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Why does my Honda Accord 1990 DOHC had to be overhauled after timing belt broke?

(1990 Honda Accord)
in Atka, AK on April 24, 2013
First of all this happened when my boyfriend was away and I am really ignorant on my car's maintenance. I stopped going to workshops because I can't really communicate well with technicians and I was scared I might get ripped off which sadly happens mostly to women when they go to workshops. I was on the road when my timing belt broke. the workshop I went to informed that there is usually no need to perform overhaul to Honda engine on cases like mine. However after checking workshop informed me that my carburator was bent and they had to overhaul the engine. 4days later they informed me that my timing gear was cracked and must have been hit by the timng belt really hard when it broke so they had to replace it. I had to agree on it because i was desperate to use my car again. Unfortunately i realized that my car (which is a 4th hand ownership)was modified and the timing gear (spare parts) is difficult to find. Used car parts shops in Brunei are also out of stock. The workshop cannot find it in dealer also and they have not make a request to order from their supplier as well. I had to scour the whole country and all the used car parts shops and neighboring country (Miri,Limbang - Malaysia)in hopes that I might get lucky but still there's nothing. to make my story short it took me 4 months to get hold of a used car part of the same model and i was relieved. a week after that that they informed me that the fuel injector had to be serviced outside. a month later my car is still in the workshop because they cannot do the wiring. The ECU is also damaged according to the workshop it must have been caused by the broken timing belt. Now I am really boggled and my boyfriend is very pissed because they seem to be piling up the cost of the repair or just delaying the repair to junk my car. My boyfriend wants to takeover the repair if the workshop cannot do it. Now my car's condition deteriorated, the paint is faded the body is cracked and scratched and the interior is very dirty. I offered to get my boyfriend do the wiring instead and will settle the bill once the car is up and running but they wont release the car if I dont pay for their previous job done. I was forced to take advice from police and now I'm just giving them this week to do something about it before I send a tow truck for my car with a police officer assistance as well. Further I intend to inspect the car parts installed if it matches with the bill. I'm sorry for a lengthy narrative but I will be pleased to get your technical advise.
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on April 24, 2013
When a timing belt breaks the damage that can be caused can be severe. Damage can occur to the pistons, rings , lifters, rods and valves and just about anything else in the engine block. Interference type engines can have catastrophic damage when this belt breaks. The damage you described sounds pretty much catastrophic. Best bet is to replace the engine with a new or rebuilt one if you wish to keep this vehicle.
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on April 24, 2013
It does sound fatal to me now and I have learn hard lesson too. Now I am reading my car's manual and getting more familiar with my car.

I will make sure to mention your reply to the workshop. How they overlooked to tell me of the likelihood of changing engine maybe an option. Earlier on I have asked them along the lines of this but they assured me that the engine is ok but they needed to overhaul because of the bent carburator. In the process they will also replace the gasket because of oil leaks which has been the case before the incident happened. They have assured me that the replacement of the timing gear will not be charged to me. In the next 2 weeks I have only their standard reply of yes we are still looking for the replacement part. They have not mentioned the period of time I had to wait for them to obtain the timing gear. Or advised me if they have placed an order to their sparepart distributor. Their matter of fact answers on my queries about arrive replacements parts availabity to them prompted me to go and find the part as myself. I borrowed the sample (cracked timing gear) from them it turned out that they have not even placed the order of replacement parts. And in the next 3month nor will they even put an order for my cracked gear.

As I was searching for the timing gear I have contacted the previous owner of my car and I showed him the cracked specimen and told him how it was broken as advised by the workshop. He is also a mechanic and inspected the cracked gear to check if their machine can remedy. He sadly informed me he couldn't but pointed out that the timing gear is customed cast steel and its is very hard to crack if hit by broken timing belt. He showed me the dents and scratches in the other side of the timing gear. It looked like it was hit by a hammered chisel or something hard was hammered to it. He was saying the workshop may have forced the timing gear off.

It took me 3months to find the timing gear. It just wonder lately why they cannot order the spare parts. Although I have taken the sample from them, the local distributors I showed it to prefers to see the car's Blue Card and Registration when they want to check their stock availability. I have also given them a copy earlier on but apparently they have not make any use of it search of the replacement gear.

