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Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? #4631713
01/11/18 06:59 PM
01/11/18 06:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 183
Detroit
Kurtatron Offline OP
Kurtatron  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 183
Detroit
Not my car. Coworkerís car. 2004 Saturn L300 V6. The V6 is an interference engine. The engine just cut out while driving down city roads. Coworker had it towed to a shop. Mechanic said at first the problem was just the serpentine belt. I found that odd. I donít think a serpentine belt would cause a car to die suddenly while driving.

2 weeks later the mechanic tells my coworker the timing belt looks bad also. So he is going to replace that. The mechanic acknowledges the engine is an interference engine, but says he cannot verify if the engine is destroyed until he replaces the timing belt so he can check for compression. Does that seem right? Could the engine have survived really if the timing belt broke or maybe just slipped? Is there no way to verify the engineís condition without installing a new timing belt?

Last edited by Kurtatron; 01/11/18 06:59 PM.
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631718
01/11/18 07:06 PM
01/11/18 07:06 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,281
ROCHESTER, NY
Char Baby Offline
Char Baby  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,281
ROCHESTER, NY
Well, IDK if there is a way to check that the valve(s) haven't clashed with the piston(s) without removing the head(s). However, I do know of instances where the timing belt has snapped on interference engines and all was OK.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic LX
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631722
01/11/18 07:12 PM
01/11/18 07:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,712
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,712
Phoenix, AZ
Sounds right to me. There is a slight possibility itís ok though. My mechanic once had an Xterra come in with a broken timing belt (interference engine) and it ran fine after a replacement.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 84k Mobil 1 AFE 0w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 230k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 147k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Char Baby] #4631726
01/11/18 07:13 PM
01/11/18 07:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,984
Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullwinkle Offline
bullwinkle  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,984
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted By: Char Baby
Well, IDK if there is a way to check that the valve(s) haven't clashed with the piston(s) without removing the head(s). However, I do know of instances where the timing belt has snapped on interference engines and all was OK.
Sure-a compression test will show any bent valves. But, when in doubt, change the timing belt, don't ask me how I know!


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631729
01/11/18 07:14 PM
01/11/18 07:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,730
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline
ZeeOSix  Offline
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,730
PNW
Luck of the draw on an interference engine. If it won't turn over then you'd know it's messed up, but if it turns over and seems OK, then it would have to get a timing belt on it to do a compression and/or leak down test.

Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631736
01/11/18 07:20 PM
01/11/18 07:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,901
NE,Ohio
Rand Offline
Rand  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,901
NE,Ohio
put a scope down spark plug holes.

takes almost no time and might show severe issues.

honestly its probably junk and not worth fixing 80+% of the time.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631746
01/11/18 07:31 PM
01/11/18 07:31 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,860
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Online content
BrocLuno  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,860
Kalifornia Kollective
Bore Scope each plug hole and look ...

Last edited by BrocLuno; 01/11/18 07:31 PM.

Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631749
01/11/18 07:33 PM
01/11/18 07:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,167
VA
maverickfhs Offline
maverickfhs  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,167
VA
In case if a timing belt jump, it can damage valves. Had an instant with 7th Gen Civic, now breaking a timing belt means definitely valves are bent, possibly quiet a few.

If it's not turning over while cranking, definitely (some valves) or head needs to be be replaced. We took the route of a re-manufactured/machined head, it was rather cheap option.

Good luck.


2006 Civic EX 202K/AT
2006 Acura TSX 180K/AT
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631750
01/11/18 07:34 PM
01/11/18 07:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,671
'murica
Ethan1 Offline
Ethan1  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,671
'murica
Yeah there are cheap chineses borescopes out there for $9.99 nowadays. This mechanic sounds like a chump, but I'm only hearing the story, what, thirdhand?

Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631764
01/11/18 07:40 PM
01/11/18 07:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,022
OH
fdcg27 Offline
fdcg27  Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,022
OH
If your coworker gets real lucky, a timing belt might fix things.
If not, then the engine is screwed and it would be time either to junk the car or look for a replacement engine from a yard, on which the shop should of course do a timing belt replacement prior to installing it.
Whether an old Saturn would be worth this depends upon the car.
If it's trashed, then just trash it. If it's well cared for and pretty nice, then it might well be worth a used engine install.
Your post shows why timing belt engines must have the required service done.
Do this and you'll have no problems, while if you don't, you may.
This also poses a bit of a dilemma when buying a used car. Has the belt been changed as required or not?
A buyer often has no service documentation available, although a hunt through the glove box or spare tire well will sometimes yield a trove of receipts.


17 Forester 18K VME 0W-20
12 Accord LX 92K PP 5W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: BrocLuno] #4631766
01/11/18 07:42 PM
01/11/18 07:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,578
wv
krismoriah72 Offline
krismoriah72  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,578
wv
In those engines the ac compressor can lock up causing the serpentine to lock and can shear the timing belt. Basically the mechanic at this point has a blank check in his hand...it could be alot of things.

I am sure that after it happened the driver cranked and cranked to restart..if it did fail then the damage is done. Top end and possibly some pistons depending on the extent.

Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631773
01/11/18 07:45 PM
01/11/18 07:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 3,798
New England
madRiver Online content
madRiver  Online Content
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 3,798
New England
This is a $1500 car at best, I would not put much money into this abomination Saturn made out of an Opel.

Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631793
01/11/18 08:10 PM
01/11/18 08:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,195
Fort Worth, Texas
clinebarger Offline
clinebarger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,195
Fort Worth, Texas
I thought all the L300's were crushed by now, That engine was a real POS!!


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631798
01/11/18 08:16 PM
01/11/18 08:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,464
Staten Island, NY
michaelluscher Offline
michaelluscher  Offline
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,464
Staten Island, NY
Ah yes, the same POS L81 engine that moved the Catera, a few Saabs, and the Vue before the Honda J series engines came into play

They're real fragile, especially with bending valves

Unless he adores the car, and has free labor, I think it's gmae over for this one


'06 Toyota Camry SE V6 3MZ-FE 100k
'01 Mercury Villager Estate VG33E 52k
'06 Ford Taurus SE Vulcan 60k
'13 Chrysler 300 3.6 Pentastar 230k
Re: Timing belt broke. Interference Engine. Screwed? [Re: Kurtatron] #4631802
01/11/18 08:24 PM
01/11/18 08:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,224
NoVA
Jimzz Offline
Jimzz  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,224
NoVA
That car uses the awful Saab motor. Many of them did not even make it to 60k on the original timing parts.

As said unless they love the car to death just dump it now. It bends valves very easily so I doubt its ok.


yup
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