No announcement yet.

Do overhead cam motors self-destruct when the timing belt breaks, or just Chevy Aveo?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Do overhead cam motors self-destruct when the timing belt breaks, or just Chevy Aveo?

    Been perusing used cars, and the Aveo is one I thought fairly nice. Then I read a review about an owner who had the timing belt break, and it really screwed up the motor. I researched it some more on the web and found a batch of accounts- mostly about 10 years ago- where timing belts broke and it cost the owners $1500 to $2500 to have the motors rebuilt after valves were damaged etc. There was also talk of a very special tool that was needed and then only available at Chevy dealers, so that ran the costs up and had em all pissed off.

    I also recalled something a mechanic said to me last year when I had the timing belt replaced on my Aspire. He said something like it was good that I was getting it done, because it would do that same kind of damage to my Aspire. I was shocked but kinda doubted what he said. Now I wonder if he had confused the Aspire with the Aveo. I always thought if the timing belt broke, the car simply didn't run. I had one break on a 70's VW rabbit, and it seemed like a big deal then, but the car ran fine after being replaced. They all pooh poohed a belt back then for not being a metal chain.

    Anyway, what's the deal? Should I worry about my DOHC Accent? Would that happen on a B6?
    Last edited by harpon; 11-09-2019, 04:10 AM.

  • #2
    Aspire and Festiva engines are non-interference engines that don't do any damage if the timing belt breaks. That being said in an extreme case with huge amounts of carbon build-up on top of the piston I suppose it would be possible for a piston to hit the valves. I have had a couple break and replaced the belt and everything was fine.


    • #3
      In other words- they've more likely just screwed us up further if we arent on the newer-car-every-few-years train, or as time goes by in general. I've been looking at this now after the last comment:

      There are even lists as to what cars are "interference" or "non-interference"

      Apparently, most DOHC are "interference" and maybe some SOHC, while old two valves a cylinder aren't plagued in this manner.

      It was my understanding years ago that more valves were GOOD because there was more valve surface to distribute heat and any grit or gunk, and that the engines would then last longer and go further. My 04 Accent is my first foray into this over-head cam thing because I've otherwise been Festy or Aspire since 1997. And now I find it's at risk.

      And it turns out the overhead cam only makes things more fussy and likely to break- like the way auto transmission replacement costs usually quickly exceeds the cars market value.

      A few years ago I realized that they are making the front ends of cars higher- and less aerodynamic- because of overhead cams- compare a Challenger of this age to the originals of the early 70's- the front is TALLER now, and so I thought that rather unfortunate

      But now comes the knowledge of this PLAGUE of overhead cam motors screwing up the valves if the timing belt breaks- and at a time when I'll be lucky to be able to buy another car with exploding prices- geez- NOT HAPPY!
      Last edited by harpon; 11-10-2019, 12:15 AM.


      • #4
        Interference motors have the potential for piston to contact valves if the camshaft and crankshaft are not in time.Non interference motors will not typically allow valves and piston to contact even if the timing belt is broken.As long as the tbelt hasn't broken and has been maintained as per manufacturers specifications you shouldn't have a problem with either.Yes there are other factors which can cause interference but 99percent of the time it is due to a broken or out of time Tbelt.
        30 + Vehicle projects right now.7 Festiva/Mazda 10 GM IDK how many others,hope that helps explain all the stupid questions/shortcuts/interchanges etc. trying to liquidate so I concentrate on the good ones. Goal finish 1 amonth using as much stuff as I already have accumulated.