>I sold the Grand Am. After much testing and disassembling of the engine, I determined that it was indeed the timing chain that broke. Unfortunately, since the Grand Am has what is called an “interference” engine, when the timing chain broke, the cams stopped rotating, the valves stopped moving, and the pistons smacked into the valves, bending them and the head.
I knew the engine would either need to be rebuilt or replaced. I knew that this was beyond my expertise. I posted an ad for the car on Craigslist, and it sold in two hours. The guy that bought it took great joy (for some reason) in telling me a few weeks later that he fixed it, and it’s running great. Good for him. It would have cost me more than the car is worth to fix it.
So now we have one vehicle. I am looking for another one. I was hoping to get one for cheap, but evidently “cash for clunkers” has pretty much erased my chances of (currently) getting a cheap used car (I’m talking for $800 or something). Anybody have any ideas where I can get a car that runs for $1000 or less?