I was driving home from work and the car started to act like it was running out of gas -You know, power just drops off for a second then comes back on for a second and eventually the engine dies- So anyway..i thought maybe.. i don't know what i though. The car still had 1/4 tank so there's no way i just ran out of gas. I pulled off into a parking lot and called a friend to come get me..
I checked fuses too to make sure it wasn't the fuse to the fuel pump or anything simple like that. Then i noticed the CEL was flashing a sequence at me. I had plugged in the CEL read plug not knowing what it was, so the CEL had been flashing at me in a steady .5 second increment. The code it gave me was long flash, short, short, short; error code 13-camshaft position sensor. I ordered a new one from NAPA and replaced it earlier today in the parking lot where i'd left it (it's still there BTW). I looked up how to clear CEL error codes and tried to do it, but didn't really get anywhere. I also tried unplugging the battery to try to clear the code, but this didn't fix anything either...
P.S. It crossed my mind that the timing belt might have jumped a tooth on the cam gear, but the engine is turning over like it's timed right...it sounded a lot different when it had jumped a tooth and when i was one tooth off after i changed the belt at 103k miles. car is at 106k now.
I think you are one the right track with the timing belt. If you had not just replaced it I would have said it sounds like the belt may have broke. Maybe your timing belt tensioner failed. Check your wiring harness to your camshaft position sensor too and make sure everything is ok there. Usually if you can't clear a code it is because you have a short or an open in the circuit someway, either in the wiring or in the sensor, but if you replace the sensor than most likely cause would be the wiring harness. I would do a visual inspection of the wiring, then check your timing belt for proper alignment. Let me know if you find anything out, if all seems ok then we will go from there.
How exactly DO you clear a code anyway? The way i tried was turn the key to the on position, push the accelerater all the way to the floor for a second, bring it back to half way for a few seconds and then release it. I read that the CEL was supposed to turn solid on and then i was supposed to drive for at least a minute to clear the codes.. But the car won't start and the CEL never turned solid on, it just kept flashing code 13.
Well, scratch all that about the sensor and resetting the error code. I've found the problem and it looks bad..
I went back up to where the car is parked to see if maybe there's ANYTHING i missed when i installed the cam sensor. There wasn't. I thought I'd check to see if there was any slack in the timing belt just to cover all my bases (and sense you mentioned it rutech). I pulled off one of the side timing covers and, yeah, there was some slack all right. I could hear the tensioner pulley moving around when i press on the belt...but that's not the worst part. The timing belt is SPLIT all the way around from what i can tell. Most likely cause is the idler pulley that i bought from autozone to replace the one that fell apart (the bearing inside it had lost all it's ball bearings). I had noticed that it was a little different when i put it on, but it still fit, kind of, and worked so i just left it alone since the car ran fine. Now, what i had noticed was different about it is that it was shorter than the original; the belt hung off it a little. I'm guessing (nearly positive, actually) that the idler pulley has cut the belt and split it. It's so loose at this point that when i took a wrench to turn the cam pulley, the belt didn't even move with it. It would slightly catch for a second then just slip when the cam pulley turned a little. I didn't disassemble it to the point where i can tell if it was the tensioner that failed or if the belt slipped off somewhere.
Now, this would lead me to believe that the valves and all that good stuff are shot at this point... I paid $1600 for this car and have put about another 400 into fixing things over year that i've owned it. Is it even worth fixing again or should i just part it out and start saving for a new car?
no man, that is actually good news. Those cars have the EJ22 motor in it if I am not mistaken, with single overhead camshafts in it. Those engines are a non interfierance engine, which means if the timing belt breaks, you put a new one on and away you go. The pistons will not hit the valves on that engine. So sounds to me like you need to go to the dealer, get the right idler pully and a new belt, inspect your tensioner and you will be off and running again. I would recommend replacing your crankshaft seal while you are in there too if you didn't do it the last time. I thought it sounded like a belt problem lol. I would definately fix the car. Good luck and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
I got the car pulled up to where i work (since it was only 1/2 mile from where i broke down) and got it torn down and checked it all out. The belt was all but cut into two pieces and just generally ripped and torn way way beyond being usable.
I took the torn up belt and the idler back to autozone to see if they'd do anything about it for me. I really doubted they would and i was ready to never shop there again if they didn't. I told them all i wanted them to replace was the timing belt and that i'd order the idler sprocket from somewhere else. The manager there didn't even bat an eye and just ordered a new belt for me even though everything is past their 3 month warranty. She also asked if i new who'd sold it to me, but i told her that it wasn't really his fault; he just ordered what the computer said was the right part.
Now all i have to do is pay for an idler. Luckily, the place i work has an account with NAPA (who has the right idler. i already checked), so i can just bill it to them and have it taken out of my check ('cause i'm poor).
Oh, one of my coworkers is also bringing a compression gauge for me too JUST to make sure..
So, thanks rutech for pointing me in the right direction.
No problem, glad I could help and glad it is not going to be a problem other than the belt. I have seen them break personally. I actually had a guy I work with get a car in that would not start, cam sensor code just like yours. Well cam sensor didn't fix it. Then come to find out the cam belt had over 200k miles on it and finally broke. New belt and off it went lol. Good luck and have a great day.