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Snapped timing belt


Standard Member
Hi im new to this so go easy on me :)
Ive got a mk5 astra 1.6 16v an i went out to start it to realise the belt had snapped
Am i in trouble or is the fact that i was not moving have any benefits?


Active Member
as long as you are not moving and dont try to turn over the engine you can sometimes be ok


Distinguished Member
the belt didnt snap when it wasnt running , did it , so if it is snapped then it was running wasnt it , therefore the engine could be scrap , but not all engines lunch themselves when the belt goes ...


Standard Member
Well i tried turning the engine over an it was making like a grinding noise, an a neighbor told me the belts gone........could he be wrong?


Have you looked at the belt?
If it has snapped you should clearly see it, but may have to remove a cover in order to do so.
If you cant see it and it has still snapped, it may not make a grinding noise as such. You will find that the engine spins over faster as its only turning the bottom and not the top end when you turn the key.
Again, it may not have snapped, but the teeth may have stripped, this would give the same symptoms.

Most cars allow for clearance between the valves and the piston heads, but some dont and you can trash your engine.

A grinding noise could also be the starter motor.
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Distinguished Member
Most cars allow for clearance between the valves and the piston heads, but some dont and you can trash your engine.

A grinding noise could also be the starter motor.

It's referred to as interference and non interference.

Usually engines with twin cams and 16vs are too complex to avoid damage from a T belt snap.

in my experience it is the other way around which is utter stupidity on the engine designers part :facepalm:

It's the price we pay for increased performance.


Well-known Member
Despite the negative attitude to French cars, the Puegeot/Citroen HDi engines are designed to break individual rockers in case of "interference" preventing serious damage to the engine.

Replacing a broken rocker is relatively easy.


Distinguished Member
My first car was a Mk4 Golf which a friend of mine gave to me . When he was on the motorway the belt snapped when he was doing 60mph, He had to spend £1100 fixing it but it was repairable. (this is going back 8 years) . A friend who ran a garage did it at mates rates. It caused a world of damage.


Well-known Member
A friend bought a fiesta from an old guy who didn't want it for £100 , it was taxed for 6 months but only had 3 weeks mot, he saw the chance to make an easy £500 so took it down for an mot

They did the fast idle test but the computer wasn't set up correctly so they did it again and .the belt snapped, he was gutted


Active Member
First port of call take a look at the belt and see if it has actually snapped, you'll soon tell if there isnt one there, most engines make it reasonably easy to see the top cam(s) if there is no belt there, then there's trouble ahead.
I got lucky with a dodge neon that had a water pump seized on it, as soon as it started spluttering I coasted in neutral to a stop, replaced belt and pump all good again.
Grinding noise could well be the water pump if its seized up.

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