Q: The timing belt broke while I was driving. Can a mechanic estimate what additional damage the broken belt caused upfront?

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The blue book value of the car may be less than a repair but the garage where I towed the car is not able to give me a estimate and suggested I take it to Mercedes dealer. Is the ancillary damage to values or fuel pump or whatever evident without actually replacing the belt, or it is difficult to get a real number unless they start working on it? I'm trying to decide whether to donate the car or tow it somewhere else to get an estimate. I really would like to get the car running again but don't want to exceed the value of the car if possible.

My car has 122000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The vehicle information you provided is for a vehicle that has a timing chain no a timing belt. If the timing chain broke while you were driving, then the engine must be replaced preferably by the dealer for the bet results. If your serpentine belt broke this is much less severe, but the break may be due to a failed component along the drive belt system or a very old belt. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out and take a look at the damage done by the broken belt and offer a more personal estimate on the necessary repairs.

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