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IMO, it's all about the TB valve adjustments and spark plug hurdle. That's a 2-3k mandatory cost despite having a car with only 100k on the odometer. If you add this cost to the price of a used purchase will it be cheaper than an alternative? That's up to you but I don't see any way around this issue unless you do it yourself. These services have a lot of variance on price and seems to increase at a rate higher than root canals or college tuition. It's a headache to get it done correctly with the right parts which are a belt, tensioner and water pump seals and idlers and all at the right price.. This is where a chain engine shines takes all the headache and price gougers and risk of someone messing with your car out of it. With a chain engine you'd need spark plugs and coolant every 100k, much easier.

The coolant and trans fluid is a known risk but older cars will need attention sooner or later and that takes money.

That's the name of the game today, overcharge for low hanging fruit. If you can, do your own fluid changes and brake pads and rotors. Example, at Jiffy lube a Mobil 1 oil change is over $100. I can do it myself with a Honda filter for $30 or less by stocking up when on sale.
 
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