1988 Chevy Nova Timing belf for my 1988 Chevy Nova

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Engine Mechanical problem
1988 Chevy Nova 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 45000 miles

I just bought a 1988 Checy Nova. I am not really used to 4 cyl cars. Got it because of gas prices. This is not the twin cam model. I believe it has a carb and not fuel injector, just got it yeasterday and not that mechanical myself. Anyway can you tell me if this car has a timing belt? I know a lot of smaller cars do. If it does do I need to change it as a preventative measure and if so when? Some people tell me if you do not change a timing belt before it goes you will ruin the engine and I don't want that to happen. But than I heard of something called a non interference engine. What is that? Does that mean if it has this I don't have to worry about ruining the engine if the belt goes? Does this car have this if this is true. The main thing is I do not want to ruin the engine if the belt goes, if it has one, but I also don't want to spend all that money to have a new one installed if I don't need to. Thank you in advance for your help.

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Saturday, May 31st, 2008 AT 1:51 PM

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Yes it has a timing belt and you should change it. Generally you should change every 60K miles, but due to its age, I would replace ASAP.
It is a non-interference engine, but a belt that breaks at speed can still cause damage e.G. It could wrap around the lower pulley and break it.
Another thing to consider is that if breaks and causes no damage, you are still going to have to have it towed to a garage.

Shop around local garages and get some prices, I would guess under $250.

Have the trans. Fluid level checked as well as the differential. Have the CV joints inspected for leaks. Have the cooling system checked for leaks and the condition of the fluid. Have the coolant hoses checked for cracks.
Inspect the brakes (pads, rotors, calipers) for wear.
You could probably do most of the above yourself.

Point is you want to find potential problems before they become big problems.
Even though it is low mileage, age plays a major factor in maint.

Non-interference means that the valves would not come in contact with the pistons (if fully open) and the belt breaks, but as I mentioned, you would still be stranded and it could cause other damage (such as pulley).

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Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 AT 8:42 AM

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