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Old 11-23-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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Is anyone familiar with the timing belt on 97 Honda Civics? My timing belt busted on the highway the other day, and I was told by my mechanic, I would probably need a new engine. Well, the timing belt was replaced, and it runs fine? The idle seems to be rough, not quite as smooth. Anyone have experience with this?
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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I'm not familiar with that particular engine. But there are a LOT of these smaller 4-cylinder engines that, if the timing belt breaks when you're driving it, can sustain very serious damage to the head.

What happens is that valves bend and/or break, and get rammed up into the head. So it often ruins the head, but not the entire engine.

If your engine was ruined, it wouldn't be running at all.

That said, I'm not sure what has it idling a little rough. That could be a lot of things - many of which could be totally unrelated to the broken timing belt.
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
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Your car has what they call an interference engine. Your mechanic was referring to damage done because of that fact. This site will explain what this means. Gates Timing Belts

If your engine is running rough, be assured it will not improve.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:24 PM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
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Yes I agree, one or more of your valves may be bent. I would take it back to the mechanic and ask him to put a vacuum gauge on the engine.

That should tell him if the engine is pulling proper vacuum or not.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanek9freak View Post
Yes I agree, one or more of your valves may be bent. I would take it back to the mechanic and ask him to put a vacuum gauge on the engine.

That should tell him if the engine is pulling proper vacuum or not.
If it was a valve problem, would there be a "ticking" or knocking sound? This sounds more like an idle problem, but I'm not sure? It is not consistant; sometimes the engine sounds fine, but at a red light it will seem a bit rough at times. I've only had it a day so, I'll wait and see.

Does the vacuum gauge determine if there is damage to the engine? Or if there is a leak in the vacuum system?
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
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While its an interference motor, its very possible that no damage occured from your valves hitting the pistons... my brother snapped his t-belt in his Prelude Si and the motor was AOK. Pull the head off and inspect it. When you replace the timing belt (if there is no damage to the head), its recommended you change the water pump and tensioner while youre in there.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
If it was a valve problem, would there be a "ticking" or knocking sound? This sounds more like an idle problem, but I'm not sure? It is not consistant; sometimes the engine sounds fine, but at a red light it will seem a bit rough at times. I've only had it a day so, I'll wait and see.

Does the vacuum gauge determine if there is damage to the engine? Or if there is a leak in the vacuum system?
If you had a bent valve, the engine would not be running right. No testing would be necessary.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Incognito
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I highly doubt it didn't bend any valves.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:43 AM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
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It could have bent one of the valves ever so slightly, enough to cause lower compression in one cylinder, which in turn will cause the engine to run slightly rough at idle.

Like I said, just to be sure, take it back to your mechanic, and ask him to do a compression and leak down test. Also a vacuum gauge will tell you right away what the internal integrity of an engine is.

Just based on the readings, you can tell if you have a bent valve, worn rings, etc..
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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What Ryan said. And I'll add, that if you do have a bent valve, if you keep driving the car, it's possible that the head of the valve can break off, *then* you will recognize that it does not run right.

A head from a junkyard may be your best bet.

I don't know this particular engine but if it's like a lot of Japanese 4's, yeah, the water pump is inside the timing belt, and timing belt time is a good time to change the water pump.
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