1995 Geo Prizm Wheels spin in park

Tiny
PJS101974
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 GEO PRIZM
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 109,110 MILES
I was on the highway, in traffic, and I went to pass a stopped vehicle. I accelerated to get around him when all of a sudden the car just died and wouldn't start back up. So, I figured that the timing belt went. I tore down the belts, removed the valve cover gasket, etc. And saw that the timing belt is actually ok. What I also noticed is that with the transmission is in park that I can still spin both wheels. (The front end being jacked up of course) I tried every position: park, drive, reverse, etc. And the wheels can be spun easily regardless. I can't figure out what could be causing this. Could the transmission be blown, crankshaft broken, or the shift levers snapped? Your help would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks!
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Saturday, April 25th, 2009 AT 10:54 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
The wheels will spin in park with car in the air, this is normal, one will spin clockwise, one counter-cloclwise.
You are not moving the transmission, just the differential.

If car will not start, check fuel pressure with mechanical gauge and spark with spark tester. Other than fuel it may be an ignitor in the dist.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, April 26th, 2009 AT 5:46 AM
Tiny
PJS101974
  • MEMBER
Thank you for steering me in the right direction! I am going to take a look at the distributor and fuel pressure to see if everything looks ok. Hopefully everything works out! Thanks!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, April 26th, 2009 AT 9:55 AM
Tiny
PJS101974
  • MEMBER
After testing for spark and fuel pressure, I replaced the plugs, wires, cap and rotor and got the car to start. When I hit the gas, the car sputters and dies. I am still going to replace the fuel filter. However, I think that I may have found part of the issue. I noticed that the timing belt has a lot of "flop" in the front side of the belt (nearest the front of the car). Now if I remember correctly, that side of the belt should be somewhat snug and not flopping around. Would this explain the stall after depressing the accelerator? It almost seems that the timing does not advance quickly enough once the engine's rpms are up.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, April 27th, 2009 AT 6:40 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
While possible, timing belt deflection is around 3-4mm, measured on the long end.

If belt is due for change, change it. But it would have to jump a cog to affect timing.

It may aslo be a fuel pressure issue.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 AT 6:56 AM
Tiny
PJS101974
  • MEMBER
Hey MM,

Finally got the fuel filter off and replaced it. That seemed to have resolved the issue. The timing belt is next. Thank you for your expertise on this one!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, April 30th, 2009 AT 8:28 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Good news.

When you change the timing belt, you may have to remove front right motor mount to get belt off, and although some manuals say you have to remove waterpump pulley, you do not, you have to remove the bolts and "swing" it out of way to get timing belt cover off.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, May 1st, 2009 AT 6:48 AM
Tiny
PJS101974
  • MEMBER
Yep! I done one of these before. They are fun! This particular crankshaft pulley just doesn't want to slide off. The bolt is off but the pulley is putting up a fight!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 AT 1:11 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Spray some PB blaster on the crankshaft end. It will loosen up the balancer.

When you get it off, use emory cloth and clean the crankshaft end and the inside if the pulley.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 AT 6:51 AM
Tiny
PJS101974
  • MEMBER
Boy that was fun! So my saga continues. I replaced the water pump, timing belt, tensioner, and all the outer belts. In addition to a fuel filter, cap, rotor, wires, and plugs. So I get into the car, it starts right up. No problems. I take it for a 10 mile run, and everything seems to be ok. All of a sudden my coolant temperature indicator starts rising to the "overheat" position and quickly goes back to normal. Then while accellerating, the car starts to hesitate. Now I know that I did not move anything when I replaced the belt. Could there be a possibility that I have to now adjust the timing advance using a tach and light? What would cause the temp gauge to go crazy like that? I replaced the existing antifreeze with new after I installed the water pump! So what are your thoughts?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 4th, 2009 AT 12:42 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Set timing to 10 degrees BTDC after shorting TE1 aand B1.

Coolant temp could be an air pocket in cooling system.

The thermostat should have a small hole in the outer perimeter tp bleed air. When adding coolant make sure the air selector is set to heat position.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 AT 6:30 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides