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Timing Belt Broke 2.5 Liter Motor

Old 07-29-2010, 11:11 AM
Junior Member
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7
Default Timing Belt Broke 2.5 Liter Motor

The timing belt broke on my '99 Sebring Coupe. It was replaced approximately 32,000 and 3 years ago by a local mechanic.

While I don't know what caused the failure (belt, waterpump, tensioner), I do know that the engine has likely suffered catastrophic damage.

I've asked the mechanic to share in the loss - on several grounds:

I've been loyal customer for 14 years (several cars in the family at the same time),
Timing belts are supposed to last for more than 32,000
The mechanic supplied the parts
The mechanic did not change the tensioner when the belt was changed.

Am I wrong to ask the mechanic to share in the loss?

Anyone want to buy a '99 Sebring with a perfect body and interior - that needs an engine?
Old 07-29-2010, 10:23 PM
dcotter0579's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Detroit suburb
Posts: 4,993

Some points:
If the belt broke at low speed, you may not have trashed the valve train.

I think you are expecting a lot to have the mechanic take the blame for a repair that lasted 3 years. At this point, you really don't know what caused the failure, so it might not be anything he did or didn't do. Did he give you a warranty? Sometimes there is a warranty on repairs but it's usually 30 or 90 days or something like that. Most state's laws will uphold a warranty like that and limit you to the terms of the warranty, so if you were to sue him in small claims court, you would probably not win.
Does he have a moral obligation to fix your car? Frankly, I doubt it.
Old 07-30-2010, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 51

I doubt you have a chance at getting him to share in any loss. Timing belts break. Yours was exposed to the atmosphere for 3 straight years so maybe you live in an area that has more pollution like ozone... that will cause rubber to wear down a lot quicker.
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