Questions and Answers
Dodge Stratus Lost A Timing Belt
Q. Dear Sir: I have a 1997 Dodge Stratus sedan with a 4 cylinder DOHC engine. Last week, the car stalled and stranded me. I took it to a local mechanic that said that the timing belt had slipped off, and said that in all probability that it had caused the pistons to come up and bend all the valves. This would be an expensive fix, and I am not sure if I should go on his haunch or not.
In your professional, unbiased experience, what is the probability of this happening? Please help!!
A. If the belt came off while you were driving, then I'm afraid your mechanic is correct. the 2.4 liter DOHC engine is an interference engine. That is to say the pistons and valves occupy the same area at different times. So, at the very least you have some bent valves.