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Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

 
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Old 01 Nov 2017, 07:22 am
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 61
Default Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

How can you easily check to see if the timing belt is broken?

My PT seems to have a broken timing belt based on the last time it snapped.

The first one snapped at 155,000 as I was just leaving a stop light.

The second one I replaced it myself as a preventative measure at 345,000 being that it had 200,000 on it.

35,000 later I started tried to start the car and it was really chugging and trying to maintain being on for about 2 seconds. Then it went to just the starter sound when turning the key....no sound of any ignition happening.

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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700
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Old 01 Nov 2017, 07:33 am
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,332
Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

Often when the timing belt brakes, the engine will spin very quickly when trying to start. If you hold your hand over the end of the tail pipe, you will feel no or very little air being pushed out of it. You many also get a trouble code for the camshaft sensor and/or the crankshaft sensor.

The definitive way to know is to remove the plastic cover that goes over the camshaft sprockets. Then you see directly if the belt is broke. And if you get #1 cyl. all the way up on the compression stroke, you can also see if the timing marks align as they should. This will help indicate if the belt may have slipped.

There is also an inspection plug on the end of the timing sprocket cover. But I've never found it very useful. It's #2 in this photo.




The easiest thing to do is just remove the cover by removing these three bolts.




Here's a photo of a PT engine running with the cover removed. You can pretty see everything you need to see from here.

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File Type: jpg 2010-08-27_004438_belt.jpg (20.0 KB, 146 views)
File Type: jpg 2013-05-25_013144_capture.jpg (19.1 KB, 121 views)
File Type: jpg hqdefault.jpg (23.8 KB, 125 views)
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 01 Nov 2017 at 07:44 am.
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Old 01 Nov 2017, 08:43 am
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Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino169 View Post
How can you easily check to see if the timing belt is broken?

My PT seems to have a broken timing belt based on the last time it snapped.

The first one snapped at 155,000 as I was just leaving a stop light.

The second one I replaced it myself as a preventative measure at 345,000 being that it had 200,000 on it.

35,000 later I started tried to start the car and it was really chugging and trying to maintain being on for about 2 seconds. Then it went to just the starter sound when turning the key....no sound of any ignition happening.

You're leaving the belts on unchanged far too long and asking for trouble. It just isn't worth the gamble with any cambelt engine.

When you replaced the last ones, what else did you change at the same time? Pulleys? Tensioners? Water pumps? None of them?
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Old 01 Nov 2017, 09:27 am
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 61
Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

Handy...Thanks for the easy way to look at the timing belt. I will try tonight.

Sinbad.... yes I have left the previous 2 belts on far too long. I did not replace any other items as far as pulleys or tensioners. Only the alternator last time.

I think I was having sticker shock after the first repair so the 2nd time I waited a long time and decided to go it on my own.

I will, if it is the timing belt, look at replacing the tensioner this time.
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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700
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Old 01 Nov 2017, 10:58 am
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino169 View Post
How can you easily check to see if the timing belt is broken?

My PT seems to have a broken timing belt based on the last time it snapped.

The first one snapped at 155,000 as I was just leaving a stop light.

The second one I replaced it myself as a preventative measure at 345,000 being that it had 200,000 on it.

35,000 later I started tried to start the car and it was really chugging and trying to maintain being on for about 2 seconds. Then it went to just the starter sound when turning the key....no sound of any ignition happening.

First I would suggest checking to see if you have spark and fuel. Can you hear the fuel pump running when you first turn the ignition switch on?
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Old 02 Nov 2017, 11:28 am
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Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino169 View Post
Handy...Thanks for the easy way to look at the timing belt. I will try tonight.

Sinbad.... yes I have left the previous 2 belts on far too long. I did not replace any other items as far as pulleys or tensioners. Only the alternator last time.

I think I was having sticker shock after the first repair so the 2nd time I waited a long time and decided to go it on my own.

I will, if it is the timing belt, look at replacing the tensioner this time.

Always replace everything. A siezed pulley or pump will shred your belt 5 minutes after it's replaced. *Most* belt failures are nothing to do with the belt itself under normal recommended mileage - most are water pump seizures followed by pulleys going.
Really, it's just bloody stupid (sorry! )
to try and save money on it - the expensive part is the labour, and schanging the other bibs and bobs doesn't really impact that by more than half an hour.
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Old 02 Nov 2017, 04:53 pm
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 61
Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

Survey says: TIMING BELT! Thanks again Handy for the easy method for checking. That top plastic cover was easy to pull back and see the top of the timing belt travel and the fat that it was super loose and sliding off of the sprockets.

Sinbad, I agree with you that I was trying to save a buck Lesson Learned! I will be replacing the tensioner pulley for sure when I get in there. When I was in there last, I had replaced the water pump which was not doing much because the impellor blades were smoothed down to actual thin blades! I don't know if it was moving the coolant or cutting the coolant. This replacement included the timing belt since I was right there. That 200,000 mile timing belt looked fine!

More updates later as I dig back into this thing!
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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700
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Old 02 Nov 2017, 08:36 pm
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 61
Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

Next question...
I went to order the tensioner pulley and they asked me which one I wanted?

I remember there being 2 styles last time I was contemplating changing the tensioner.

I believe I have the original version, but I canít be sure until I get it out. Is there a way of knowing before I get into it?
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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700
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Old 02 Nov 2017, 09:47 pm
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Location: Michigan, USA
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Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

I think they are asking if you want one with or with out the bracket, get the with.
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Old 03 Nov 2017, 07:32 am
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Default Re: Timing Belt? How to know it is broken...

Quote:
Originally Posted by the3dgm View Post
I think they are asking if you want one with or with out the bracket, get the with.
Yes they did ask that.

Is that an upgrade to the one I have then? What does the bracket do?

I donít remember a bracket from the last time I was in there. Iíll assume it was an upgrade that was made during the production at some point to make things better for the car.
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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700
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