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Timing Belt in Dodge Shadow
Now, a year later, I was driving on the highway today when my oil light went on and I lost all power to the drive train. There was no unusual noise of any kind. I coasted to a stop, checked the oil, which was a little above the minimum mark, added a quart, and tried to restart. The engine turned over without any unusual noises, but would not start. The oil light remained on. I had the car towed to my house. The tow truck driver, who also runs a repair shop, listened to the engine turning over, and said he was almost certain that the timing belt had broken. (I didn't know anything about his repair shop, or I might have just had him take the car there.)
Here's my dilemma: The mechanic who worked on the car a year ago was highly recommended by two friends of mine, and his shop is just a short rope tow away. The only other mechanic in the area who was recommended at all is a fairly long, expensive tow away, and will probably need to keep my car for much longer. I'm trying to decide whether to trust the guy who worked on the car a year ago and perhaps ask him to give me a break on the cost of re-doing essentially the same repair -- OR -- going to the other mechanic and finding out whether the first guy even replaced the timing belt as he claimed.
I could use some expert advice here. Is the story the first guy told believable? Is the tow truck driver's diagnosis likely to be correct? Would a different mechanic be able to tell whether the timing belt had been replaced a year ago? Are there certain steps I should take to prove that the first guy cheated me, if that was the case?
Thank you, in advance, for your help.