Did this mechanic come to this conclusion after pulling the head? If not
then this diagnosis is purely a rectal extraction. The clicking sound is
probably just the cam timing chain telling you it needs to be replaced.
How many miles are on this car?
84k is not a lot of miles for its age. Its possible the timing chain
tensioner got stuck at some point or backed off and allowed the valves
and pistons to touch. Just like terminal cancer, get a second opinion.
This sounds like what I'm being told. I drove my 2001 L200 to run an
errand last Saturday morning and when I came out to start the car it
just cranked but sounds like its just spinning. Sputters a little but
no attempt to start. Towed it to the mechanic and they are telling me
no compression in at least 2 cylinders. Said they looked at the
timing chain but it looks intact, maybe 1 tooth missing but otherwise
it was okay. They did mention the tensioner may have had a problem
and without pulling everything and really tearing into it and running
up the bill that they can't tell what is causing such a loss of
I'm going crazy, I just went on a short trip 3 weeks ago, 32 mpg and
smooth. The only thing I've noticed was what seemed to be a loss of
power when accelerating last Thursday and Friday, so I decided to to
work on it Saturday, but it died before I even got a chance to check
it. I replaced the fuel filter and crank sensor to see if it would
help but no good.
Is my mechanic feeding me crap?
I can't believe a car can go from running great to dead like that
without any other symptoms first.
Thanks for any input.
Your mechanic said there is no compression in two cylinders. How in
the heck do you expect someone here to know if that is true or not? I
don't understand why you can't believe it could break without other
symptoms. Cars break everyday without advance warning. If I were to
guess I would say that the timing chain skipped but you would be much
better off trusting a mechanic that is standing there looking at it
than some guy hundreds of miles away with a cold beer in one hand and
a cigarette in the other.
You may be hearing a worn/loose timing chain but they usually last
longer than this. They can get pretty noisy and if the break or jump
time it will destroy the engine because it is a interferance motor
(valve will hit pistons if cam gets out of time and it will not just
make noisy when that happens, it woill break something and stop
running. Time to talk to another mech.
The timing chain should last more than 300,000 km. Haven't changed one
since the sixties! Our cars had 300,000km 277,000km, 195,006km 177,000, and
159,00 on them; the timing chains gave any problems.
Did you ever change the oil?? Dirty oil will trash the chains real quick.
Well, 2nd mechanic popped the top of the engine and confirmed. He thinks it may
have been runnning awhile with no oil pressue (though I get regular oil changes
and never got a warning light). Pretty much told me that since the car is
running, it should last awhile and that the noise sounds worse than it is.
Time to go car shopping. Will I get another Saturn...hard to say right now...
the Honda fit is looking good...
You're relying on the oil pressure light and not your eyes and the dip
stick? Yeah thats a sure way to ruin a motor. You can ruin any motor
running below a normal operating oil fill. Also I've never seen a Saturn
more bone dry than a Honda. A Honda came in with a OBD II code set by
the variable valve timing. The variable valve timing WAS NOT WORKING
because there was NOT ENOUGH oil to work it. It had 0.3 quarts of oil in
the engine. ZERO POINT THREE QUARTS! And no oil light... Good luck with
Did you bother to check the dip stick multiple times between oil
changes. Me thinks not...
I find it interesting and somewhat revealing that people come here to find
solutions to their own problems but seldom to learn from the mistakes and
experiences of others. We have seen multiple examples of expensive repairs
and engines ruined solely caused by the owners unwillingness to practice
even the most basic preventative maintenance practices. I have no sympathy
for people who are too lazy and/or ignorant to simply raise the hood and
check the oil level EVERY time (minimum) they stop for fuel. The low oil
pressure indicator is not called an idiot light for no reason, as only
idiots rely on them to indicate anything other than imminent complete
Check your oil level often, you will be paying yourself more money than you
have ever earned in your life. I ran some (admittedly simple) numbers and
calculate that the amount of money you are paying yourself is > approx
$150/hr for a high mileage car and significantly higher (orders of
magnitude) for a lower mileage car.
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