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Old 10-30-2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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I am hoping because it is the SPI motor that I get rid of it by 80,000 miles or so, the whole valve drop scares me, do any of you have an opinion on whether i should fix it before it happens or sell it before it happens? Ha I passed the kiddy hill then.
As Coty said, the SPI is a very reliable motor apart from the dreaded valve seat.

In the SPI tech chat, there is a long thread about the issue, a lot of people have posted the milage they were at when the problem occurred. I haven't read through the entire thread in a while, but IIRC, most of the problems happened between 125k-150k. But some had issues as early as 80k, or as late as 200k. Read it for yourself to see what you think

(The thread can be found here: How many People with the SPI had a Valve Seat Failure?)

I am currently a bit over 125k on my SPI. I have decided not to replace the head to prevent the valve seat drop. I have owned the car since new, and taken good care of it, so I am hoping that extends the life a little. But I only drive it about 100 miles per week, and it only needs to last until June when my wife's car is paid off. So for me, it is worth it to roll the dice.

If you want a reliable motor.... replace the head and drive it into the ground. It will last a good long time. New focuses are also reliable, but you already know the condition of your current car, and how it has been taken care of. Any time you buy a used car, you are rolling the dice. You just have no way of knowing what has happened to it.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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The last part of that post should not be over looked, re-read it a thousand times. When looking for a new car and your unsure and just getting buying fever step back and remember, HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT THE CAR YOUR BUYING. I'm not saying never buy a used car, but there is always a risk.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:58 PM   #13
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I take great care of my car. Since I have had it, it has always been parked in the garage. The salt from the winter is always washed off once a week. I spray under the car, wheel wells, all that good stuff. If you take care of the car it will take car of you. I have read that thread on here before, most of the pages actually, i have seen it happens anytime with no cause. Is the cost to fix it around 700$? i think that is average price.
I mean i paid 1000$ for my car so i am well ahead if i have to do any repairs. as for the new car scenario, its one of those dreams to get one you know what i mean? ha i like to window shop. The only thing is wish is that my car was a manual not automatic..., other than that it is great for me.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:50 AM   #14
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I take great care of my car. Since I have had it, it has always been parked in the garage. The salt from the winter is always washed off once a week. I spray under the car, wheel wells, all that good stuff. If you take care of the car it will take car of you. I have read that thread on here before, most of the pages actually, i have seen it happens anytime with no cause. Is the cost to fix it around 700$? i think that is average price.
I mean i paid 1000$ for my car so i am well ahead if i have to do any repairs. as for the new car scenario, its one of those dreams to get one you know what i mean? ha i like to window shop. The only thing is wish is that my car was a manual not automatic..., other than that it is great for me.
Glad to see you take care of the car. I don't know if it will help delay the dropped valve seat, but that is what I am banking on.

As far as cost, that really depends on how much damage is done. The most common seat to drop seems to be cylinder 4. If this is the case, typically the other cylinders are not damaged, and the repair is cheaper and easier. If it is one of the other cylinders, then the potential for damage is higher, and it is more likely other cylinders are damaged, which will increase repair costs. I don't know anything more about specific costs than you have already seen, so I can't comment on that.

This is probably obvious to you, but if you do drop a valve seat, make sure you don't keep trying to crank the car. Once it dies, tow it home and don't even try to start it. That should limit the amount of damage, and reduce repair costs.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:02 PM   #15
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Yeah I have read that #4 loves to drop first...So are you saying drive it until it drops and then fix it or go ahead and fix it before it happens?
Finally changed the sway bar links, lasted 48,000 miles on OEM. Got some now with grease fittings, what a difference!
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:37 AM   #16
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If it's paid off, drive it till it explodes.
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