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Old 23 Dec 2012, 11:40 pm
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Default Dumb questions.

New to the forum, but not new to the car. Bought the base model, AT 2.4l in 2005. No major problems with it, other than transmission shudder while accelerating. Of course it started just after the warranty expired, so I have been living with it for a while. I just keep a light foot on it. It now has over 134k miles on it. I have heard stories about the timing belt, I have read some of the posts here. It sounds like you almost have to pull the engine to get to it. I believe that Chrysler recommends replacing it at 100k, so it's due to break soon.
I am not a mechanic, so taking it to the shop is my only option.

Dumb question #1. Should I combine transmission repair and timing belt replacement while it's in the shop?

Dumb question #2. What other things should be swapped out with the belt? I've read that doing a tune up with better plugs and wires help with mileage, so add them in with rest of the job? Please give me the need to have, nice to have, and want to have.

Dumb question #3. How long should the job take? Billable hours/actual days in the shop?

Dumb question #4. I have been averaging 22 mpg (mixed city/freeway), so would those plugs/wires make a major difference?
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Old 23 Dec 2012, 11:56 pm
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,354
Default Re: Dumb questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbot View Post
New to the forum, but not new to the car. Bought the base model, AT 2.4l in 2005. No major problems with it, other than transmission shudder while accelerating. Of course it started just after the warranty expired, so I have been living with it for a while. I just keep a light foot on it. It now has over 134k miles on it. I have heard stories about the timing belt, I have read some of the posts here. It sounds like you almost have to pull the engine to get to it. I believe that Chrysler recommends replacing it at 100k, so it's due to break soon.
I am not a mechanic, so taking it to the shop is my only option.

Dumb question #1. Should I combine transmission repair and timing belt replacement while it's in the shop?

Dumb question #2. What other things should be swapped out with the belt? I've read that doing a tune up with better plugs and wires help with mileage, so add them in with rest of the job? Please give me the need to have, nice to have, and want to have.

Dumb question #3. How long should the job take? Billable hours/actual days in the shop?

Dumb question #4. I have been averaging 22 mpg (mixed city/freeway), so would those plugs/wires make a major difference?
Answer #1. If it needs both. Do both :-D if it aint broke, no real need to fix it :-)

Answer #2. Tensioners, pulleys and most importantly WATER PUMP!. I've seen many people have the timing belt swapped, paid quite a bit for it, then had the water pump go, and have to pay the same price all over again *timing belt conrtols the water pump at its lower end*. So 100% if your doing your belt, do your water pump with it *part itself is only $40-$65 anyway* :-). Plugs and wires help with starting, how the car fires, or misfires *if they are bad* they play an important roll and worn plugs/wires can cause issues. I would recommend doing those if they have not been replaced in the last year or so. Distributor is a good thing to do with them, . and if there is any oil on the plugs, a valve cover gasket with new grommets may be in order as well.

Answer #3. A timing belt is a few hours, tack on the water pump add another 45 min. I would say if a competent mechanic is doing it. 4-5 possibly less. but it all depends on when they call you and say "we also found this this and this, do you want us to fix those as well* so 1 day for a belt and pump. More if you have more done.

Answer #4 . Depending on what your cars Original MPG was, and what it is now. Plugs and wires can have a great effect on better fuel economy, as can the air filter, oil changes, tire pressures being correct and a correct alignment.

also. Your tranny shuttering is probably not a transmission issue, at 134k odds are your motor mounts and TRANNY MOUNT :-D are worn, so what happens when you accelerate is the engine actually rocks backwards towards you, causing massive vibrations while idling and accelerating, have them take a look at the mounts, new mounts are a whole lot cheaper than a new transmission.

Hope this helps :-)
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Old 24 Dec 2012, 07:39 am
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Beckley, W.V.
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Default Re: Dumb questions.

There is no distributor, so no need to mess with that. I agree about the shudder being the motor mounts. Have to remove these to change water pump and belt. You will not see a big difference in the gas mileage at those numbers. You being light on the gas pedal has helped get you the mileage your getting. If non turbo, a good set of platinum plugs should get you way more than a year. Should see 50k out of them anyway. This is still expensive. Check around and also check reputation of the shops you consider. Dealership and OEM parts will double the price.
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