Mazda MPV Engine Problem


I posted my engine problem last week and received many feedbacks. I really appreciate all the advices you have given. I thought I just gave you an update with my problem.

As many of you told me that my engine failure could be caused by low oil or anti-freeze fluid. I went back to my dealer on Monday and was told they couldn’t find a whole engine, only the lower part of the engine. Their proposed solution was to use the upper part of my existing engine, combine the lower part they’ve found, and put it back into the van. They also advised me that they could look into the valve problem. The total repair will cost me over 10K.

Though I don’t know anything about a car, the proposed solution only added my suspicion that the dealer either knows nothing, just like me, or is trying to make money out of me. I had my van towed to another repair shop. The machinist is a friend of mine, whom I could trust. After two days diagnosis, he called me that the oil and fluids are good, there is no leakage. The cause of the engine failure was due to the timing belt skipped. He also provided me with the estimate of fixing the van.

I now have to accept the fact that I am going to spend a lot of money in order to get the van going. The van is in excellent condition, of cause, beside the engine problem. It’s a pity that the engine died at 68K miles. What I couldn’t accept is how would I know the timing belt was the problem? I thought the timing belt should have lasted at least 100K.


I’m sorry to hear of the situation. Lost the engine’s upper part? Wanted to mate what they had left to a lower part they’d found? If they could only find the lower part of your engine, how could they mount the “upper part of [your] engine” with a “lower part they’ve found”? Somethin’ doesn’t make sense. You were smart to get the vehicle out of there.

How long a timing belt lasts is identified on your owner’s manual’s maintenance schedule.


If I remember the problem correctly, it was originally stated the engine had no oil and/or coolant. Now we’re at a “skipped” timing belt, which I assume means that a few teeth have been torn off the belt. Has your latest mechanic actually showed you this problem? You should ask to see it and he should gladly show you.

A timing belt may or may not last 100k miles. Change it at the interval specified in the owners manual, and a timing belt is also TIME dependent too. It’s not just mileage.

I’m still a bit puzzled over the diagnosis on this engine; especially about the “skipping” timing belt and any reasons why it will cost you 10 grand to fix.
Timing belts break all of the time, or allegedly “skip” in this case, and on an interference engine it will damage intake valves in the cylinder head. It’s a simple matter to remove the head and repair it. Very, very, very seldom does the lower end of the engine suffer any damage.

If this problem is caused simply by valve damage due to a timing belt problem then I don’t see where the 10 grand comes from. More like a 1000 or 1500.

This thing is starting to sound more and more odd to me. How does the dealer know there is lower end damage unless they’ve done at least a partial disassembly of the engine?
At this point both of these places raise a lot of unanswered questions to me.