2005 cavalier 186k miles timing chain broke, would you fix it if it was yours


Asked by Feb 08, 2017 at 11:25 AM about the 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

PJ answered about a second ago
I have a 2005 cavalier, it's stalled hesitated stumbled and rattled but it was
still drivable! had it in the shop for three days he could not figure out what the
problem was, the pressure was good in the engine, the antifreeze was good
to -40°, the coils were good we tried replacing them but it didn't make a
difference so we took them back off, the map sensor was checked all the
sensors and wiring work checked, the oil was only a little bit Low so he filled it
up we put a new spark plugs that didn't help everything was checked on this
car , the final result was the timing was off so I drove it back home yes on the
interstate it was a rough start but once it started it drove fine, just pulsated
down the road but I made it home and parked it. since then someone
suggested it was the computer , and that putting a used computer on it might
fix the problem so when we tried that I was sold a 2004 computer for 2005
cavalier was told as long as the service tag number was a identicle the prom
numbers were interchangeable not really the case in this instance it made it
backfire and blew the air filter right out of its compartment cracking the lid off
of the breather, and now it will not start,
it tries but it just does not turn over and my racing buddy technician with his
laptop came over and said it sounds like it is not engaging your timing chain
which is what another mechanic suggested so I'm really confused is how I
drove it home on the interstate. It broke after I parked it not while driving.
$689 to fix but this is 2017 it was a really good running car until it wasn't and I
don't know if it's worth fixing, and what are the chances driving it didn't mess
something else up, you can buy engines for this car cheap off of eBay and
have them shipped to you for free shipping however there are used you really
don't know what their problem is were so and you still got to pay somebody
to put the engine in but it comes with a timing chain and some of them are
like three $400. Least I would have my engine for parts as needed. not sure
what to do,  trying to get a car for my grandson we don't have a lot of money
to buy another one and it would be a used one and somebody else's
problems should I just fixed my own since I know what's wrong with it or buy
somebody else's used any suggestions?

4 Answers


I wouldn't. get rid of it and the government will give you a $4000 check, buy you a newer car.


For the amount of money you'll pay for a remanufactured or used engine and then to have it installed, you could buy a decent used car. At 186K, this car is a ticking tome bomb, obviously the engine is gone, but the trans could be next. Personally, I would only hang onto the car if I could do the work myself. That is the only way to make it work financially. To have to pay a shop or mechanics to do the work for you is unfeasible. Swapping an engine in these often involves dropping the subframe and lowering it out of the car, so it's not for the faint of heart. To replace the timing chain, the chain itself can cost around $80, but the kits can go for 400-800 for all the sprockets and tensioners and such. Labor is another fee on top of that. So is it worth it on a car with nearly 200K miles? From your position, no. It only makes sense to keep if you are the mechanic doing the work. Unload this money pit, get it out of the shop as they're nickle and diming you, look into selling this as a "mechanic's special," and look for a decent used car or consider a low-cost lease.

2 people found this helpful.

Why would the government give me a check? Is there a program I am unaware of? The car is at my house and I found another engine for $250 but I have to pull it myself and I am not up to all the work you mentioned. I have worked on many vehicles but never to this magnitude. I hate getting rid of it it ran so good but I have it up for sale thank you for the advice.


Really don't think there is a program out there giving away money like that. The deal with swapping the motor yourself is the transverse-mounted engine has to be dropped along with subframe, hard to do strictly from jackstands. But that's a bargain price, hopefully the miles on it aren't severe. Call around maybe line up some mechanic help, or see what a mobile mechanic might charge you. You can also make up a lumbar support platform to reinforce jackstands as long as they don't block the subframe. You can also rent a special jack to lower the engine/tranny as a unit. You'll want to replace the torque converter too and address the tranny's front pump or pump shaft for wear while it's out of the vehicle too.

1 people found this helpful.

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