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2002 Mitsubishi Galant

The car came to a stop, all dahboard light came on and my wife was stuck. Had it towed to a mom & pop repair place.

Was told the timeing belt and water pump needed to be replaced. Gave my ok over the phone. Checked back the next day and the parts were still on order.

Got a call today saying it’s not that, but there is no pressure on all cylinders and they wanted to rebuild the engine. Told them to stop because I was told something different.

Based on some other comments that were made to me I know that the first estimate was completely bogus and they just assumed without making any checks.

My question is, however, how can all pressure be lost on all cylinders at the same time? The car has 270K highway miles but regular checkups and oil changes. As a matter of fact the last oil change was two days prior to this happening.

This is an interference engine. When the T belt snaps the valves more likely than not get bent and you loose compression. The mech, if smart, should have known and checked for this problem before giving an estimate. I doubt you need a rebuilt engine, but rather the head. Now with 270KM I might just put a recycled engine in and call it a day. That is if the tranny (the weakest link on these cars) is in good shape. When was the last T belt change? Also have you done regular tranny service with the Diamond SP3 ATF? The engine oil change does not have any bearing on your current problem.

Just to add, until the timing belt is replaced the compression cannot really be tested. With an interference engine, the mechanic should have warned you of the possibility of bent valves. Still, whether he did or didn’t, the damage is still the same.

he could have done a leakdown test,or simply used a borescope,then guessing would not have occured.


Ok, so this morning I took another look and noticed that there was no water in the radiator at all. Talking to my wife she “remembered” seeing water spraying from under the hood before the engine stopped.

Anyway, the hobby-shop mechanic I had the car towed to alrady took a buch of stuff appart and now I can’t even try to just add water and start the engine to see if I am really, really luck and it works.

But, if not… what am I looking at as far as engine damage is concerned?

I would not have much optimism over this engine. It sounds like it was overheating due to a failing water pump and continued operation with a dry system caused the water pump to seize; which in turn broke the timing belt.
Severe overheating will cook piston rings and even if the cylinder head/water pump/timing belt is repaired you may still have a car that burns oil.

A shop should verify whether engine problems exist before making an estimate or replacing one single part.
It’s very easy to do by simply bringing a cylinder up to TDC, applying some compressed air, and noting if air hisses back out the intake (reason being is that the intake valves are generally the ones to become damaged when a timing belt snaps.)

They could also remove the valve cover and inspect for excessive valve lash as this is a sign of bent valves. A bent valve will not close fully so this means the valve lash, or clearance, is way out of spec.

When a timing belt snaps it usually takes out all of the intake valves in a nano-second. Considering the high mileage, broken timing belt, and overheating I’d say the safest bet is to find a good used salvage engine to install; and make sure the salvage engine gets a timing belt/tensioner/water pump before installation.

I am sorry I wasn’t clear on my second post. The timing belt is NOT broke. All I know at this time is that a waterhose sprung a leak and the engine overheated and came to a stop.

The mechanics trying to troubleshoot did not do a good job attempting to replace the timing belt when there was nothing worng with it (that’s a story for another day). When I found out I stopped their work and towed the car to my home. They just left all the parts that they took off in a box.

I am now planning to jsut put the thing together and start the engine to seee what happens. I am not a car expert but inclined to learn. Question I have is what is the worse case scenario if an engine overheats?