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200q woes and a ramble of sorts

Hey fellow enthusiasts
    This is my first time posting to the list and I must say that I am
impressed with the shear volume this list generates in my mailbox. I've been
lurking around for a bit... and like it here quite a bit.
     Okay so here it is. I'm the occassional owner of a '89 200q. Occassional
because it belongs to the old man who sometimes lets me take it. Since I'm
living a good 3.5hrs from him, the car's "visits" tend to be fairly long. I try
to make it as long as possible of course, leaving him to zip around in my mr2.
Hey.. the way I look at it is this: he bought the car on my advice, and when he
gets it back it's always in better shape then when he gave it to me. 
      Anyway, this time he gave me the car and asked me to have some repairs
taken care of while I had it up here in Albany NY. I took it to the shop, which
BTW is Timothy Smith's on Sheridan Ave (bad part of town but great shop), and
have them strap on a new CV boot. My father told me that the car was burning
oil and to keep a smart watch on the level and pressure. When I looked under
the car on lifts, after smelling the exhaust and looking for blue smoke and
finding none, I saw the ripped CV boot (which had sprayed a considerable amount
of grease in the wheel well) and a good amount of oil coating and dripping from
around the oil pan area. I couldn't locate where the leak was though and
thought it best to leave it to the experienced hands of Mr. Smith. He found the
oil leak all right.
	Turns out the hose that runs from the oil cooler to the engine, the
longer one further away from the nose of the vehicle, had corroded in 
two spots and was ready to burst. The chance of a nice ruined motor due to 
this was great enough that the Q is still sitting at the shop. I could just
imagine the line bursting someway on the thruway draining the car's lifeblood. 
Anyway.. the cost of this rinky-dink piece of steal hose is.. $250. Even the
mechanics were amazed after calling around to find it. Is this reasonable for
this type of part or am I taking a ride. I'm not blaming the shop, his
reputation and fairness are impeccable, just wish it wasn't so damn expensive. 
Okay... enough of a ramble on my part. Thanks for listening. Dieter is getting
old, and I'm into the whole preventative maintenance deal, so if you all have
any recommendations on what to look for (common troubles) I'd be glad to have
them. Oh and finally, I noticed that there is some type of meet at Lime Rock,
CT this summer. I've never been to one, but would love to go. Is membership
necessary? What exactly will be the goings on? Thanks a bunch.
                                  '89 200TQ 140,000m
                                  '85 Toyota Mr2 74,000m
                                  '91 VW Golf 85,000m