I was told that my Mercury Villager has an interference engine. One day I went to start it and it ran for just a couple of seconds before it quit. I was told by my mechanic that the timing belt broke. He said that there is a very slim chance that the engine may be OK just by replacing the belt, but it would cost several hundred dollars just to find that out. And in more likelyhood it will need a new motor anyway.
What is the easiest way for me to tell whether or not the valves were bent or the piston is broken or anything else that is common with this sort of issue? I'd love to know that I can just buy the belt and put it on myself to get it up and going again, depending on whatever else one needs to look for. And are there any good resources to find the details of changing the timing belt, perhaps Chilton? Thanks in advance!