Q: My timing belt broke, is there a chance there is no damage? 2000 Dodge Neon

asked by on January 07, 2017

My timing belt broke. I was going up the on ramp only going about 30 mph. Is there any chance the valves weren't bent? It made no noise at all. It just shut off and wouldn't start. I would have thought that if the valves bent or the motor "blew", there would have been some type of noise. I would think you hear a valve hitting the piston or some type of noise. Would there have been some noise if damage was done?

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Unfortunately, the valves are most likely bent along with possible piston damage. The 2.0ltr in both single and double-overhead-cam configurations are interference engines. The valves and pistons occupy the same space. The job of the timing belt is to keep everything moving in the proper time so the valves and pistons are NOT in the same space at the same time. When the belt breaks, the valve springs will slam all the valves closed. From sheer inertia - no matter how fast you were going or even idling - the crankshaft will continue to move the pistons up and down for a short time and will hit the valves. Most likely, a few if not all valves will be bent and typically, you will not hear any type of noise associated with that. The most cost effective repair would be to install a rebuilt cylinder head. In the overall cost, it would be cheaper than having the existing head rebuilt. Before considering that however, spark plugs should be removed and the pistons examined for any damage. If they are, you may be looking at a complete engine rebuild, or perhaps finding a known good used engine. If you take the used engine route, it would be a good idea to change the timing belt, water pump, etc before it is installed.

Hi there - yes, the 2.0 liter engines are "interference", which means there are likely some bent valves at least. As to noise, yes, there was likely some noise, but it would have been so instantaneous as to your hardly having a chance to hear it. This failure will require cylinder head removal and check out/repair by an automotive machine shop. Unfortunately, YourMechanic does not offer this service at this time.

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