Are you sure they said drive belt or timing belt? Even though you only have 45K miles, you should replace them due to age.
If they meant drive belts (also called serpentine belts), you have two of them. One runs the alternator and A/C, and the other runs the power steering. The belts are going to cost you $36.98 plus tax from the company that I work for. Plus 1.5 hours of labor to install.
If they meant timing belt, you should replace the water pump at the same time. Both parts are going to cost you $138.98 plus tax, plus 8 hours of labor.
In either case, they will be a lot less than what your dealer has quoted you. And another engine will not cost you $18K (per your dealership). It will be about $3K. Keep in mind, you don't have to get all these done at the dealership. Other shops can do it for a lot less money. Just choose one that has a good reputation in your area.
As to your question to either keep the car or get a Mariner, if you don't live in the snow belt or you don't ever need to use the $ wheel drive, I would keep the Lexus. Even though it is 11 years old, you don't have any problem with it. With Mariner, you will be in and out of the dealership for repairs a lot of times.
Sunday, May 17th, 2009 AT 11:20 PM