General Question

Seek's avatar

Does my 2003 Isuzu Rodeo have an interference or non interference motor?

Asked by Seek (34805points) December 18th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

csimme01's avatar

The 2.2 Cyl is an interference engine the 3.2 6 cyl is not. regardless they both use timing belts and they both should be changed at the recommended service interval.

Seek's avatar

Ok… so I just need to know whether it’s a 4 or 6 cylinder. Hopefully my hubby knows.

Yeah, the timing belt went out on ours, and our mechanic friend asked whether it’s an interference engine. Apparently, if it’s non-interference, it’s easier to fix.

jerv's avatar

If by “easier” you mean “can be repaired as opposed to getting damn near the whole engine replaced” then you are correct.

Non-interference engines can be fixed by lining up the timing marks and putting on a new belt; typically under an hour and unlikely to run more than $150 even if you go to a rip-off garage.

Interference engines, well you might get lucky but more often it does enough damage to the head that it’s often cheaper and easier to just replace the head… and maybe the dented pistons… and possibly the connecting rods if it smacked hard enough… or just get another engine.

On my friends ‘99 Jetta (interference engine), they wanted $2200 so I sincerely hope you have the 6-banger!

csimme01's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr FYI..
The term “Interference” refers to the fact that the engine is designed in such a way that when the timing belt breaks the Valves can stop in a position that allows them to be hit by (Interfere with) the pistons. It allows the pistons to be cheaper but normaly causes major damage to the engine when the pistons hit the valves. In a non-interference engine the pistons are made so they don’t hit the valves when they stop. Nothing is damaged the only repair required is to replace the belt.

Seek's avatar

Lucky us! It’s a 6-cylinder!

I may just have a functioning vehicle (our backup car, a ‘94 Saturn SL2 which I’ve had since I was 16, is having serious transmission issues) before long!

jerv's avatar


@Seek_Kolinahr I think I know why since I went through two Saturn trannies myself. There is a pin in the differential that likes to crack and eventually wore its way out. The first one I had that did that took a Dorito-sized hunk out of the bell housing that made it impossible to keep fluid in the transmission. The second one started acting up about a year after we swapped it, so we made arrangements with the bank to turn the car over since we could not afford to pay for both the repairs and the car loan.

@csimme01 Thanks for the expansion. Sometiems I forget that some people don’t know even the basics about stuff I know in graphic detail.

Seek's avatar

OMFG, I swear you’re reading my diary. I’ve put two quarts of tranny fluid in my car in the last week. I will definitely be talking with my mechanic about that pin thing. Fortunately, the thing is paid off, or I wouldn’t even bother with the thing. What has to be done to repair it? Do I just have to replace the whole transmission?

jerv's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Unfortunately, that is the only real remedy that I can think of. Technically it’s possible to rebuild the innards of an automatic transmission, but there isn’t anything that can be done about a cracked housing.
We were lucky to find a low-mileage salvage transmission so it only (Hah!) cost us $2200 installed; it’s an 8–12 hour job to install and the Saturn dealer wanted $4100 just for the transmission.
I would get it looked at and get a couple of other opinions in case I am wrong or prices have come down a bit, but personally I fear the worst.

(BTW – Ours would go through about a quart every 5 minutes, so we parked it ASAP.)

Seek's avatar

Well, hopefully we can get our hands on a salvage transmission on the cheap. We definitely can’t afford a $2000 job – and honestly, that’s way more than the car is even worth. Can’t see paying two grand to get a 17 year old car on the road. Yikes.

jerv's avatar

Why do you think I let my $250 ‘89 Aerostar go to hell when the water pump went out? It never would’ve passed another state inspection even if I put a few hundred into it, so I used the money to replace the vehicle.
My current car is 25 years old and still in decent shape and only cost me $300. It needs a little work but nothing major (in other words, less than $250 in repairs). I just got it a few months ago but I can see myself keeping it for quite a while… unless the transmission goes.

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