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I just had the exact same problem and the mechanic told me the same thing...that it would cost 1-2k just for the part, not counting labor, and that I would have to take it to a dealer. He also said that repairing it would cost more than the car's worth. I was about to scrap it but then my dad went to a junkyard and found the part for $55.00. We changed it in about an hour (I am a total car repair noob too but after watching and helping my dad with this I could do it again by was not hard!) and she is now totally fine! I know this is a late reply but perhaps it will help someone else. And yes, the year of the car does matter. My dad told me that for mine (an '05), they only made that particular engine for two years and that the harness was different on others. So do try to find your same year's model, or look up which other ones are the same.
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