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Herndon, VA

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I drive a 1993 Dodge Intrepid ES. The over all car is in good condition. The only major replacements I have done on the car recently is replacing the muffler. This past summer the engine started to shake and a loud rattling sound occured. I lost almost all the power I was getting from the engine; slow start ups, a great loss in acceleration, shakes alot idling (so much so that the whole car shakes), etc. At first I thought it might be a bad engine mount, I replaced one and still the problem continued. Then I studied the sound more closely I thought that one of the pistons had colapsed. But after reading through some of the common problems for the Intrepid on this site, I came across this: "A loose timing chain on early models will produce a rattle (in the front of the engine) because the chain hits the guide. The timing chain should be replaced (the cam sprocket should always be replaced at the same time). Remove and discard the timing chain guide; on later V6 models, the guide has been eliminated." I just want to be sure if it is the piston that has gone bad or will I need to just replace the timing chain and such. Over all I want to go into the shop or dealership truely knowing what is wrong with my car so they don't charge me for extra costs that may or may not help out getting my problem fixed.

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