2009 Dodge Charger - Timing Belt Blew

Ok so my timing belt busted in mid drive with no warnings. Dealership says its a 3k-6k fix. My car didn’t sound bad and was running fine It hasn’t even been a month since i took it in to get the alternator fixed. If there were any other issues they should have warned me but didn’t.

The maintenance requirements are in your owners manual. How many miles/years did you have on that timing belt?

There is no inspection for a timing belt . Your manual will list to change the timing belt at xxx miles or xxx months . You have no complaint against the shop who did the work.

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The car had one owner before I and I bought it at 152K miles. It is recommended to change it out about 150k or within 7-10 years. I’ve kept up keep on the car since I’ve had it fixing own problem at a time soon as it happens. But, this is crazy. I’ve looked up prices and called several shops they are saying it’s roughly around 1300-2k. But the dealership I got it from saying to fix it will cost 3-6k. I have an amazing deal life time warranty with car. But they have been giving me problems with it cuz most the car is covered. (90%)

For being loyal with then over 10 years at that point it’s customer service and care. A machanic can tell by sound and visual as for a no mechanical person can’t. It is a simple thing to notify your customer this should probly be looked at it it’s not under warranty ect. It’s being courteous

I hope you don’t think a mechanic can tell that a timing belt needs replaced or is ready to break . Because that is not possible . I doubt if your extended warranty will cover this . All you can do is have it fixed by the dealer or get a price from an independent shop .


Clearly you should have changed the belt when you bought the car as it had over 150k miles, unless the seller could show you a receipt proving it had been changed.

Totally on you.


Yep, for a 3.5 it is supposed to be changed around 100,000 miles.


There is no way a mechanic can tell anything about the condition of timing belt and there is no way a belt should be allowed to exist for 150k miles or 10 years. Other factors affecting a belt are oil and coolant vapors, extreme temps of heat and cold, worn idler/tensioner, water pump bearings and bushings, etc.

Her 's a cut and past of what Gates has to say about it. Not shown is the 6 years max recommendation. Any car purchased that has a T-belt should automatically have the belt replaces unless there is written proof the job was just done recently.

Free Running or Interference Engine?You and Your Customers Need to Know.Automobile engines can be classified as either Free-Running or Interference, depending on what occurs if piston/valve synchronization is lost. As illustrated below, in the free-running engine with the crankshaft still moving, there is enough clearance between the valve and piston, even if the cam stops with a valve fully open.However, interference engines usually sustain damage if synchronization is lost. As illustrated, disrupted synchronization allows the piston and valve to collide causing damage and very expensive repairs for the vehicle owner. Damage can occur to valves, pistons, or heads, and in some cases, completely ruin the engine. Most import (with higher compression engines) and most car and light truck diesel engines are interference. To avoid costly engine repairs, follow the auto manufacturers’ mileage replacement recommendations or we recommend timing belt replacement at around 60,000 miles.

Since timing belts are inside the engine they tend to be an out-of-sight, out-of-mind item and are seldom thought of as a part of routine maintenance. Here are some questions to ask customers that will help sell belts and protect the customer from expensive repairs:

  1. Did you buy the car new? If yes, they’ll know if the belt has ever been replaced.

  2. Did you buy the car used? If so, they won’t know if the belt has been replaced. This is a flag for the customer to get the belt checked, replaced or at least be aware that he has a timing belt.

  3. How many miles are on the vehicle? Generally belts should be replaced at around 60,000 miles or less. Our Timing Belt Replacement Recommendations Booklet is an excellent tool for determining replacement intervals.

  4. Have you ever replaced the timing belt? If the answer is yes or no (and the customer knows the mileage) you can determine where the vehicle is in the replacement cycle.Here’s a helpful hint for customers with vehicles within a few thousand miles of the recommended replacement interval. If they are having any engine repair done, have the timing belt checked. If it needs replacing, do it along with the other repairs and save time and money Free RunningNo Valve/Piston InterferenceInterferenceValve/Piston InterferenceNOTE: For your convenience, interference engines have been footnoted with a star in the application listings of this publication. This lets you easily identify them, and pass that information on to your customers.

