Last weekend I bought a 1996 Civic LX with 102k miles. It's in nice condition and runs well. Since it has 102k miles and I want to drive it on ski trips, I thought I should go ahead and replace the timing belt. Any number of people said to do the water pump at the same time. The timing belt was $368. When I added the warter pump the bill went to $720. That surprised me. Then the mechanic (who I think is a pretty straight shooter) called to tell me I had a broken motor mount that should be fixed for $149. And the water hoses were original and "crunchy." He thought the spark plugs should be replaced along with the gaskets that were part of a timing belt/water pump kit. In the end, bringing my car up to fully maintained status cost $1500. The air filter was good, though.
I'm a bit surprised at these costs - though individually they don't seem high: timing belt/water pump - $720; hoses $175; flusinhg coolant $89; motor mount $149; plugs $84; fuel system flush - $89; and, a brake adjustment - free! Total: $1500. Am I being had?