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So, I've got a 07 eclise 2.4. It ran fine on my way to work, but when I shut it off it wouldn't start again. I checked the basics (fuses, battery, plugs, coils) with no success. I then checked the cam and crank shaft sensors. Crank worked, cam no go. Replaced the camshaft sensor, still no go.

I cracked the timing belt cover and tried to start the engine. I could only see the cam sprocket, but it wasn't turning.

I'm not expert, but from my understanding of engines, I can't think of any reason for this other than the timing belt being broken. Is there any reason that turning the starter would turn the crank but not the timing belt and thus cams?

Thank you.

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I had a very similar problem on a Volvo a few years ago, in that case it turned out that the belt had stripped a couple of inches of teeth - so peering in the cover it looked intact, but didn't turn with the crank. This will become obvious if you remove the cover completely.

You might be lucky though - a quick bit of googling reveals this quote:

The 2006-2012 2.4 dual MIVEC engines are extremely small margin interference... in fact I have not seen one instance of valve damage on the final design 2.4's when the belt breaks.

So you might be able to get away with simply replacing the belt (and any tensioners), without any further damage to the engine. I wasn't so lucky and had several bent valves...

The only other reasons I can think of for the cambelt not turning with the engine would be a broken crank (which would be very obvious!), or the starter not engaging with the flywheel (which you've ruled out if the crank is turning)

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    @Sidney ... If the water pump runs off of the belt (like most do), you should plan to change this as well. I'm not sure if the Volvo is this way, but this is standard maintenance procedure with timing belt driven engines. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 1 '14 at 10:30
  • I've gotta figure out how to get it home but I'm gonna pull of the cylinder head at least for a visual inspection. Sounds like fun times. Thank you for the answer. – Sidney Oct 1 '14 at 12:03
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This may not be your solution at all, but it is not unheard of for some cam sprockets, which are friction fit (not keyed or splined) to loosen from the camshaft. I had this happen on an engine with 80,000 miles from the factory, where no one had messed with the sprocket tensioning bolt.

I mostly work on VW TDI and IDI engines, but I have seen some teeth strip off, but never more then three or four.

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