93 Honda Accord LX and various problems

I want to get rid of this car, but it’s paid off and the SO doesn’t because of that fact. The timing belt broke while I was driving (never heard a noise, but the road noise could have covered that easily!) and we’ve had various other problems such as the fans not working (both!) a massive shimmy when you hit 50 mph or higher, radio quit after being on and off again (left the nob on, but sometimes it would work, sometimes not), Cruise control hasn’t worked since the radiator got replaced within the first month of buying it, it needs new struts in the front, new tires, driver’s side window guts (motor and all the works)just to name a FEW of the problems! He thinks that it’s possible that the timing belt breaking MIGHT NOT have caused valves to hit (I’m thinking that it’s gone, but that might be wishful thinking!) since I didn’t hear anything. Since I do not work (no transportation) I’m stuck abiding by his decision. We can’t afford the whole repair job from what was quoted to us if the valves got messed up. What is the best, cheapest tests that we can perform in an Apartment parking lot to confirm or deny valve damage? He’ll want to buy the head gasket kit (around $300 with the timing belt and all the other stuff that it calls for) and THEN crack it open. Any convincing arguments to help me sell this thing? Thanks for your help!

Call the local scrap yards. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get paid a little for it.Save your $300 for timing belt parts for your next vehicle.

You don’t hear anything when the timing belt snaps and valves get smashed.

First, its almost guaranteed that the valves got hit. Honda’s do not fair well when the belt breaks. If you are approaching 200k miles on this engine, it will need a complete overhaul. One test you could perform requires a spark plug adapter that allows you to pump air into the cylinder. You will also need a tire pump with a gauge. Pump up the cylinder and see if it holds air. If it doesn’t, and it will loose it within seconds, you have a bent valve.

Have your mechanic do a complete estimate for ALL the things that need fixin, especially the safety of driving items like brakes and suspension. When you see the whole bill, I think the decision will be obvious. BTW, these are normally good reliable vehicles that are capable of going the equivalent of a round trip to the moon if maintained properly.

You can buy a compression tester. They are cheap. It screws into the spark plug hole. You turn over the engine a a few times and it gives you the cylinder pressures. You do it for each cylinder. It will tell you if it is dead. The Honda is an interference engine. Broken/bent valves or a hole in the piston. I would bet it is dead.

It’s more than likely damaged. The valves that bend are the intakes as the valve heads are larger. The exhaust valves generally clear when a belt snaps.

Remove the valve cover and start checking for excessive valve lash (clearance) on the INTAKE valves only when the cam lobe is pointed away from the one being checked.
A very tiny amount of lash is normal but when a valve bends this prevents the valve from fully seating. In turn this will cause the valve lash to be many times greater than it normally is. It’s very easy to determine and with the valve cover off you should be able to spot this.