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Old 05-04-2019, 11:52 AM   #1
that1man
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Default Car starting after timing chain breaks

Is it impossible? After I heard a sound that I thought was the timing chain broke (I immediately turned the engine off myself) I was able to start the car back up, although the engine sounded ruff like vibrating kinda like it wanted to shut off. When I started it back up i only let it run for about 2 seconds before I turned the engine off in fear that if it wasn't the chain that broke or maybe if it just jumped that it might break

So, if I was able to start the engine, how likely is it that damage was not done to the engine?

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Old 05-04-2019, 06:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

Interference engines are a result of better engines, raising compression with valves opening lower in combustion chambers where mechanical timing leaves no room for missed timing. If a timing chain breaks while the engine's running, momentum of rotating masses continues with mistimed valves meeting pistons at the wrong time. This usually results in bending valves and/or bashing piston tops with new holes. Most engines stop immediately from catastrophic damage. If the engine was running at high way speeds, high rpm. bending and breaking connecting rods results in engine blocks with new side holes.

If you suspect timing chain damage, the engine should not turn over as a valve or two lock against a piston or two - the camshaft no longer turning locks valves into position, never turning again while the crankshaft turns and rotates connecting rods as pistons move up and down in cylinder bores. The safest way to determine damage is removing the valve cover and examining the timing chain to see if its still connected to the camshafts. You might see broken camshafts too. Another way would be manually rotating the crankshaft using a breaker bar and socket. Manually turning the crankshaft with spark plugs removed (zero compression) should allow easy rotation. Any restriction to rotating the crankshaft like feeling a solid metal to metal sound would indicate damage.

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Old 05-04-2019, 07:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

Thanks for responding.

The mechanic working on it right now showed me, after removing the timing chain cover, that the chain was loose. He was using some kind of electrical device to rotate the chain. I don't know if whatever tool he was using was supposed to be attempting to start the car or was even capable.

Now, when you say "break" do you mean as in completely breaking like a link in the chain snapped? Or is the chain being loose or jumping as good as being broken?

Like i said, i was able to start the engine after and I'm just hoping that's a goo sign. I know I probably have to just wait until after he puts the new chain kit in to know for sure but was just hoping to out my mind at ease

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Old 05-04-2019, 10:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

A timing chain mechanically connects crankshaft to camshafts, similar to bicycle crank wheel to rear wheel. Camshafts rotate twice for every one crankshaft revolution. A loose timing chain isn't broken but without more diagnosing and troubleshooting, no one can tell you, sight unseen, if valves are bent, pistons holed or anything. You're describing a loose chain. This may indicate broken plastic chain guides or lost hydraulic pressure applied to the chain tensioner to maintain tension as chain and chain guides wear. Oil pressure supplies hydraulic pressure to the chain tensioner. This type of troubleshooting is for advanced diyers familiar with engine mechanicals, hydraulics, how engines work and able to make major repairs. Broken parts in the timing chain system falls down into the crankcase behind the timing cover. The timing cover would have to be removed to examine for damaged parts.

If you're having a repair shop make repairs, ask for daily updates and/or if you can see the teardown. Repair charges can vary, depending on damage. Labor rates vary as labor time plus parts becomes the bill. Good shops will give you estimates depending on how long repairs go and what parts needed.

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Old 05-05-2019, 12:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

He charged me a flat rate for the water pump and timing chain.. $650

A while after my last post he showed me what i think was a broken tension guide and he said the chain jumped. The few broken pieces i saw down lower and on the floor of the shop might have been what i heard, which i initially thought was the chain snapping and rattling louder. Maybe the broken plastic was bouncing around inside the cover.

So, now that i know the chain isn't broken and have seen the broken plastic pieces, what would you think at this point. You think the engine will start after the replacement of the chain and pump?

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Old 05-05-2019, 12:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

If the repair was done, the repair shop should have started the engine and checked it before giving you the car. Did I miss something in this thread? If you heard noises again after repairs then you should call the repair shop to have it towed back to them to follow up unless you're posting about it months after this repair........

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Old 05-05-2019, 09:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

Well, the car ended up not starting and the mechanic said i need a the engine head repaired because of the valve damage. I was hoping that it would start. Don't know what to do at this point. This really sucks.

Thanks for your help

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Old 05-05-2019, 09:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

Also, I never left the car. I was at the shop the whole time. He said to repair the head would be $1100. Should have asked him if that included labor

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Old 05-07-2019, 04:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

Whats the name of the repair books you've mentioned? I wanna look into maybe taking the engine head off myself and getting it to the right professional... or maybe even trying to repair it myself

Whats the typical repair cost for something like this after replacement of chain and water pump?

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Old 05-07-2019, 09:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Car starting after timing chain breaks

Alldata and Mitchell are online services second to GM service manuals.

I have not idea of costs. Others here may.

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