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I have an ' Nissan Stanza with about miles on...

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Dear Tom and Ray:



I have an '87 Nissan Stanza with about 65,000 miles on it. It has been a
wonderful car and I've taken good care of it. Recently I went in for new tires,
and the Goodyear store took me for a ride. After I spent $200, they tried to
talk me into spending a similar amount on a new timing belt. I told my regular
mechanic about it, and he agreed with Goodyear that it should be done.

After going through my owner's manual, I found nothing about replacing the
timing belt.

What do you recommend I do? -- Nancy

TOM: We agree with the Goodyear guy and your mechanic. So now you have not only
a second opinion, but third and fourth opinions, too.

RAY: We called Nissan to find out if there is any reference to a timing-belt
change in the '87 Stanza owner's manual. After searching through piles of
reading material in every rest room on every floor of the Nissan headquarters
building, they finally turned up an old Stanza manual. And you're right, there
is no mention of it.

TOM: And that's an oversight, because Nissan does recommend changing the belt.
Nissan tell its dealers to inspect the timing belt on the car at 60,000 miles
and replace it at 105,000 miles. But we think that's not soon enough.

RAY: Right. A broken timing belt on an '87 Stanza would crush the car's valves
and could ruin the engine. A broken timing belt won't ruin every engine, but it
would ruin yours. You're better off safe than sorry. So I recommend you change
your timing belt at 60,000 miles -- which, according to my calculations, was
approximately 5,000 miles ago.

RAY: It probably will cost you a couple of hundred dollars to get a new belt
installed. But if the belt breaks, you'd need to spend a couple of thousand on a
new engine. So bite the bullet and do it, Nancy.
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