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General repair costs?


Probationary Member
Jun 5, 2015
Garland, Texas
I'm new to DSM, I don't currently own one, sadly. However I would like to, I'm currently a high school student, but I love DSM's. What is the general repair costs for most things? Parts, labor, (if mechanic is needed) and anything else. My parents main concern is being a high schools student is that I won't be able to pay for anything is something breaks (having a job paying $8.50 and hour)

Please respond with anything you might find helpful! (Prices you've paid, ways to find cheaper things, etc)


Proven Member
Feb 29, 2004
Daytona Beach, Florida
Labor rates in my area run $80 an hour. Doubt if they're much cheaper in your area.

One of the best things you can do is learn to do the repairs yourself. I would first get a repair manual that covers your particular vehicle. It contains step by step instructions on how to replace worn and broken parts. It may take a while the first few times you do repairs but it will save a ton of money over your life time doing even the simple repairs yourself.

With a DSM, you definitely need to learn how to replace the timing belt and components yourself. Belt needs to be replaced every 60k miles. I've saw where people have paid $800 just to have this simple, time consuming job done.

As far as parts go, I use rock auto for most of my parts. You'll find their prices are about 1/2 of what autozone charges and their parts are generally of higher quality.

Welcome to the site, you can find answers to any problems you encounter just by using the search.

Before buying a DSM, gather as much information as you can about it, write down any problems with the car, then come on here and do a search to find out just what it will entail to repair it. Price the car accordingly.


Proven Member
Jun 16, 2007
Virginia Beach, Virginia
I was in your shoes when I was your age. My dad wouldn't let me get the turbo model or stick. Gave him a lot of crap for it when I was young but now that I'm older I'm happy for it. Probably would've done something stupid with a GST or GSX. Anyway, I had a 99 Special Edition (Looks like a turbo model with the 420a motor). Had the car for 7 years with no problems and I used to beat it when I first learned to drive. I used to complain about the power all the time, but now I realize it has plenty of power for daily commuting. Now I own a GSX.

With that said and having owned both, I would suggest you get a 420a DSM. It will be much more forgiving to a lack of maintenance compared to a turbocharged motor.

However, if you really want a GST/GSX I would try my hardest to find a bone stock one if you can.

This link should be helpful in your search


Proven Member
Jul 25, 2014
Vacaville, California
Parts are reasonable for DSMs. You just have to learn to do the labor first. Performance parts generally cost way less than a comparable V8. I looked at a G4 Ram Air Firebird and it was like 15th still for a good one. I paid 4k for my 99 2nd GST and put about 4k in for performance parts and it is going to dust that firebird. Plus gets good mileage.


Proven Member
Jul 27, 2014
Jasper, Indiana
Quick tip on parts, you can't cheap out on them like using most ebay or off brand parts. Most OEM parts are best for our cars especially for timing and sensors. Also these cars will make you a mechanic if you are willing to learn and don't want to pay high labor costs. Google searching any problem or info needed put in dsm tuners and you will find very helpful information.


Proven Member
Jun 18, 2015
Chico, California
My son just turned 15. As a dad I will tell you the same thing I told my son.

The just of it, 'Buy something that is super cheap, not running. You fix it. Not running gives you all the leverage as the buyer and it makes you learn fast about the vehicle you are about to be driving around. You' re going to fix it. Everything you could ever want to learn is now online. We learn by doing' .

If your parents are involved in the cash end of this decision you will prove to them that you want this, and can do the general maintenance. You will actually save them and yourself money by going this route. Buy a car, an on-sale Craftsman $100 tool set, and the parts to fix it and have money in the bank for other issues as they arise. Save 1-2k in the process. Time is money, your time is as free as you make it.

My two cents. ^^^^

The facts:

Just picked up the 96 GSX in my profile for $350, it has 147,851 miles. Had a burnt valve. Cost me under $150 and 5 hours to get it running. Worst valve I have ever seen. Double that time for yourself to fix the same car. By my estimation you'd save 1.5-2k.

Picked up a running 97 GS two days later (two days ago) for $300, really nice body. Blowing a fuse. What could you do with this one? Bad altenator, $108. Bad wiring who knows where, $0-5. Loose connection $0...

For the above examples to be you, all you have to do is jump in and be committed. If you think you could have fixed either of the last two cars I bought, then this is the right path. "If you don't think you can do it, then you probably can't."

I was making $2.75 an hour with my first job. I bought a non running 64 Chevy. These :dsm: cars were brand new then :D


Probationary Member
May 14, 2015
Van Nuys, California
I think as long as you keep the car stock, and stay on top of maintenance, your dsm will be fine. As far as parts, I only buy oem replacement parts for my dsm.


Probationary Member
Jun 25, 2015
Onamia, Minnesota
Parts aren't too expensive on DSM's, its the labor that gets spendy.. Like most of these guys said, learn to fix it yourself.. I am 18 years old and I just recently bought my 2nd DSM. 1st one I got when I was 16 and it was a 96 spyder gs, then I got a 99 GSX when I was 18.. I know nothing about repairing cars, but I would like to. I am going to college for auto mechanic next fall.. Anyways I learned a ton about eclipse's just by googling the problems. I've taught myself mostly everything I know about cars because of my 2 eclipse's. I currently am having issues with my GSX that I am learning about and trying to fix myself.. Good luck man
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