I have a 1996 pathfinder, what is the easiest way to determine if my timing belt broke


Asked by Nov 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM about the 1996 Nissan Pathfinder 4 Dr LE 4WD SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I replaced the timing belt, tensioner, water pump, valve cover gaskets, and so on just
over 40k miles ago. while drive down the road at 40 mph there was slight jolt followed
by a check engine light followed the engine shutting down (all within about 90
seconds). every thing is pointing to the timing belt but i have a slight hope that there is
some other cause since it only had 40k on it. i am wondering if there are any ways to
check it with out pulling the entire front of the engine apart. i do not have access OBD
scanner. thanks for any insight

3 Answers


You can run a compression test. If all cylinders test low or zero the timing belt has failed. Also, does it crank over much faster than it used to? If so, that's another indicator of a failed timing belt. With low or no compression the engine will spin much faster when cranking over. HTH. -Jim

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

yes it does turn over much faster and sounds weaker when it turns also when the distributor cap is off the rotor does not turn with the engine. thanks Jim this solidified what I was pretty sure of and dreading.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You're welcome. Glad to help. Since the distributor rotor is not turning that's another sure fire way to determine the timing belt has failed. -Jim

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