my wife was driving it last summer down the highway and she said it lost power then died on the offramp and could not get it to start again. when I got there and turned the key it sounds like its spinning but not turning over. I'm thinking its the timing chain. if the timing chain broke inside the case is the engine done for or can I just replace the timing chain and call it good? this is a $60 vs. $1200 option. anything helps.. thanks
It is my understanding the LF-VD engine in your Mazda 3 is an interference motor, meaning if it actually did break the timing chain, you will most likely have incurred damage to the engine. With that said ...
Before you start thinking it's the timing chain (worst case scenario, IMHO), you should check the "other" things which might be happening with the vehicle:
- Are there any codes present?
- Does it have gas?
- Does it have the correct fuel pressure at the rail?
- Is there spark at the spark plug?
What have you actually done to diagnose the issue? Timing chains don't usually break. They can stretch over time and possibly slip, but rarely do they break. If I were you, I'd be tracking everything down I could before I assumed it's a timing chain.