Q: Loss of power and speed

asked by on May 11, 2016

I was on a long road trip this week, and noticed a loss of power around 65 mph. The next day, I checked most of the obvious things: air filters, PCV, etc. They looked alright, but I replaced them anyway. After that, I used some fuel injector cleaner in the tank. This didn't help - I actually noticed the problem getting worse. I actually couldn't go more than 30 mph, with very limited rpm's when I tried to rev the engine after I parked it. What do you think might be wrong?

The timing has jumped. Timing is the most common issue with the engine. The timing chain guides and tensioners on these engines have chain guides with teflon plastic parts that start falling apart, which causes the timing chain to loosen; the tensioner will go as far as it can, but the chain will still be loose. This looseness will allow the chain to sometimes jump camshaft timing and cause the engine to lose power or not start at all. The broken chain pieces will get into the oil pan and clog the oil pump pickup screen, starving the engine for oil, and possibly leading to bearing damage.

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