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I have a 1995 Buick Century with a 3.1L v6 engine. I was driving along one day and the car simply quit. After having the car towed to the local shop, they explained it could be a timing chain or the broken cam shaft. They were hesitant in spending time with the vehicle, nudging me towards scrapping the car. The vehicle has 98k miles on it with little rust. The car has been very reliable. How could a cam shaft break? Should I seek a second opinion?

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Ask them for an estimate for the timing chain only and the camshaft with a new chain and gears,it makes sense to replace the chain and gears if doing the camshaft.Also ask the chance of more extensive damage to the pistons and valves from the timing being out of sync.If they can't answer any of your questions go to a different shop.If you are really happy with the car and the motor has really severe damage you could look at the option of replacing the motor.This is one of those cases where you will never get back the cost if something happened to total the car.However if the rest of the car is in good shape you probably can't replace it for the cost of the repair.

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Thank you, mikes! Further inquiry, and it was explained to me this engine has had issues since inception with intake manifold gaskets leaking internally. The shop said because the leak was minor and inside the engine - anti-freeze would mix with the oil. Once mixed, bearings would wear and the cam spin out of round. After a period of time spinning loose the cam breaks. While sceptacle, they showed me by removing the oil filler cap and cranking the engine. Interesting enough, I could see front parts moving and back parts stationary. They indicated this was due to the broken cam. Thanks again! –  ebinfa Apr 25 '12 at 23:36
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