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I was driving my 2007 PT Cruiser, 137K miles when the car lost power, the enigine light came on, the engine stopped and I had to coast to a stop. I pulled the code from the display and got P0340 - cam position sensor. I had the cam position sensor replaced about 18 months ago. When it started to go the first time, the engine light came on and I couldn't go over 2500 RPMs until I got it replaced. I'm concerned this time because now the engine just cut out completely and will not start, yet pulls the same code. The car is being towed to a shop by my house for evaluation. Could the cam position sensor have failed again so quickly and could it fail in such a way to mimic my experience? I'm just concerned that something more serious could have happened. Any input or ideas would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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When was the timing belt changed? The P0340 comes up when the belt breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The timing belt has not been changed, nor has is been recommended. We've had some major stuff done like radiator/fan etc recently and were told the timing belt was ok.
 

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Welcome to Allpar. T/belt is recommended every 105K miles per the factory maintenance schedule (see your owners manual). Usually it is a good idea to replace the water pump and idler pulleys at the same time. Diagnose this first. The valves are probably alright if the belt stripped or broke.
Watch for the cams turning while cranking with the inspection window removed.
This is from Gates:
http://www.gates.com/common/downloads/files/Gates/TimingBeltReplacementChart.pdf
 

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Allright, so the hypothesis here is the timing belt. I am having the vehicle towed to an AAA certified shop. If it is worst case scenario and is the timing belt, and hopefully no damage to the engine, what should I expect to pay? I've seen anywhere from 500 to 2000 online. And if the engine is being torn apart for this, is it a good time to add NOs to the car? (I'm totally kidding.)

And if the engine is not ok, what are my options? Again, thank you for being so helpful to a noob.
 

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There is very likely no internal damage to the engine, the valves are not able to hit the pistons under any circumstances. If the belt is broken (I sheared the teeth off mine and it took me a bit to figure out what was wrong), but labor is usually around $300-400 for the replacement and another $150 or thereabouts for the belt, water pump and idler pulley, maybe just a hair more. The last two are recommended be replaced just because the timing belt has to come off when they are replaced, so common sense dictates replacing them before they go to save labor costs a second time.
 

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So....the timing belt did indeed break, I'm getting a quote of 1047 to replace belt, water pump, pulleys, tenisoner etc etc. The "kit" is $327, original replacement parts and labor (6.8 hours) with a 15% discount on labor. This seems to be a little high given what I see here, and the shop says they can't tell if the engine is ok until they open it. Thoughts?
 

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That sounds a bit high to me. Many have been in the $500 - $800 range. As others have stated, the engine should be fine, since it is not an interference engine in terms of pistons hitting the valves. There is a remote chance of two valves hitting, but unlikely.
 

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Agree. I think they are adding the labor each time each of the components is replaced, meaning A timing belt change is 3 hours, a water pump replacement is 2 hours and same for the idler pulley, but a combined time for all at the same time is only 4.5 hours since the two latter replacements take less time because of the timing belt change at the same time. $500 tops for labor since it is all being done at the same time, a belt by itself in the Pennysavers go for $300 in most places.
 

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Just had my 2000 Dodge Neon done at 96,000 miles as the water pump was leaking. I had planned on having the timing belt replaced soon anyway. The kit (timing belt, water pump and belt tensioner) was $295.54, labour was $331.00 for a total of $626.54. Also had the cooling system flushed and coolant changed and serpentine belts replaced plus an oil change and filter so that added some extra $ over and above the $626.54.
 

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Yeah, I think I'm getting hosed a little bit by the shop. I called and said the labor seems a bit high since the engine will already be torn apart. He said he'd work with us. It's AAA, and I'm using a credit card, so if I think he's juicing us, I'll file a complaint with AAA and dispute the charge. I really appreciate the advice. At 138K, we've really only had 2 major problems; this and a radiator/fan replacement. Is this thing worth keeping? We are up to date on maintenance (although, that whole timing belt thing slipped past me). I still owe on it and would like to keep it, but is this just the begininning of the end?
 

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You really need to consider the timing belt as missed maintenance. It should have been changed by 105,000 miles. These are good tough cars. My 04 PT is over 283,000 miles. I had my first major repair at 280,000 miles when I had to replace the cylinder head due to a burned valve. Car runs great now. Still on the original transmission. Some parts will start to wear, such as wheel bearings or bushings, but it is cheaper to replace them and have a solid vehicle than buying a new car.
 

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DOUG in Florida: Thank you. We are kind of upside down on the car since we bought when our credit was pretty bad and it has been a good, reliable car. The timing belt was an expensive lesson, but you are right. Missing an oil change isn't the car's fault. We'd like to give it to our son when it's paid off, and that will be next year, and it sounds like the car is just getting broken in.
 

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One travelling salesman has put over 300,000 miles on his and he is still driving it. They are great cars, worth keeping in my opinion.
 

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I recently paid $1600 to have mine replaced along with all the other parts you mentioned. This was performed at the dealer where purchased. I tried a couple of independent shops but none wanted to touch it given the complexity of the work.

I must say that the repair was worth it as mine is 12 years old and I drive it every day. Other than the normal maintenance and the unexpected timing belt change, it has been very reliable.

Good luck.
 

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Personally I have no faith what-so-ever in a AAA "recommended" shop.

When you hear that any shop "will work with you" you need to move on. Fast.
 

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I don't understand the basis for your comment. At the shop I worked at years ago we would "work" with our customers by prioritizing the work required and what could be done within their budget. In the case of the timing belt, perhaps we would not have replaced the water pump if it was okay and funds were limited.
 

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Sorry Cud but if the estimate has so much profit stuffed into it that the shop can "discount" the work it's a sham shop period. As for your giving the customer the option of deleting a water pump or new pulleys or a tensioner that's a whole 'nother story.

The basis for my comment is 35 years of South Florida experience with shops of "highly questionable" ethics they are everywhere here. With all the elderly retirees here it's like a wingless duck shoot here.
 
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