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Mike, Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience:  Hi, I have been a Car/vehicle mechanic 34 years. 29of -running my own repair/diagnostic business.
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Opel Corsa 130i Utility: I have a 1997 Opel Corsa 130i Utility

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I have a 1997 Opel Corsa 130i Utility (South Africa). While driving very slowly (in my driveway) I heard "something break" in the engine. The engine then cut out and would not restart. While trying to start the vehicle, the drive belt turns, but not the timing belt. What are the likely causes? Thanks, Ron
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So you say you have opened the timing belt cover - is it definately the timing belt that is not turning when you turn the engine on the key ?

What is the mileage on the car - and when was the timing belt last changed if you know ( at what mileage ) ?

Rgds, MIKE.................................
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Mike. It's the top belt (the one that runs vertically from top to bottom of engine), which I believe is the timing belt, which doesn't move when turning the engine with the key. The other belt, at the bottom, does turn - I presume this is the drive belt? Car mileage is 193000kms, but I don't know when the belt was last changed as the vehicle was left to us in a "deceased estate".

Hi there Ron..

Thank you for your reply..

Ok - well..these belts - the toothed timing belt that yes connects the bottom (crank) of the engine to the top ( camshaft).. they do break either because of age - oil contamination etc..

They have to be changed every so many thousand miles - and often they dont get done - and then break in use.

Another cause of such a breakage is if its been stood a while - and then especially with an old belt - the "wrench" on the belt when the engine is first turned, snaps the belt or.. in any case as above, strips the teeth off the belt ( you find them when you strip it in the bottom of the case).

So Im afraid this is going to have to be replaced - The other bigger issue though is that when these belts break in use - very often damage is caused in the engine - because the valve timing goes all out -and the pistons hit the valves in the head and bend them.

But the way forward is to have a new belt fitted - and then re start the engine - and see how it runs - If it runs fine, then you were very lucky - no damage caused. If it runs badly , misfiring - or wont start at all - then you have to have a compression done to see which valves have been hit / bent on which cylinders - and then the cylinder head has to be removed for that repair.

Its always the way to fit up a new belt at this stage - its the quickest / cheapest way forward -- Let me know if you need anything else.

By all means get back to me if you need on this..

Meantime -- Please click on the OK rating to Excellent ratings service for me now, Thank you for that... and you can get back to me anytime if you need / wish..

Best Rgds, MIKE.

Please note, you are rating the content of my "answer" - my help to you - not the "system" which can experience delays etc which are not under my personal control -or delays caused by "time -off" which we all have on occasion - Thank you.

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