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I received this car as a gift from my brother who purchased it for me in upstate NY. (April 2010) There have been two owners. My brother failed to get ANY maintainance records on the vehicle. When I received it, it had about 78,000 miles on it. The car seemed to be in great shape and had passed NY state inspection. However, it was obvious to me that the brakes were badly worn. It did not pass Maryland Inspection because of the brakes and broken CV valve seal. The battery also died. It may have been the original. My first question is how could the car seller get it to pass inspection when the brakes were so obviously worn out by simple observation. My second concern is that the timing belt is supposed to be replaced in this car at 60,000 miles. I have no idea if it was replaced. People who have looked at the engine cover see no sign that the bolts had ever been removed. My mechanic friend said that most of the belts he removes are perfectly fine. That said a belt failure to my understand can cause a lot of damage. He suggested waiting until 90,000 miles. Is that a good idea?
The check engine light went on in my car. The car ran roughly and almost stalled. There had been a hard rain at the time I had last filled the tank the day before. I have no experience with auto mechanics (or relatively little.) I added to canisters of "dry gas." Initially the car ran well and the check engine light went out. Though the car seemed to run just fine, the check engine light appeared again. I took it to a friend who is a mechanic and he said that he was getting a general code for the Evaporative Emmissions System. I told him I may have driven the car a block or two with the gas cap off. He resent the engine light, told me to fill the tank, and wait a week. Unfortunately, the light came back on. He said that diagnosing and fixing the problem could cost $500 since there are over 30 parts. Is this an accurate estimate?