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Discussion Starter #1
My Daughters 1998 Sephia died on the road about two weeks ago.

On initial check, the starter would engage and crank the motor (external belts and pulleys turning); but the engine would not start. A check of fuel pressure seemed to show be very little pressure at the fuel rail. It seemed to be the fuel pump. We ordered a replacement, and after nearly two weeks it arrived today. Once installed, it produce very good pressure at the fuel rail (squirted up to the raised hood) - but, the car still doesn't start.

I pulled a sparkplug, and found it coated with fuel, so I suspected an ignition problem. But, just to be sure, I pulled the top four bolts from the timing belt cover, and pulled it open. The belt seems to be intact, but "cranking" the engine, the timing belt DOES NOT MOVE!?!?!

So, the story thus far - good fuel pressure (plus gas in cyclinder), starter turns the crankshaft and alternator/power steering pump belts, timing belt does not move, and there appears to be no spark (I'm guessing this is due to the cams not turning).

And, to make matters worse, I've been unable to find a manual to help me out.

Can anyone give me any pointers on what's going on here/what to do next?

:angry:
 

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2015 Buick Verano "Leather Group", 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid
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If the timing belt is not moving then it is possible the pistons may have crashed into the valves. The engine on the Sephia is such that once the timing belt goes the pistons WILL HIT THE VALVES. If you say everythig eles is tuning but the the top two cams are not then I would have it towed to a dealership to check the head for valve damage. Just because the timing belt looks intact doesn't mean that it isn't damaged. It may have a few teeth missing where you can't see it and allowed the pistons to hit the valves.

The crank could also be damaged.

This may sound dumb, but is there oil in the car?

If there is oil in the car, drain it and look for metal shavings/peices.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To answer two questions posed to me, first, her car has 90,014 mile on it, and she tells me it had been running just fine. Secondly, there is oil in it. By the dip-stick it's perhaps a quarter of a quart low, but the oil looks to still be pretty good - on the dip-stick any way.

To go a little bit further on the reply I recieved from blades976, the prospect of the pistons having damage the valves is of some concern to me - it's a distinct possibility that this is what has happened. I'm trying to get the timing belt cover off, but I'm having trouble getting at the 3rd bolt down on the front side. It's partially blocked from straighton by a pulley, and from the side by the dip-stick tube. I've look for a manual at autoparts stores, but none seems to be available.
Any Ideas?

1fastkia provided a link to an on-line tech manual which requires a purchase to access. Can anyone tell me if it is worth my while to buy access to this manual - ie, will it help me to figure out whats gone wrong, or even how to get the thing open?

My daughter had hoped to trade this Sephia in on a new(er) car once she saved up some money. She's put some dings on this one, and if her valves (and pistons) are 'toast', sounds like the repair costs would be most of what the car is worth.

Anyone have any thoughts? Would pictures help?

Stephen Werner
 

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I don't know if it will help you in your diagnostic but if anything is wrong the online manual is great in explaining how to fix stuff. It cost $10 for one week of access and is very worth it, very detailed with lots of pics.

The section on removing the timing belt is pretty straightforward. You need to do some of the job from above, and some below with the car on a lift or jack stands. "Crows feet" wrenches help a lot in the tight spaces too.

You need to remove the belts before you can proceed. Then you need to remover the water pump pulley and the (outer) crankshaft pulley. This should give you access to the timing plate guide and allow you to have full access to the timing belt. If you are going to tackle this yourself I strongly suggest spending the $10 and getting the online manual.

Has the timing belt on that car ever been replaced? They are supposed to be replaced every 60,000 miles. There may be teeth rubbed off on the timing belt and the (inner) crankshaft pulley could simply be spinning on worn rubber when you are trying to start the car.

You can stop looking in auto parts store for a manual, it does not exist. I've even looked on Haynes' and Chilton's websites, it simply is not there. The online manual is your best bet unless you want to spend a fortune on a McMaster-Carr manual. You MAY be able to go to a library and copy what you need from a McMaster-Carr manual there but it is not a sure bet.

Also, if you wish, you can pull the power wires going to the coils, unskrew a spark plug and have someone crank the engine for a second or two while you look down in the cylinder with a flashlight to see if the piston is moving up and down. This will tell you right away if the crank is broken. This may or may not be a good idea depending on what position your valves are in as they may get smacked but you said you have tried to start it already a few times. Use your best judgement and try this if you wish.

Good luck

John
 

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That online manual is what the dealer techs use.
i do agree i bet the timing belt is broke and major engine damage happened.
Heres the how to timing belt


quick how-to, sorry no pics, maybe I'll add pics later.

tools required:
- 10, 12, 14, 21 mm sockets / wrench
- 17 mm deep socket
- breaker bar
- phillips screwdriver
- 2 regular jacks
- 6 pack budlight or smirnoff

1- jack up the car and remove left tire.

2- remove two platic retainers in the cover under the fog light hole, purpose of this is to provide enough room for the fender cover to move around.

3- cover underneath the left fender to access the crank pulley. remove two plastic retainers using the phillips screwdriver, remove 3 10mm bolts that attach the cover to the crossmember (radiator support).

4- remove both alternator and power steering belts.

7- put second jack under the engine and jack it up until you can see the engine moving upwards just a couple millimeters (too much might damage the motor mounts).

8- remove left motor mount (the one by the belts) using 17mm deep socket. It will give you better access to the bolts in the timing belt cover.

5- remove timing belt cover. (6 10mm bolts)

6- with the 21mm socket at the crank pulley give the engine two full turns and align all the timing marks (small arrows pointing downwards you'll find three markings, 2 in the valve cover above the cam gears, and one one the block above the crank) TIP: I like to give the engine the two full turns, verify that everything is fine and then give it an aprox. 1/4 turn more, until i feel there is no resistance in the cam gears, then mark with a chalk stick, makes it so much easier to put the new belt on.

6- remove crank pulley

8- loosen timing belt tensioner (14mm bolt, left pulley)

that should cover everything, replacement is the inverse, should take you about 2 hours depending in how much buzz you put in between each step, good luck



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Dear friend, you need to pull the lower pulley right off of the car to expose the lower timing drive sprocket. Something is not right down there. Stop turning the engine over unless you absolutely have to to remove the drive [pulley and expose cam belt sprocket. You may find that you have a sheared the woodruff key on the crankshaft. Let me know what you find, willing to help. speedster1
 
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