Timing Belts, Head Gaskets and Tires

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Thank you! I wrote to you last month regarding the timing belt on my 95 Cheverolet Cavalier. Well, I took my car to the Pontiac dealership for routine 24,000 mile maintenance and guess what? I had a valve cover gasket leak. (You are so smart!) So the next day I took my car to DeFouw Chevrolet, which is the only Chevrolet dealership in town. It took them two days, but they replaced the gasket. The Service Manager assured me that this was not the cause of my timing belt needing to be replaced twice already. He said that they periodically need to be replaced. But, I don't really care what he thinks, I just wish there was another Chevrolet dealership in town.

You are so very welcome! One thing that you must remember is that these belts were designed to last 60,000 miles. So to have your belt replaced twice in 24,000 indicates to me that there is a problem. That problem could be cause by a misalignment of an adjustment pulley, or something else is wearing it out prematurely. Since you indicated that there was an oil smell, the probable cause (without actually seeing the car) could have been oil dripping down onto the belt and weakening it.

My car is going through coolant like there is no tomorrow. pulled oil dipstick noticed it was twice as full as it should be and it had a creamy consistency to it. Assuming antifreeze is mixing with oil? What is the most likely problem?

Stop driving this car!! You have a blown head gasket! You probably have a lot of whitish smoke coming out the back.... If you continue driving, then you run the risk of further damaging the engine beyond repair!

I have this new set of steel radials that hum like crazy. Is it deep treads or what? What can I do about it?
Homer S

I bet these tires sing a good tune the faster you drive. This is do to the "air" passing through those nice deep treads. The only thing you can do (for future use of course) is to get a tire with not so aggressive tread pattern.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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