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Q: Ways to determine if the timing belt snapped on a '97 Honda Accord

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Is there a quick way to determine if the timing belt has snapped on a 1997 Honda Accord? Ruined the engine and another engine is needed.

A: It’s a ’97, so the car has a distributor. O...

It’s a ’97, so the car has a distributor. One fairly quick way to check is to take the distributor cap off. It has just two screws and it is really easy to get off. Have somebody crank the engine and if you see the rotor is not turning around like it is in a circle and it is just sitting in one place, that means the timing belt is broken because that runs up the cam and the cam runs up the timing belt.

So, when the timing belt is broken, it doesn’t spin around. Certainly, the engine is broken or something is broken inside. Depending on the Honda, some Hondas have interference engines and this will destroy the engine. Other Honda engines are non-interference, and may have different outcomes.

For example, yours is a ’97 Accord that actually has a non-interference engine (unless it is a VTEC). If it is a normal engine and not a VTEC engine, and the belt breaks, then you can just put another belt there. If it is a VTEC engine, then it probably wouldn’t have the belt inside. If you need help, you could have the car diagnosed by a certified technician from YourMechanic. They will be able to take a look at your engine and replace your timing belt if necessary.

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