My 96 3.5 belt slipped due to coolant leak. Don’t know why dodge redid motor to make it interference. A new belt got me going.

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Apparently interference engines can be more to burn cleaner with fewer emissions and slightly more efficient due to more even combustion in the cylinders. Pistons without valve reliefs and only a flat or domed top are more efficient. The top ring groove can also be higher on the piston which makes some difference as well. I once asked this same questions and that is what I found. You can thank the EPA.

You can sometimes look at a timing belt and tell its condition. I have done this and seen them with cracks. This means they are on borrowed time and need to be replaced. On the other hand, one about to fail may show no cracks so adhere to the schedule.

Interference engines are older than the EPA.

What does that “mess of words” even mean?

It’s the owner’s responsibility to know the maintenance schedule of their car. In your case the timing belt replacement interval is 105k miles not 150k miles. If you bought the car with 152k miles on it, and there was no sign that the timing belt had been replaced before you bought the car (reciepts, written statement from the dealer etc), then you should’ve had it had changed right away. In that case you cannot assume that it had been done.

I’m not sure your lifetime warranty will cover a failure due to a lack of timely maintenance (which this would fall under). Now, if you have documentation that the timing belt had been changed at the 105k mile mark, and the the timing belt failed before the next scheduled replacement, then you might have a case. But it sounds like this car was on it’s original timing belt, and that timing belt made it well past it’s life expectancy, but eventually failed.


Stupid autocorrect changed the words. Anyway, here is an article mentioning the efficiency of interference engines. http://knowhow.napaonline.com/what-is-a-non-interference-engine/

I know they pre-date the EPA and most chain-driven engines use them as well so you typically bend valves if the chain breaks or jumps an appreciable amount.

I agree that a broken belt due to owner neglect should not be considered for warranty coverage.

Replacing the timing belt shouldn’t be that expensive, $75 for the part and 2-3 hours labor. The shop must be saying the engine was damaged due to the belt problem. This is the V6 3.5 L engine right? That one is an interference engine from what I see. Consider installing a used engine from a part recycler. That route might be less expensive.

Generally the recommendation here is when buying a used car to either verify when/mileage the timing belt was updated from the prior owner and decide if a timing belt job is needed based on that info; or if that info isn’t available, just assume the timing belt is due, and have it changed out immediately. Beyond that there’s nothing the shop could have done to forecast this unfortunate event.

fyi, here’s a link to an mp3 audio from a radio program about that topic.

Timing belts, inference motors and the problems with not replacing in a timely manner.

Only $75 . . . ?

It seems you’re not including the cam- and crank seals, timing belt tensioner, idler and water pump, which appears to be timing belt-driven on this particular application

If it were my car, when I have that cover off, everything under there’s getting replaced, so that I won’t have to worry about it until next time it’s due

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Yes, just the belt. No disagreement, it makes sense to add-in the other stuff to do the job right as you explain.

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Having a professional mechanic do the timing belt replacement on this car is likely to cost close to $1000, and I would NOT spend that on an interference engine where the belt has already failed. It is highly unlikely the engine will run properly with just a new timing belt, which would make paying anything more than the online price for the parts–and nothing for labor–a waste of money.

I might tow it home and attempt a DIY belt replacement to see if it will start, and if so, whether it will stall out or shake too much due to misfiring cylinder(s). If that is not an option, or the engine cannot be made to run well enough to drive somewhere without stalling, then you’d have to decide if having the heads replaced, or a complete remanufactured engine installed is worthwhile, or if the money would be better spent on a different used car.

I have to agree with the other posters. The timing belt is a maintenance item that you are ultimately responsible for taking care of. It’s not unlike chaining the oil or the coolant, except that a broken timing belt on an interference engine is a catastrophic event.

It really stinks, but you’re probably stuck paying for it. With 150k on a Chrysler engine, I’d either junk the car or put a new engine in it.