student, I could only afford $400 so they replaced the 2 engine coils and the fuel regulator. I took it back the following month (January) and got the O2 sensors and fuel filter replaced. Total for everything: $950

Upon picking up my car from the 2nd set of issues, they explained to me they noticed "a lot more damage." The car runs fine. I repeat...THE CAR RUNS FINE. I took the car to a Joe-Schmo mechanic around the block, and he said the car had one of the cleanest engines he's seen for a 15 yr old car. This is the list of issues the dealership saw:

1. Lower Intake Gaskets need replacing
2. Upper Intake Gaskets need replacing
3. Coolant elbow (2) need replacing
4. Coolant
5. Valve Cover Gaskets need replacing
6. Oil Pan Gasket need replacing
7. Rear Main Housing needs replacing
8. Housing Gasket needs replacing
9. Rear Main Seal needs replacing

Total Parts: $382.00
Total Labor: $2,046.00

Can someone please help? As I said I am a college student and need this car to last me a few more years. There are no stains under my car where I park, so I do not see how it could be leaking. My oil level is also fine. Is the dealership trying to scam me? Do I need these things done, and if so,which are the most important and do I take it to the dealership? The Joe-Schmoe mechanic told me the dealership is just trying to get money out of me, and basically, this is an engine rebuild. If I wanted all those things done, he would just charge me parts and the price of taking the engine out.

I just moved to Houston and do not know any mechanics in the area, other then this guy I spoke to.

What do I do? Thanks fellow Camaro lovers!
 

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Sounds like the dealership is trying to scam you.

I'd say don't fix it if it ain't broke. If the check engine light isn't on and its running fine AND you even got a second opinion, then you're golden.

If you want extra security just take it to another mechanic for another opinion.
 

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Former broke college student here. Honestly the best thing you can do is learn how to use a wrench. The 02 sensors, fuel filter/regulator, and engine coils are maybe $200 in parts and can all be easily done with 2-3 hours of fairly easy work. As far as that second list goes, if your car actually does have those problems then yes, that is a lot of work, and to access the rear main seal you pretty much have to remove the engine. The engine you have is also notorious for having leaks back there. Just because you don't see oil on the ground, doesn't mean it's not leaking all over the underside of your car.

I'd suggest investing in a set of ramps or a jack and a pair of stands. Buy a Haynes manual and learn how to do work on your own car.
 

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Slow'erAss
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Honestly, it sounds legit to me. At that mileage and the year of the car, I can see it needing some seals.
BUT....the price sounds a little high, but dealership will almost always be higher than smaller shops.

My first recommendation would be to take the car to AutoZone or any auto parts place that will read the codes for you. See what is making that Service Engine Soon light come on.

How has your gas mileage been?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The engine light is currently not on - after I fixed the first 4 things (O2 Sesnors, Fuel Regulator, Engine Coils, and Fuel Filter), the light went away. It was not until AFTER they fixed those things, did they mention all these leaks.

(Since fixing the O2 Sesnors and Fuel Filter, my gas mileage as improved to roughly 18mpg.)
 

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Your mpgs should be low twenties in the city and high twenties on the highway.
 

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to be honest, if you need a dependable vehicle than cut your losses and sell it.
 

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If it runs fine, drive it as is.
Especially with the cleanest engine comment.
Dealers have a tendency to over diagnose issues.
After all it is a repair shop with the intention of making a profit.
 

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If it runs fine, drive it as is.
Especially with the cleanest engine comment.
Dealers have a tendency to over diagnose issues.
After all it is a repair shop with the intention of making a profit.
I agree, I think you should be fine for now. Unless you start feeling the motor go bad see leaks, you should be fine.
 

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to be honest, if you need a dependable vehicle than cut your losses and sell it.
What makes them not dependable? I would ask another mechanics opinion if you are skeptical. If it still runs fine i wouldn't worry about it. Just keep an eye on all fluids and do the routine tune-ups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This coming May, I would have the car for 1 year. Besides an oil change every 3,000 miles (I've only had 2 done) and new tires when I got it last May - and the 4 things I had done (02 sensors, fuel filter, fuel regulator, and 2 ignition coils) - what else should I need to have done? This is my first car - so I am new at this.

Again, I got the car with 121,000....it currently has 128,000. Anything thing I should do with Spring here now, and having the car for 1 full year? Thanks guys!
 

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What makes them not dependable? I would ask another mechanics opinion if you are skeptical. If it still runs fine i wouldn't worry about it. Just keep an eye on all fluids and do the routine tune-ups.
well most of them were drove hard, there getting old some are 20years old now. plus these cars weren't built with the finest quality parts
 

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With the given information, all I can suggest is getting more oil changes. The rule is every 3,000 miles OR once every 3 months, whichever comes first. 2 oil changes a year is half of what you want, at least. Other than that, it sounds like the dealer is trying to screw you over. Also, it would be very smart to start doing your own work. It's not hard at all to be honest. And can be very fun.
 

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With the given information, all I can suggest is getting more oil changes. The rule is every 3,000 miles OR once every 3 months, whichever comes first. 2 oil changes a year is half of what you want, at least. Other than that, it sounds like the dealer is trying to screw you over. Also, it would be very smart to start doing your own work. It's not hard at all to be honest. And can be very fun.
Ehhhh that's not necessary true. I drive ~5000 miles a year and run full synthetic, I see no reason to change it more than once a year.
 

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Mileage/time duration really don't matter, its how you drive your car and how its maintained. I go ~4-7k between oil changes because:
1) I hardy drive her <100 miles/month
2) I run synthetic
3)I don't drive her hard, I take it easy.
4)weather conditions have been between 60°-70°
 

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changing oil more often wont prevent stuff from breaking. babying the car is the best bet
 
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