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Am I getting ripped?

Obi-one asks if he's getting ripped because the price keeps increasing.

Quick test: If the "mechanic" DID NOT mention replacing the water pump
while the belt is off, the answer is YES!!! YOU'RE BEING RIPPED!!! -
because if he knows ANYTHING about these cars, that would be the first
thing out of his mouth after he heard you say "timing belt".

Sounds to me like you need to find someone who knows more about your car
than this guy.

Ticking can be two things: Lifters or exhaust manifold. Both will
eventually require attention, but neither is likely to leave you stranded.

Best Regards,

Mike Arman