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Hello! New around here. Hope I'm posting in the right place. I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt SS. My car needs a lot of work and I don't have a lot of money. I just want to do whatever I can to keep the car running because I need it for work. I originally took my car into the dealer like an idiot, failed inspection and got a $3K estimate for "repairs needed immediately" So I went to a small biz mechanic who is helping me get some stuff done at a reasonable price.

I have been leaking oil/fluid for a few weeks. Months maybe, I don't know. I wasn't paying enough attention. (Now I am trying to pay attention!) I failed inspection because I had a brake fluid leak, a rear caliper had to be replaced. I did that today. So hopefully, that fixes that. The dealership said I have a major oil leak "Camshaft position sensor housing gasket leaking oil" Estimate $900. The mechanic I spoke to today said it's probably not a major leak because I'm not putting oil in it all the time. I never put oil in it, I just get regular oil changes. I will check my oil regularly now, but so far so good. But like I said, I have been leaking oil. I can see it in my parking space. It's a problem. The dealership said it's a major leak, the mechanic today said to keep an eye on the oil....I'm not sure what to do?

The dealership recommended an alignment and 2 new tires. I will see if I can get that done cheaper somewhere. The mechanic I saw today doesn't do alignments.

I also have a check engine light on. The code is the dreaded P0171, System Running Lean. The dealership screwed me over. Charged me $150 to diagnose the check engine only to say "Upon inspection, car has an after market air filter. Air filter must be changed to compliant Chevy filter before further diagnostics." I changed my cabin air filter myself yesterday. I had the air filter changed by the mechanic today. He says my check engine light is probably the 02 sensor. I believe, he said it would be $89 to diagnose the check engine, plus the cost of the part and the labor would be included in that $89?

Also! The dealership also said "ECM Calibrations need to be updated/installed" I have no idea what that means! But they said it would cost $370.

The dealership recommend a brake fluid flush, which I did not do today. The mechanic who looked at my car today said my parking park (I have a manual) wasn't even working. Which I did not notice. My right parking cable snapped last year. My friend replaced but my friend and the mechanic today said the left parking cable is stretched out and will need to be replaced soon.

I think that's everything! I'm just a little overwhelmed. I've put out $600 in the last 2 days now. I want to do whatever I can and be smart about this. What should I do first? Right away? I can tell the car is not running well. I think I want to deal with the Check Engine Light/O2 Sensor next, as well as the alignment and 2 tires. But I'm also worried about the oil leak! I can't deal with all 3 of these right now. Something is going to have to wait until next month. Sigh, any advice? <3

-Britney :embarrest:
 

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I would fix the oil leak and then the engine light. Leave the alignment until next month. I had a crappy alignment and over time they kill your tires so you'll need new ones but they can also hurt your wheel bearings.


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I think I'd agree with that assessment. If you need new tires anyway, hold off on the alignment until you get the new tires. Oil leaks can be a big problem since the car needs oil. The lean code is pretty common to be thrown with an aftermarket intake. If it's an Injen, PJ might know what to do to fix the lean code. I think he got it a lot when he had his G5.
 
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