Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Auto Caveat: Check your timing belt on your Overhead Cam Motor OHC.

My friend's brother-in-law was driving his 93 Volvo, which he bought 2 weeks earlier for $1200. The timing belt completely snapped when he was driving on US 9 in Latham. When I looked up the timing mark pattern for his car(so one can re-align all three shafts: cam, crank, jack) the book said it was an interference motor: which means when the belt breaks, the pistons will bend the valves, making a simple timing belt replacement into a cylinder head job > $750. Ironically, the Volvo is one of the easiest cars to put a timing belt in, the rest of the car is in good shape and one couldn't ask for an easier car to work on, it's real wheel drive. Some other interference motors that come to mind are Honda Civics, GM engines, Nissans, VW, yadda yadda. Have the belt inspected, if the rubber is hard, shiny or cracked, replace it! Age will wear it out as well as mileage. The older timing belt styles, like on this Volvo, are very weak and narrow. My Eagle's belt is about 5 X as large and thick as that crummy little Volvo belt.