Should we be suscpicous?

fred1944August 8, 2005

Hi all, wife has a ford contours, 2 1/2 weeks ago, ford dealer replace the timing belt and several pulleys.

Now, wife drove the vehicle, and encountered the same symptons, car stalling, no pep, and then wouldnt move.....

Not sure what the present diagnosis will turn out to be,, shouldwe be concerned that the first diagnosis wasnt correct and didnt need a timing belt replaced?

thanks fred

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Those symptoms aren't what usually occurs when the timing belt goes. Usually it's running fine one second and then the belt breaks and it quits instantly, just like you turned off the key. If you took the car to the dealer with the symptoms you mentioned and they replaced the timing belt and pulleys, they may have felt that the timing belt had slipped and the valve timing was off.

You may have needed the timing belt and pulleys anyway due to them being worn, but it sounds like whatever was causing the stalling and and loss of power was not caught, and you still have that problem. Either that, or there could be a small chance that this timing belt they put on may have slipped off or broken, but I'd say that's unlikely based on how you describe the problem.

My position with the dealer would be that you took the car to them for a specific problem, and that problem is still there. If they argue that the timing belt and other parts were needed anyhow, that may be correct, but there's still some other problem.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 2:11PM
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thanks cowboy, how can one detrmine the timing belt needs to be replaced without taking the engine apart and actaully seeing the broken or slipped belt? wouldnt they just be guessing otherwise?


    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 2:45PM
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Normally the way you know the timing belt needs to be replaced is because it has broken and the engine won't run. (It also sounds abnormal and uneven when you try to start it because some cylinders have a valve open and have no compression, while others have both valves closed and have high compression.) While I know it can happen, I've never seen an engine running bad due to a timing belt problem, and it would not be among the things you'd first suspect with the problems you mentioned. On some cars it's easy to see the timing belt because it's just behind a plastic cover, and you can peek under the cover and see if it's in place and moving when you try to start the car. On others more disassembly would be required. Most timing belt replacements are done as preventive maintenance, so there is no need to inspect the belt prior to replacing it in these cases, since you're going to replace it anyhow just due to its age or the number of miles on it.

I am not sure how or why they arrived at the timing belt as the cause of your problems. Possibly they inspected it due to the age or number of miles on the car, discovered that it was badly worn, and replaced it. But even if the belt was worn, it would not cause any running problems unless it had slipped on its pulley, and that does not happen too much because both the timing belt and the pulley it drives have teeth on them. It can happen, though, if the belt is extremely loose, and that could happen if the tensioner went bad. The tensioner could be one of the things they replaced when you mentioned before that they replaced the belt and some other pulleys.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 7:07PM
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You can have a poor running engine if the timing/synchronization of the sprockets were incorrect when the timing belt was put on. However, this condition is continous, not intermittent. If the engine runs ok some of the time and not at other times, its not the timing belt; There is some other problem(s) present.

If all the electronic controls are working, it may be mechanical such as manifold leaks or in need of a valve job. You did not state how many miles were on the engine.

It's time to get a good set of diagnostices run on this car. Look at any trouble codes that may have been set. These provide a good startint point.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 8:27PM
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Sure it wasn't a serpentine belt they replaced ? (several pulleys ?)

Cos if that was slipping due to wear it would do that.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 4:47AM
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RE: Should we be suscpicous?
Posted by: john999 (My Page) on Tue, Aug 9, 05 at 4:47

Sure it wasn't a serpentine belt they replaced ? (several pulleys ?)
Cos if that was slipping due to wear it would do that.

I was thinking the same thing. The Dealer replaced the TIMING belt and several PULLEYS ? The part about several Pulleys is what leads me to beleive that it's the Serpentine belt.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 4:42PM
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thanks all,

no, they charged me for the timing belt, gees it was about 4-5 hours of labor also, as cowboy mentioned above, they did somehting with a "tensioner",,, they replaced the belt and pulleys the first time.

i just received a call, the service rep stated, the timing belt jumped the teeth again,,, he's not sure why,,, he will let me know tomorrow. i dont have a clue, just putting my faith in their hands.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 5:01PM
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It jumped a tooth with a new belt? or maybe it was not correctly assemblied in the first place. It's easy to be off by one tooth on reassembly since it may appear to be correct, but takes on a slightly different synchronization when the belt tensioner is applied to take up the slack. I've seen specific procedures in several repair manuals to account for this difficulty.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 6:19PM
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Much appreciated to all, well, i got it fixed and the dealer told me the belt snapped, all fixed at no charge.

thanks again fred

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 3:57PM
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