Timing chain tensioner break

Tiny
FHORNGIRL09
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 MERCURY MARINER
  • 2.6L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 140,000 MILES
I drive a 2005 Mercury Mariner with about 140,000 miles on it. I recently had the timing chain tensioner break while I was parked (I turned the car on, it was making tons of bad noise, so I turned it off and had it towed to a garage). I got it all repaired including a new timing chain for about $1000. The guys assured me that even though it was an interference engine, that because I hadn't driven it with the tensioner broken, that I would be just fine going ahead and doing the repair, even though the chain was off by at least 3 teeth. After the repair, there was some valve noise there that hadn't been present prior to the tensioner breaking (it was loud enough that I would have noticed). They again assured me that it was no big deal and I should still be able to drive it for a long time. Three weeks later, while I'm driving down the highway, the car completely loses power and dies at the side of the road. I get it towed again and this time am told that the engine is toast. I think they tricked me into the first repair hoping it would work and now are refusing that they did anything wrong by telling me it could be fixed. Did I get screwed or are they right?
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 6:37 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You didn't list a diagnosis for the loss of power, so with what I have to go on, of course you did not get ripped off. How could the engine run for three weeks after the last repair? Now that the timing chain has been replaced, problems related to that should not be on your worry list for a couple of years. (I would never own an interference engine to begin with).

You need to find out exactly what has failed and why someone is recommending an entirely different engine. Bent valves can be replaced. A simple sensor failure can cause engine stalling. A used engine will give you the same worries as what you have now.
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 8:07 PM
Tiny
FHORNGIRL09
  • MEMBER
The cause of power loss was that there was no oil in the engine, which seems odd, since my husband had just changed it a few days before (he's not a mechanic, but he is an engineer and he has done it many times before). I did not have them explore any further since I was not willing to dump any more money into this car. All they told me was that when they did put more oil in that the tailpipe was spewing blue smoke and the engine was toast.
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Friday, April 1st, 2016 AT 9:02 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hmmm. Now your husband knows how mechanics feel when they get accused of forgetting to put oil in the engine.

I have a suspicion there was something else going on and the failure just decided that now was the time to act up. We run into that all the time too. At a minimum, I think it would be a good idea to get a second opinion to see if there is something else causing excessive oil consumption that has an easy fix.
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Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 AT 5:50 PM

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