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eric
eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 29981
Experience:  Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
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I have a 1991 nissan maxima ,,,, THAT I LOVE !!!!! But I

Customer Question

I have a 1991 nissan maxima ,,,, THAT I LOVE !!!!! But I broke down on Highway and got it towed to a mechanic and they said the timing belt popped,,,,BUT THEY TOLD ME NOW I SHOULD JUST JUNK IT,,,, BC EVEN IF THEY WOULD FIX IT IT WOULD BE 900. 00
JA: How many miles are on the timing belt? Have you ever had to change it before?
Customer: 150.000 MILES AND I'M REALLY NOT SURE WHEN IT WAS EVER CHANGED BC MY HUSBAND WOULD HAVE TAKEN CARE OF THAT BUT HE HAS PASSED AWAY.
JA: Are you fixing your Maxima yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: NO .... I WOULD HAVE THE MECHANIC DO IT,,,,, BUT THEY SAY THAT USUALLY ONCE THEY TAKE CARE OF THE TIMING BELT SITUATION AND CHARGE ME 900.00 BUT THAT THERE USUALLY ARE" PROBLEMS " TO FOLLOW AND THAT THE 900.00 OBVIOUSLY IS NON REFUNDABLE
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: NO JUST THAT THANK YOU!!!
Submitted: 27 days ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  eric replied 27 days ago.

HI,

Ok, it sounds like they did not do a good job of explaining this for you.

Your engine is what we refer to as an interference engine. This means that the valves in the top part of the engine called the cylinder head will strike the engine pistons in the lower part of the engine if the timing belt breaks - see attached

When this happens, the valves get bent and also put holes in the top of the pistons. Essentially this wrecks the engine and requires replacement.

Your 2 choices at this point are to either junk the car or opt to have a low mileage used engine installed. You can find used engines for around $1800 and then it is around $1000 to remove your engine and install the other engine, so around $2900.

So you will need to decide depending upon your finances as well as how much you enjoy your vehicle as to whether have another engine installed or use that money towards another vehicle

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Expert:  eric replied 26 days ago.
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