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Timing Belt in Dodge Shadow

kelseytkelseyt Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Dodge
One year ago, the manual transmission seized up on my 1992 Dodge Shadow, and I had it towed to a nearby shop. While it was in the shop, the mechanic called to say that he had started the car (before any transmission work was done) and the timing belt had broken. This seemed a suspicious coincidence, and it was odd that he would be starting the car when the transmission was completely locked up and the car couldn't move an inch. He charged me an extra $150 for replacing the timing belt and tensioner bolt, and he said that it turned out it hadn't broken, but had fallen off. He gave me what he claimed was the old belt, which looked in good shape.

Now, a year later, I was driving on the highway today when my oil light went on and I lost all power to the drive train. There was no unusual noise of any kind. I coasted to a stop, checked the oil, which was a little above the minimum mark, added a quart, and tried to restart. The engine turned over without any unusual noises, but would not start. The oil light remained on. I had the car towed to my house. The tow truck driver, who also runs a repair shop, listened to the engine turning over, and said he was almost certain that the timing belt had broken. (I didn't know anything about his repair shop, or I might have just had him take the car there.)

Here's my dilemma: The mechanic who worked on the car a year ago was highly recommended by two friends of mine, and his shop is just a short rope tow away. The only other mechanic in the area who was recommended at all is a fairly long, expensive tow away, and will probably need to keep my car for much longer. I'm trying to decide whether to trust the guy who worked on the car a year ago and perhaps ask him to give me a break on the cost of re-doing essentially the same repair -- OR -- going to the other mechanic and finding out whether the first guy even replaced the timing belt as he claimed.

I could use some expert advice here. Is the story the first guy told believable? Is the tow truck driver's diagnosis likely to be correct? Would a different mechanic be able to tell whether the timing belt had been replaced a year ago? Are there certain steps I should take to prove that the first guy cheated me, if that was the case?

Thank you, in advance, for your help.


  • I would go back to the first mechanic and ask him why the belt had broken and see if he'll give you a break on price. May be there's even a warranty on the repair so that you may get it for free. You should also check the timing belt yourself to see if it's actually broken.

    It's possible to get defects on parts that you get. I remember going through three power steering pumps, all in a single day.

    I think Dodge Shadow engines aren't damaged when the timing belt breaks. At least that's what I remember. You'll have to call Dodge to make sure.

  • I think that those tensioners in those vehicles are oil-pressure controlled tensioners. Maybe there is a loss in oil pressure that is reducing timing belt tensioner pressure causing it to become a little loose. Not sure on this one, just a guess. But, you might, after reinstalling the belt (if it fell off) check the oil pressure. it's odd that the oil pressure light went on prior to the belt problem.
  • Chrysler 2.2L and 2.5L engines use a manually adjustable timing belt tensioner. The belt drives the camshaft and the intermediate shaft, which in turn drives the distributor. The oil pump is driven from the bottom of the distributor. If the belt comes off, the distributor and oil pump stop turning. No oil pressure.

    -damaged flange on one of the belt sprockets
    -missing belt guide washer
    -sprocket misalignment
    (any of these usually causes severe abrasion on one side of the belt)
    -belt tensioner bolt vibrated loose
    -belt damaged during installation by forcing it over the sprockets
  • gjblegjble Posts: 23
    A 93 Dodge Shadow with auto trans.. kicks back and surges when letting off the accelerator. This car has a 2.5l engine with over 100,000 miles. Anybody have any answers for this type of problem?
  • Does anybody know what the recomended service every 60k for valve clearance is all about on a 1995 geo prizm 4cyl
    ?also the 60k for the timing belt, runs fine and seems like 60,000 services arent needed thanks Brett
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