Question about 1998 Chevrolet Astro

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Vehicle unexplainably ran rough and now won't start

I think my timing belt needs to be replaced, how do I know if it does?

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  • Justin Case
    Justin Case May 11, 2010

    What are the symptoms?
    (e.g. runs rough, no power, back fires, etc.)

    Describe what it does and when.

    Mike


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  • 1,498 Answers

If it no longer starts, the easiest way to check for timing chain failure is eyeballing the distributor rotor. You'll need a helper.

Procedure:

  • Pull the air filter assembly
  • Loosen the distributor cap mounting screws. (They won't come completely out) Some distributors have 'half-twist' fasteners that look like screws. With these you push down and give it a half turn.
  • Pull up on the cap and set it aside.
  • In side you'll see a round plastic thing with a piece of metal going from the center to the outside. This is the rotor.
  • Have your helper turn the engine over while you watch the rotor. WARNING: Keep clear of the engine while doing this. It won't start, but it can still cause damage.
  • Is the rotor turning? If not, your timing chain is broken.
Hope this helps,

Mike

Posted on Jul 14, 2008

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