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Old 11-10-2017, 12:11 AM   #1
Mysaturnbeater
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Default Timing belt

When does the timing belt needs to be changed on my 1998 Saturn SC 1?
I've owned it since 2006 and never did a timing belt change.

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Old 11-10-2017, 01:30 AM   #2
bachands
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Timing belt

There is no belt. There's a timing chain. They typically last for 100K-150K miles I'd say. And I don't believe there's a way to tell unless you remove the timing cover and check they extension of the tensioner.

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Old 11-10-2017, 02:14 AM   #3
Mysaturnbeater
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Default Re: Timing belt

Thanks for the reply back.

Well... I'm already at 277+ K miles on my car.
I'm surprised it's still going.

How difficult would it be to change it?
I really don't want to spend, what I assume will cost more than what the car is worth to have it changed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bachands View Post
There is no belt. There's a timing chain. They typically last for 100K-150K miles I'd say. And I don't believe there's a way to tell unless you remove the timing cover and check they extension of the tensioner.

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Old 11-10-2017, 06:37 AM   #4
Waiex191
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Timing belt

I replaced mine at 204K just because I was doing a rebuild. I honestly don't think I'd replace it if I was not already going inside the engine. If it is not making scary noises then I'd let it be.

When I bought my Saturn new in 99, that is one part of the sales pitch I remember. The Hondas and similar had belts and the Saturn had a chain.

Edit: at post 273 in my thread there are pictures of the timing cover off while in the car. Not super hard of a job but a pain compared to working with the engine on a stand. You could do it in a weekend.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...230898&page=14

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Last edited by Waiex191; 11-10-2017 at 06:42 AM..

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Old 11-10-2017, 07:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Timing belt

So, what kind of noises should I hear for if it could be the timing chain?

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Old 11-10-2017, 07:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Timing belt

A slapping/loud clacking that never stops.
If you keep up with oil changes, and never let it get below the dipstick I would not worry about changing it at any interval (except at engine rebuild time).
My 96 suburban has a chain, 331K miles on it now, and does not make noise, does not use any oil ever. It had to have been build on a Wednesday.

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Old 11-10-2017, 08:27 AM   #7
underthehood
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Default Re: Timing belt

If the engine is well cared for and there are no weird drives off the chain (i.e. early EcoTec 4 cylinders used the timing chain on the water pump) it should last the same as the engine itself. At 277k as you noted there is no need to do anything unless (as noted) you're hearing bad noises. Otherwise just keep running it until the engine gives up the ghost and needs to be overhauled or replaced

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Old 11-10-2017, 01:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timing belt

Thanks for the info.

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Old 11-10-2017, 10:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timing belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysaturnbeater View Post
So, what kind of noises should I hear for if it could be the timing chain?
The engine will begin to sound like a diesel engine.

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Old 11-11-2017, 01:36 PM   #10
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1998 SL2
1997 SL2
Default Re: Timing belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthehood View Post
If the engine is well cared for
meaning, checking the oil often, not letting it run low, and not letting it run dirty for long periods
Quote:
and there are no weird drives off the chain (i.e. early EcoTec 4 cylinders used the timing chain on the water pump) it should last the same as the engine itself.
This. That 883k mile Saturn from a few years ago was on the original chain. Luke's 660k mile car was also on the original chain when he retired the car.
My minivan has a chain, never changed at 240k miles. My '97 SC2 has 201k miles on original chain, my '02 SC2 is at 140k and still strong. I have no plans to ever do another chain unless I have the engine open for other reasons

Highmiles has something like 650k miles on his car. Chain was replaced somewhere around 300~400k miles ago, but only as part of the rebuild.

You do want to periodically replace your serpentine belt, though, as it drives the water pump and alternator, which are useful things to have in a running car

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Old 11-13-2017, 03:43 PM   #11
PrestonIII
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1994 SL2
Default Re: Timing belt

My first SL1 had about 150K miles on it, and the timing chain jumped time more than a few teeth, and ruined the valves and left marks in the tops of the pistons.

It wasn't the chain that went bad the most, but rather the nylon/plastic guides disintegrated. They simply weren't there any more. Large pieces of them were in the oil pan.

I put a junk yard head on the car and a new timing chain and guides and put it back together. It really wasn't that hard to do.

But IMO, the plastic guides are more of a worry than the chain.

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Old 11-14-2017, 08:43 AM   #12
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Timing belt

As mentioned, if engine oil was properly maintained, the chain should last the life of the engine. Replace only at time of rebuild. I sold my car with nearly 224K and engine still purred - original chain.

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Old 11-14-2017, 10:30 AM   #13
mbr
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Default Re: Timing belt

Many confuse the accessory belt for a timing belt. Perhaps that's what the op was referring to.

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