Bad timing

We had our local mechanic replace the timing belt on our '93 Olds DOHC, a few months ago.

Ever since we’ve had problems.

The first problem was the check engine light came on.

Took it back & they cleared the codes, replaced an 02 sensor …No problem! All fixed!(with $200 of our money)

Next problem: Car runs like crap when cold.

Check engine light on again.

Back to the mechanic…

No problem! Just needs some new hoses! Old car & all that. We’ll get it all fixed up & clear the codes…

($200 MORE)

Next problem:

Check engine light AGAIN! Car is running WORSE!

No problem! Just needs a tune up! We’ll clear the codes & everything will be fine!

$400 later…the car still runs like crap & don’t get me started on how far in the crapper our gas mileage is…

I’m thinking the timing is off somehow & husband says: Oh, maybe we got some bad gas, It’s been cold/rainy/warm.I probably flooded it…

I really think the (usually )wonderful mechanics didn’t quite get everything linged up right when they did the timing belt…


Has the engine run poorly every minuet since the timing belt was changed? If, “yes”, then, yes. If, “No”, then, no, it’s not the timing. Clarify.

Why Was The Timing Belt Replaced?

Was the car running just fine and had good fuel economy, never a check engine light prior to the belt being replaced? Was there an issue with the way it ran prior to the belt replacement? Was the belt replaced because it was due or overdue for replacement? Whose rcommendation was it for the belt replacement? The mechanic or you? Was anything else done along with the belt replacement?

Yes. Re-read my post.

The car was running just fine & getting 20 mpg (not bad for a car this big/age).

The manual recommends that the belt be checked frequently after the car hits 70k+.
We were pushing 80k…the mechanic checked the belt & said it was ‘frayed’. so we had him replace it.
The only other thing he did was an inspection & putting 2 new tires on the car.

I Do Think The Local Shop Has To Recheck The Timing Belt and associated components, If They Haven’t Done That.

Taking you at your word, You paid them for a timing belt replacement as preventive maintenance on a car that was running just fine, put up with an improperly running car for several months, while giving them $400 more to make the car run worse and worse.

Have you suggested that the timing belt installation may have been faulty? Have they suggested it? Have they rechecked the installation or the engine timing, that would be altered by a botched job? What are they agreeing to, refusing to do, or saying about the matter? Are they just shrugging their shoulders, out of ideas?
If so, you may have to go to another shop for a proper diagnosis. Should it turn out that shop #1 botched the job, they shoud either fix it or refund your money.

Are you still losing coolant, even though you had hoses replaced? Do you have any white smoke coming out of the tailpipe on the first cold start of the day? Quad-4’s have a reputation for head gasket problems, one day they’re fine, next day oh-oh.