Interference or Non-Interference



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Thread: Interference or Non-Interference

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    Interference or Non-Interference

    I own the 2002 Chrysler Voyager with the little 4-cylinder engine. I really like the thing and have only had a handful of problems since buying it used. It's only got 88,000 miles on it and I see according to the manual that it should have the timing belt changed at 90,000 miles or 8 years under severe driving or 120,000 miles or 8 years under regular driving. Obviously, I'm not quite near the mileage yet, but I'm well past the years. The problem is I really don't have several hundred bucks on hand to get the thing changed, but I also try to care for my vehicle and don't want the thing breaking and destroying the engine. The dealer I bought it from told me it's a "non-interference" engine meaning that if it breaks, no big deal. No damage done. Slap on a new belt and I'm on my way. Another mechanic I spoke to said it is indeed an "interference" engine and if it breaks, all kind of damage is done. Who's right?

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    I can't specifically answer the question as to whether your engine is an "interference" or "non-interference" type. I treat every 4 cylinder motor as being an "interference" type based on experience. I will offer my opinion - and it's worth exactly what you paid for it.

    On any engine with a timing belt, I stay ahead of the recommended service interval. Yours is 8 years, which you are two years past due. Start setting aside the money and change it as soon as you can - the sooner the better. The timing belt is much less expensive than having to do the top end of the motor when the belt breaks and it slaps and bends valves.
    -Doug

    '01 Town & Country Limited, still rolling
    '97 Saturn SL2
    Departed vehicles: '99 Grand Caravan, 148K miles, may she rest in peace '93 Chevy Lumina, '82 Mercury Lynx, '80 Subaru, '70 Chevelle, '70 Nova, '69 Nova

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    According to the Gates Corp. timing belt chart the 2.4 ltr engine in a 2002 Caravan is not an interference engine. The 2.4 ltr engine in other 2002 Chrysler Corp models is. That may be where the confusion is.

    Either way, I sure wouldn't want to get stuck in the boonies miles from home with a busted timing belt. When that belt breaks you go no where.
    ******** We took the time to answer your post. Please give us some time and post the fix. You'll help hundreds. ********

    **** Follow all prescribed safety procedures before attempting any repairs. If in doubt, refer to a maintenance manual. ****

    96 Gr Caravan LE 3.8, 208K miles
    07 Fusion / 06 RAV 4 / 06 Accord / 94 Camry

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    >>> According to the Gates Corp. timing belt chart no, the 2.4 ltr engine in a 2002 Caravan is not an interference engine. The 2.4 ltr engine in other 2002 Chrysler Corp models is. That may be where the confusion is.

    Well, mine is a 2002 Voyager. Is that the same as the Caravan?

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    Don't know if this will help you, but I'll relate a story about the timing belt in my go-to-work Chevy Aveo (go ahead - - everyone else does too, but it's been a very reliable car).
    I had typically always gone (way) past-due on timing belts, but one day late in the Fall of 2010, I started finding stories about premature timing belt failures in 2004 Aveos. The more I read, the worse it sounded - engines destroyed, etc. There were so many that Chevy had even made a short-term offer to replace the belt in cars under 60K miles (the change interval). Belt only - customer pays the labor . Apparently they wanted to check out some unbroken belts. So even though mine is a 2005, I quickly decided to change it asap. The cold and snow had arrived, so I called around - $500 was the lowest quote for just the belt change. There was no way I would pay that, so off I go to AZ to buy parts. The common recommendation was to also do the water pump and idler pulley at the same time. Long, PITA job crawling around on the frozen garage floor, but it got done. Afterwards, in looking at the old belt, after 90K miles it looked like it just came out of the box. Even bending it backwards, there were no visable cracks - not a mark on it. Later on, I found other information indicating that this problem with the 2004 might have been happening primarily due to pullys seizing up and frying the belt.
    So, you might want to check what (if any) associated parts are typically replaced along with the belt. And (if you don't wrench), prepare yourself for some sticker shock on the price of the job .
    03 Caravan 3.3L 159K miles
    05 GC 3.3L 132K miles (daughter's)

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    The 2.4 is not an interference engine in the traditional sense, the pistons don't collide with the valves in the case of belt breakage. HOWEVER, the valves can, in some cases, clash with each other if the belt breaks, causing damage. This is why you will find conflicting information on whether or not the 2.4 is an interference engine.

    2011 Grand Caravan, 3.6, 120k miles
    2000 Neon ES 2.0, 140k
    2006 Pt Cruiser 2.4, 110k
    Past Caravans:
    2005 Grand Caravan SXT, 3.8 247k miles, Sold
    2002 Grand Caravan SE, 3.3, 166k miles, Sold

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    The 2002 Voyager is not listed. Closest one that is is a 2000 Voyager and it is non-interference.
    ******** We took the time to answer your post. Please give us some time and post the fix. You'll help hundreds. ********

    **** Follow all prescribed safety procedures before attempting any repairs. If in doubt, refer to a maintenance manual. ****

    96 Gr Caravan LE 3.8, 208K miles
    07 Fusion / 06 RAV 4 / 06 Accord / 94 Camry

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    Non-interference. My T-Belt broke in my 2.4 Cirrus. No damage occurred other than being stranded with a tow bill. 2.4 Mitsu used mostly in Chrysler/Dodge coupes is an interference engine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIP View Post
    According to the Gates Corp. timing belt chart the 2.4 ltr engine in a 2002 Caravan is not an interference engine. The 2.4 ltr engine in other 2002 Chrysler Corp models is. That may be where the confusion is.

    Either way, I sure wouldn't want to get stuck in the boonies miles from home with a busted timing belt. When that belt breaks you go no where.
    For what it's worth, the 2.4 in the PT cruisers are non interference engines as well, but there have been instances where they have been destroyed because the timing belt snapped.

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