...the Ecotec 1.8L has a belt:
...the Ecotec 1.8L has a belt:
• 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 1.4LT 6A
• 2009 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L/SFI 4A
• 2004 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L/MFI 4A
• 1971 Dodge Charger 318 3A
• 1970½ Plymouth AAR 'Cuda 340/6BBL 4M
• 1968 Dodge Charger 383 3A
• 1967 Plymouth Barracuda Formula-S 383 4M
• 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula-S 273 4M
The timing belt in my wife's old Saturn LW2 (used the Opel 3.0L V6) cost me $1100 to replace due to a bum idler pulley. Normal belt replacement would run $700 (the idler pulley assembly was $400). Labor was the same in both cases and required a huge amount of labor.
I wouldn't call timing belts cheap to replace on many cars. I'll take a chain any day after my experiences with her old Saturn and the cost of replacing the belt in her old Toyota Celica. Timing chains are around the same amount to replace to I see little financial benefit in terms of repair costs to a timing belt. Plus a belt is a guaranteed maintenance item.
That's the assembly that went bad the Saturn wagon's Opel-designed engine. The idler pulley was part of the tensioner assembly and had to be replaced as a single $400 part. And the mechanic had to disassemble a huge amount of the engine, remove a front wheel and wheel well to do the work. It was a heck of a lot of labor involved.
Must be that superior Teutonic engineering in full display! It was curious that the model year after ours was built had a different part number and was 1/2 the price (couldn't be retrofitted in our car). Plus I found out later that the new part rarely if ever failed like ours did. Hmm.......
Last edited by tnmats; 02-10-2011 at 02:59 PM.
But back to the topic. I think when it comes to chains or belts we've hit on both pros and cons like a dead horse. In the long run there is little difference as long as they meet manufacturer time for replacement intervals. My personal preference is one for timing chains only because that's what I've delt with and have had no issues so far. However that may be because I've chosen premium engine choices from both my favorite brands. I think GM is delivering a good product with both their 1.8 and 1.4 options. Like I said as long as they last as long as GM claims then just plan ahead. Preventive maintenance is on the owner and for what the car is designed to do belt or chain won't matter.
And all the timing chain replacements I have had done (2000 Saturn LS1-2.2 Ecotec, and 1998 Nissan Altima) both were well over $1000 to do. It is a catch 22...
owners manual says to change the timing belt in the 1.8L only at 100000.
First Engine Oil Change After
Every 160 000 km/100,000 Mi
Automatic transmission fluid
change (normal service). See
Automatic Transmission Fluid on
Spark plug replacement and
spark plug wires inspection. An
Emission Control Service.
1.8L L4 engine only: Timing belt
As reported before, the 1.8 has a timing belt. There are pro's and con's about a belt. First off, I operated a small auto repair shop for 30 years. IF given proper maintenance, timing belts are very good. The newer designs do not seem to stretch as much as a chain under the same driving conditions. Looking at the design of this engine, a timing belt replacement should be a snap compared to some of the Jap cars. (Read Honda) This is a German design and manufactured engine. A back yard mechanic, with a decent shop manual and proper set of tools should be able to replace it his/her self in an afternoon. All other maintenance is pretty much straight forward.