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Old 08-29-2016, 09:41 AM   #1
schalmer
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SOS-Some car advice for the struggling college kid

So I have a 2008 Chevy Colbalt LS and I've been jumping through hoops to get this car to pass emissions. The code that keeps coming up is P0016-something with the crank shaft positioner, the sensors, the timing belt? I got the sensors replaced, and the gas line replaced(another issue on its own) and the check engine light continues to turn back on. The light will go off for 1 to 3 days and then go back on. I would assume the only thing that could still be wrong with it would be the timing belt. After speaking with a couple mechanics they told me it wasn't worth spending the money on repairs, because opening up the engine could cause more problems for me in the long run. The car already has over 200,000 miles on it, and I really just need it to get me through the rest of college which is about 2 more years.

So to get to the main point: emissions testing is telling me to replace the belt, and my mechanics are telling me it's not worth the potential problems.

The real problem is I need to get my plates renewed but can't until the car passes emissions. Would it be a better idea just to sell the car, or trade it in? I really don't want to take on a car payment before I graduate, but is there any other options at this point?
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:08 PM   #2
maxwedge
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Re: SOS-Some car advice for the struggling college kid

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Old 08-29-2016, 11:52 PM   #3
MikeCStig
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Re: SOS-Some car advice for the struggling college kid

Changing the timing belt doesn't actually involve "opening up" the engine. Some external parts often have to come off to access the timing belt, but the engine itself (as in the cylinder head and block) remain intact. If it's due for replacement, get it done because if it lets go, your engine becomes a very heavy piece of scrap metal.
As far as going any deeper, at this point those mechanics you spoke to are talking sense. The long term reliability of a Chevy Cobalt is average, nothing more. That means after 200k+ miles, there is no guarantee that car will do another 100k or even another 50k without some kind of major and expensive catastrophe. All you can really do at this point is basic maintainence, don't beat on it too hard, and hope for the best. Another 2 years? Maybe, if those years are gentle and you keep up on maintainence religiously you can pull it off, but if I were you, I'd start thinking of a plan B just in case you can't.
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