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loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Aug 2008, 03:15 pm
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Unhappy loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

Hi...I need some help pls! I have a 2002 PT Cruiser 2.4L , just over 1000K.
No problems since I have owned it (1yr, I am second owner). Other than not running as clean as it had been. I was going to get it tuned up next week.
I was driving onto the highway the other day and it just lost power, the engine stopped running. Just before it completely stopped, the check engine light and oil light came on and have stayed on since. I tried to crank it, but had to have it towed home.
I got an error code P0340. My boyfriend took a peek into the timing belt compartment and the belt is very loose. We tried to crank it while he looked to see if the timing belt was moving, neither the belt of the gears are moving.

Someone told me that the PT has an "interference engine", and that if the timing belt stopped working and we tried to crank it then it would warp the pistons.....Is this true?
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 03:41 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

It's called a "Non-interference" engine and supposedly the valves won't hit the pistons BUT in the right circumstances the vales can hit each other.

It does sound like the belt broke so I wouldn't try turning it over any more.
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 04:04 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

lanies_ptcruiser02 Welcome to the Forum, sorry your first post had to be about a problem. Sounds like a visit to the dealer or TRUSTED mechanic is in order. Make sure they change the tensioner for the belt as well. As long as they are in there use the option of changing the water pump too.
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 04:18 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

Thank you both for getting back to me so fast!! I can't tell you how helpful this forum has been to me today in trouble shooting what is wrong with my PT..

Glad to hear that the engine is " Non interference ", it just didn't sound right when we were told that it was and "interference" engine.
I'm curious about one thing....why am I getting a P0340 code?

Also, other than the timing belt, water pump and tensioner, is there anything else that would be very advisable to get done at the same time?
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 04:54 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

Well, my diagnoses (wild guess) was the timing belt because of what you said your boyfriend saw when you cranked the engine.

The code P0340 of the camshaft position sensor will also bring the car to a halt. I know that for a fact because it went on me while I was on cruise control at 80mph going through South Carolina. Believe me, when I say the PT comes to a real fast slow down and the power steering shuts off and it ain't no fun. 11pm at night no less. Thank the Lord for cell phones.

The timing belt won't give a fault code and I'm not sure that when, and if, the timing belt goes and the engine stops, that won't trigger other codes like the P0340 because everything stops.

Hopefully one of out mechanics on the forum will come along and clear that up. The Camshaft sensor is a lot less expensive and easier to replace so lets hope it's that.
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 07:52 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

Actually a broken timing belt can set a p0340, it can also set a crankshaft sensor code. The PCM sees the crank turning but not the camshaft. It sees that problem and sets the code.
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 08:03 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

Thanks for clearing that up Chris, so it does sound like it's the timing belt.
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 09:19 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

CREWZIN, slartyblarfast and Hooligan.....even though the diagnosis pretty much sucks! I really appreciate all of your help, and to quote my 12yr old daughter

I probably already know the answer to this question, but her goes anyway.
Do I need to have the timing belt, water pump etc.. done by a very good and trusted mechanic. Or, can I shop around and get the best price. In other words, does it really take the best mechanic to do this work?
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 09:35 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

I'll just give you my thoughts. I have 94K and looking around to do the same job before it goes out when I don't want it to. I'm pretty friendly with my local Chrysler dealer and even talked with the mechanic that would probably do the work. He has done it before and I like that part of it. The part I don't like is that it's $90 an hour so with everything I'm going to have done (timing belt, sepentine belt, alternator belt, water pump and tensioner) it will probably run about $1000.

I've asked around at other places and I can have it done cheaper but I can't find any one that's done a PT. I've read alot on these forums about people that have had it done and have done it themselves and you can run into problems.

I'll probably go with the Chrysler Dealer as I know they'll have the right parts and the experience of doing the job before.

P.S. When I first read your post I was kind of stunned as I guess I took it the wrong way. The first time reading it I was thinking that you thought our diagnosis sucked, but after re-reading it I can see that you meant the idea of having the timing belt done is what sucked.
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 10 Aug 2008 at 09:38 pm.
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Old 10 Aug 2008, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: loose timing belt and gears not moving - urgently need help pls.

Wow.... I re-read my post, and your so right, it could be read 1 of 2 ways. So, just to make absolutely sure you and everyone else knows.......You guys are THE BEST!!!!....

It's the fact that I will have to have the timing belt, water pump etc....replaced that sucks.

Once I have my PT towed to my local "TRUSTED" mechanic and problem diagnosed. I'll let you all know just how much it's going to cost me.

Thanks again!!
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