During my last visit there I was able to obtain a copy of my bill consist of the parts that they had replaced and installed:
1. full set gasket
2. exhaust intake
3. filter
4. Service Oil
5. spark plug
6. timing belt 2 pcs
7. bearing 2 pcs
8. oil seal
9. pipe bypass.

It is not a final bill yet but it is a general summary of the parts and svcs the they have on my car repair.
The overhaul was done 5 months ago and the replacement gear is the lacking part necessary to complete their repair they have explained to me.

My car although not new is well maintained. Before the incident I have already replaced the exhaust, fuel pump and alternator, the oil filter has been changed earlier and the fan and compressor was replaced also. It was running smoothly and i am really sorry to have overlooked this very essential car care.

Last March 17 when I went to the workshop to pass the timing gear my car although the paint have faded still looks ok. A week after that they informed me about the fuel injector needing servicing. The need to have it done by another company. By then I new better not to call every so often to check on the fuel injector because somebody else is doing other jobs for them. I felt relieved that I got hold of the timing gear to have obtained the replacement part and assured that the rest of the time should be reconditioning my car after lenthy period of being idle.

After 3 weeks of waiting I called up to check about the fuel injector and the fitted parts and they told me about the wiring issue. The workshop did not consult me if I agree to the fuel injector servicing nor advise me of how much it will cost me probably because they will not charge me of it. Besides I only found out about the problem when I enquired about the match of the replacement part for my car. Is it just my luck that everytime I follow up, they will tell me of another car issue that they are trying to resolve on my car. I am the owner and would decide to agree on the repairs execution cost wise right?

The workshop did not advise me about the ECU issue when I called to follow up last week. They informed me that the car still cant run because their mechanic doesnt know wiring and they had need to call somebody from another company to do it. In that instance I offered that my boyfriend will do the wiring instead, in my mind I was aiming more on saving time and $$$ my car has been there for 5 months and if finishing the rest of the job ourselves hasten its repair then its no big deal. The workshop agreed and we set off on weekend to the workshop and arrange to tow my car and finish the wiring in our garage. The first time I saw my car 1 month after I pass the replacement timing gear i was shocked, my car have cracked on bonnet and body and scratched paint. The interior is dirty and the front wall under the dashboard is open and the seats are dirty and smudged. Upon opening the bonnet I saw that they the alternator is not put back the bolts and nuts are placed in the cardboard box, the water seeped thru the crack on the bonnet into the cars radiator and the radiator rusty and left open, the cover is put on one side facing up also rusty. I was flabbergasted and very disappointed to see the state of my car.

The workshop later explained to me that it is due to hot weather that my car cracked. Right now if the workshop includes the labour my bill total is $1143 not inclusive of the ECU which they say needs to be services as well according to them it has melted and may have been caused by the broken timing belt. Should I have seen an indication or a signal of the ECU condition during the incident and after that? My car lights and aircon was on that time and my signal light too because i was beside the road waiting for tow truck. everything was working alright and the tow also checked my car before he start to tow. Maybe I am being unjust to the workshop but I cant help to wonder if bringing my car there in the first place is the catastrophic decision on my part.

on April 24, 2013
This so called 'shop' is the problem not the solution. No reputable business would ever let your vehicle deteriorate into this state. I (with two other mechanics assisting) could have built you a new car from the ground up in this amount of time, They are never going to fix your car and may have destroyed it already due to lack of knowledge or effort on their part. You may need to seek a legal remedy to this problem and get your vehicle back before further damage is done. Have them return your vehicle to the state is was brought in to them. The ECU will usually not be damaged by a broken timing belt. It was probably damaged by their efforts on your vehicle. Get everything returned to the original state and take to a new shop. Ask around to find a trustworthy place and have it towed there. I would suggest you begin with an engine replacement. Otherwise this vehicle may not be worth the time or money involved anymore due to its current condition.
on April 25, 2013
How did the carburator get bent? It should be fuel injected (no carburator) ECU does not get damaged by timing belt breaking. Good luck.
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