I went ahead and got engine diagnostics done at the local mechanic's. Here are the results and the estimates that I received. Please tell me what you think.
He says that the oil seals are leaking oil and that the water pump seems to be leaking a bit. He also told me that the back tires are cupping and that it means just one thing: the rear struts are bad and need to be replaced.
The CEL is on and will go away if the closed vacuum switching valve is replaced and the sway bar links on two sides need to be changed but these, he said, aren't crucial but the water pump, seals and the struts are crucial and need to be changed before the winter. He also tells me that its better to use the green coolant because the red one eats into the water pump due to its acidic nature and so he recommends a cooling system flush to replace it with the green stuff and he says that the red coolant is responsible for the water pump leak. Here are the estimates:
Item Unit price Total
Rear struts $78 $234
Water pump $78 $351
(includes replacing front oil seals, water pump and serpentine belts)
CSFF $39 $39
(Cooling system flush and fill)
Mount and balance tires $15 $30
Item Unit Price Total
Timing Cover Set $15.58 $15.58
(ref TCS 45890)
Timing Cover Set $23.80 $23.80
Quick Struts (2) $224.56 $449.12
Water Pump (new) $109.52 $109.52
Belt $20.73 $20.73
Belt $19.73 $19.73
Anti $14.99 $22.49
Tires (2) $94.56 $189.12
(Uniroyal Touring 75000 mile tread warranty)
Labor total: $654.00
Parts total: $1136.21 (Discount: $286.12)
Parts less discount: $850.09
Shop supply charge: $39.80
Sales tax: $104.21
TOTAL ESTIMATE: $1654.10
(The estimate with the other stuff like the sway bar links, the vacuum switching valve, etc total to $800 but he told me that those were not necessary immediately and I could do without them for quite some time).
Let me know if this is a fair estimate and if you think his recommendations are precise.
Saturday, August 28th, 2010 AT 2:45 PM