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Can you tell me how long this has been happening?
The whining noise started about 2 months ago but the sluggishness and occasional misfiring have been going on for a while (maybe at least a year). The car simply doesn't respond the way it should when you try to accelerate.
I think you need to check your timing.
The timing belt might be off 1 or 2 teeth. This would account for all of the symptoms that you have described.
It is not that difficult to check.
Let me know and I give you some simple instructions.
As long as it doesn't involve removing major components out of the vehicle, I think I should be able to do it. I don't really have a lot of tools or any car know-how to be honest.
But if it's easy, I would like to know how to check it. If it turns out this is the case, does that mean the mechanic who did the timing belt job screwed it up?
Ok, this is something most shops would look at for no charge.
Can you please rate me?
You will have to remove the upper timing cover and the turn over the engine until the timing marks line up.
But what is the process to do the check you are talking about? I know where the timing belt is located and I know how to remove the plastic cover that's held in with metal clips. If I took the cover off and had the engine running, would I know right away if something is wrong?
Have the engine off. Line up the harmonic balancer to the tdc position and see if the mark on the camshaft pulley lines up with the timing mark. The mark on the camshaft pulley is on the top.