Timing Belts and Transmissions

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

I'm the one with the 1992 Ford Taurus (3.8 liter, 6 cyl) with the burning rubber smell. Thanks for your suggestions. I've heard that with some cars, if the timing belt breaks, you just need to be towed and have it replaced. With others cars, it can do engine damage. Do know which one my car is, or how I can find out.

Also if I do have the belt replaced, is there anything else I should have done while the engine is apart anyway. The car has 62,000 miles.
Jennifer C.

Dear Jennifer,
To answer your question about what happens when the timing belt goes, depends on the engine. There are basically two types, interference and non-interference. An interference engine is an engine whose piston rises far enough to be able to touch a valve if it is open. A non is just the opposite. If a belt breaks on a non interference engine, then you are correct, not too much engine damage will occur. But it the belt breaks on an interference engine, then what happens is the piston slams up into open valves and really makes a mess... usually it means a few new pistons and a new cylinder head. Now the only way to tell what type you have is if you take the head off and check clearances... every specific model of engine will be the same... what I mean by that is all ford 3.8 will be of one type or the other...

Dear Greg with the tranny problem...
It sounds like your quotes are very high... last winter I had the tranny rebuilt in my 91 full size four wheel drive bronco and it cost me $1200. They rebuilt my tranny to manufacture specs... now, the problems with a used unit, is that you really don't know what you are getting... the cost of $1000 seems high since there is only labor involved. Also I would suggest trying a dealer... since you were already quoted over $2k, the dealer can NOT be any worse...

Dear Vicki with the bum Cherokee,
You need to tell me more... will the car start when it's warm... and what is up with this light thing... the switch is off, but the lights are on? That is not right... get back to me and we'll see what we can do... Also, is it fuel injected or does it have a carb...(the easiest way to tell is by the air filter... if it sits on top of the motor, then a carb, if off on the side, then fuel injected).
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

True or False

Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!

Have a car care question? Visit our automotive center and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to any newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

The Dollar Stretcher
Dollar Stretcher Parents
Dollar Stretcher Tips
The Computer Lady

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Get Out of Debt