1998 1.242 timing belt - kd1973
Driving home on the motorway this week the timing belt went, the speed was about 70mph, when the AA man turned up, he said that on 95% of cars the timing belt would damage the engine but was confident that this was not the case for a Fiat Punto.

I spoke to the local garage who said that the AA man is talking rubbish and that damage would have been done to the engine. Who is right? The AA man said that he was a mechanic for 18 years before becoming a AA Patrolman, so unsure who to believe. I don't want to be charged for work that does not need to be done on the engine.

Any advice on this?

Edited by Pugugly on 13/09/2008 at 00:41

1998 1.242 Timing Belt - Screwloose

Most of the 1242 units are freewheeling engines; do you have the engine code off the data plate - there are six versions in '98, it starts 176.
1998 1.242 Timing Belt - kd1973
The number on the engine is
176AR53A 05
1998 1.242 Timing Belt - Screwloose

You'll be pleased to hear that a 176.B4.000 engine does not suffer valve damage if the belt breaks.

The book time to fit a new belt is 55 minutes [or 70 mins with air-con] and the belt kit isn't dear, so the bill should be on the light side too.
1998 1.242 Timing Belt - kd1973
Thankyou, the AA man was right, the garage are sending someone out tomorrow to recover the car from the house, will make sure that i point out that it will only need a belt change. Again thankyou
1998 1.242 Timing Belt - kd1973

Had the timing belt changed by a local mobile mechanic, but the car would not start, it would appear that because the head gasket has gone on the car twice, this has resulted in the pistons hitting the clyinder head and causing damage therefore no pressure, the mobile mechanic tested each value and two were at 150 and 110 and not the 190 they should be. The overall cost of putting this right will be in the region of £270, and the timing belt on top of that was £95, so not as cheap.

The question i do have is that the mechanic is fixing the car this weekend but will not be replacing the clyinder head with another one out of a scrap car from a salvage yard therefore if the timing belt goes again it will be another £365 to fix. If the clyinder head is replaced with another (from a car engine from a scrap yard which has not had the head gasket fixed twice) then if the timing belts does do again this would not cause any damage to the car engine, am i right?

1998 1.242 Timing Belt - yorkiebar
Its unfair to criticise fully without looking at the engine in detail, but........

If its a freewheeling engine (my info agrees with screwloose) then that means the pistons/valves/head should not meet under any circumstances (no matter how many head gasket failures ) and therefore the answer you have been given sounds wrong.

In reality, even in a freewheeling engine, damage can happen.

With the figures given its no reason why the engine shouldnt start, even if its performance isnt right.

I suspect a tooth out on the belt maybe? I dont feel comfortable with what you have been told!


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