Timing belt?

my son-in-law has a 04-05 kia sorento. the engine got messed up. when my daughter tried to start the car, it sounded like an electric motor running no-load. I suspect the starter motor with no bendix unit engaged. friends claim a timing belt broke. any ideas??

Does the accessory drive belt move when you crank the engine? If so, the starter is working…

Well, it could be a starter motor not engaging all the way or it very well could be a broken timing belt.
Have someone watch the external pulleys and belt on the engine. If they’re rotating and the engine sounds like it’s free-wheeling when the starter motor is engaged then it’s quite likely the timing belt snapped.
An engine will crank over far easier when a timing belt has broken.

Off the top of my head, I think this is an interference engine and this means that more than likely every intake valve in both cylinder heads is bent.
There are several methods of verifying damage like this; pull a belt cover, a valve cover, remove a few spark plugs to see if there is any compression when cranking, etc.

no idea. I was strictly an observor. I would think that an engine with plugs in, would be very hard to turn over. however- as you mention- I thought the timing issue would be for the plugs only but that would affect the valves also. golly- the problem just ballooned.

Yes, I’m afraid. If the timing belt snapped, could very well have bent valves. There’s two types of timing described in cars; ignition (spark) timing and valve timing. The belt we’re speaking of controls the valve timing. And, most likely, this is an interference engine. If the timing is off, the pistons and valves tried to share the same space. Can not only damage valves, but I’ve seen a snapped timing belt end up in a cracked crankshaft before.

Are Your Statements In Chronological Order ? #1 “the engine got messed up.” #2 " when my daughter tried to start the car, it sounded like an electric motor running no-load."

Are you saying that there was a known problem ( “the engine got messed up.” ), before your daughter tried starting the car, or she discovered that it got messed up while attemptiong to start it ?

This is confusing, but important. If it got “messed up” before, please explain how it got that way. What were the symptoms or what are you leaving out of the story ?


CSA is asking the same questions that came to my mind when I read the OP’s post.

We need to know the actual sequence of events in order to be able to give helpful responses.
Can the OP supply the details that she omitted?

The Sorento uses a timing belt (3.5L V6).

Diane; could you please give us the EXACT sequence of events that led to the present condition? We like to help you identify what happened, but we don’t have enough information now.

It appears that we have yet another person who posts a question (complete with inadequate or confusing information), and then fails to respond to requests for clarification.

I kind of liked the terminology used as it very accuratly describes what an interference engine with a snapped belt sounds like “an electric motor running no load”. Or it could be just what is described, an electric motor running no load (the starter with a failed Bendix).At times you can remove the oil filler cap and see (when there is not a plate in the way) if the valve train moves when cranking. This is the quick but accurate method to use with the BMW M20 engine (great engine, but uses a belt).