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Author Topic: HELP! 2001 Saturn L200 that won't turn the engine over Timing Belt?  (Read 10078 times)
Bub
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#13 STC Chevy Turbo Sonic


« on: September 14, 2011, 10:44:56 AM »

The wife parked her car at work and when she went to leave the car won't start... the starter moves, but won't turn the engine over... you just hear this odd free wheeling kind of sound.  I had the same thing happen with my 1992 Jetta years back.  Timing belt broke.  No biggie.. just got one put on and all was good.  I can't recall right off if that was an interference motor or not.  (I'm thinking not)  Anyway... that is what seems to be the problem... the question is... since it happened when the car was not barreling down the highway... what is the chance that any valve damage may have been sustained if it is indeed an interference motor. 
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pylnrcr
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 12:57:23 PM »

Does a Saturn have a timing belt or a chain? I'm not sure about the model you have, but I'm pretty sure the very early models had timing chains.

Bruno
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Bub
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#13 STC Chevy Turbo Sonic


« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 05:05:33 PM »

I have never gotten such wishy washy information from dealers.. some say chain.. some say belt...  Must have been a transition year.  There have been recalls on 2001 L200's, but NOT this one... meaning it probably should be, but somehow missed the boat.  We're 5,000 vin numbers away from the "recalled" ones.  Supposedly the belt ones are non-interference and the chain ones are interference and I think they made both that same year.  Based on the VIN from the dealer is is supposedly a chain and interference.  From what I've read chains are supposed to last the life of the engine ... no? 
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POS VETT
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 09:17:00 PM »

Is a cam visible from the oil filler ?
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Rich Grunenwald
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 10:05:06 PM »

Not familiar with these cars, but some diagnostic things I would do:

- Go to the library and get a repair book. It should help clarify chain vs. belt.
- Similarly, check the maintenance schedule in the owners manual. It should indicate whether timing belt replacement is part of the schedule.
- Typically, engines with a chain have a cast aluminum cover over the chain drive to seal the oil in (chain drives have chain lubrication).  Belt drives typically have plastic covers.
- If it is a belt drive, the cover will often have an access port or door you can remove to view the belt to see if it turns when the engine cranks. Belts generally don't break per se; the teeth in the belt shear and so the belt won't turn the camshaft.

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I have two big heavy 'Murican race cars. Must be an old guy thing.
Bub
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#13 STC Chevy Turbo Sonic


« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 12:47:25 AM »

Looks like it is a chain and hopefully no other damage internally.  It won't get looked at likely till this weekend. 
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BeerMan
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 08:10:56 AM »

Going back to the OP.  When you described the sound, my first thought was that the starter was spinning, but just not engaging with the flywheel to start the car.  Have you eliminated this possibility, or is it a different kind of "freewheeling" kind of sound?

BeerMan
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Rich Grunenwald
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 06:53:47 PM »

Going back to the OP.  When you described the sound, my first thought was that the starter was spinning, but just not engaging with the flywheel to start the car.  Have you eliminated this possibility, or is it a different kind of "freewheeling" kind of sound?

BeerMan
That would be easy to assess. If the starter is spinning and the solenoid not working, the starter motor will spin but the crank won't move.

Another idea along these lines is a flywheel missing a few teeth or the starter gear stripped.  Again, if the crank pulley and external belts don't move when cranking, you've narrowed the problem.
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I have two big heavy 'Murican race cars. Must be an old guy thing.
AJ
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 09:50:15 PM »

sounds like a starter. if it ran when she parked it then it wouldn't be a broken chain.
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Bub
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#13 STC Chevy Turbo Sonic


« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2011, 07:54:41 AM »

One thing I forgot to mention is she said that when she was driving down the highway on her way to work she said that when she was pressing down the accelerator it would simply not go any faster.  She had her foot to the floor and eventually it did pick up and accelerate, but after a 5-10 second dead spot.  She said that happened a couple of times on the way there that day.  We'll likely be dropping it off somewhere tomorrow or the beginning of the week.  A couple of relatives/friends that I know that normally work on cars for me said they didn't want to touch this one. 
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pylnrcr
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2011, 11:24:49 AM »

One thing I forgot to mention is she said that when she was driving down the highway on her way to work she said that when she was pressing down the accelerator it would simply not go any faster.  She had her foot to the floor and eventually it did pick up and accelerate, but after a 5-10 second dead spot.  She said that happened a couple of times on the way there that day.  We'll likely be dropping it off somewhere tomorrow or the beginning of the week.  A couple of relatives/friends that I know that normally work on cars for me said they didn't want to touch this one. 

Sounds like one of my autocross excuses.   Cool       (I know.... I know...... that's no help)

Sounds like there might be more than just a starter issue happening, and I would think that if it were a timing chain failure, it would be a no-go issue, period.

Bruno
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Bub
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#13 STC Chevy Turbo Sonic


« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2011, 08:45:05 AM »

Ended up being just the timing chain.. and we got lucky.. no bent valves or any other damage.  Basically only set us back $350+ parts.  (about $200)  You don't even know how happy I was when the guy that put the chain kit on turned the key and it started right up.  Got me paranoid about mine now.. The 05 Aveo has 99,500 on it and it is DUE.   Plan on getting that timing belt replaced ASAP. 
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