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03 CTS Low Idle


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Gentlemen all your input is needed and appreciated.

My last email described my CTS w/ low idle, check engine and p300 trouble codes. Prior to the codes I recently had my tension pulley freeze up and shred the serpentine belt. Replaced the pulley and belt along with oil pressure switch connector that was torn off by serp belt. So here is the outcome of the story.....

Check engine light turned off so I'm getting on freeway and I gave it gas and that was it, car had no power. It would crank but no start. Sent to shop and they said the problem was my crank sensor. They replaced sensor and no start. They opened the timing belt cover to find pieces of my serp belt in side which caused the timing belt to skip causing my low idle w/ p300 codes. Mind you, I forgot to tell them about the belt shred so I trusted them at this point. When I gave it gas it skipped so much that it caused the car to completely be off timing. Bent valves suspected at this time. Shop was scared to go any further and I had the car moved to the dealer(my worst nightmare).

Dealer in Fullerton, Ca takes a look at it. They say that it is bent valves and gives me a quote of 5500.00 dollars. Better yet the service tech says I might as well consider an entire new engine for 6900.00 dollars while I'm at it. I felt sick the rest of the day, never felt like this before in my life.

To date I have new: Battery(to many people cranking the car which incidentally is dead now, thanx dealer)

crank sensor, tension pulley, serp belt, oil pressure switch

female connector, new timing belt, outlook on life

How hard is it to remove heads and put them back on? Can I do it? I found a shop that will correct the valves for me. Should I cosider a new/used engine? Which is easier? The car was towed to my friends home where I can work on it without it becoming an eye sore. My car is a beauty and it hurst to see it sitting there. By the way I don't have anywhere near 5500 bucks to fix it. Warranty is expired too. I have more like 2000 bucks to work with here. Thank for listening....adios

Hebrews 12:5-11

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Sorry to hear about your ordeal.

How many miles are on it?

Maybe someone more experienced can chime in...

I don't know much about your engine, nor mine actually,

but it doesn't sound too good. I wonder if a head rebuild,

bent valves replaced, rework guides will do it.

I wonder about the bottom end, connecting rods, pistons..

Someone will chime in...

best of Luck to you!

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If in fact you have bent valves there has to be more damage. Bent valves means the valves and the pistons made contact. And that is usually a very noisy event.

Can you get a confirmation on the valves? Pulling heads is a doable DIY job.


Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.


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  • 2 weeks later...

New update

Finally pulled heads and the valves are bent. I had no compression on driver's side of heads. Passenger side has 60 compression. Heads are out to the shop today and hopefully the car will be running next week. I found more of my old serpentine belt tangled on the water pump.

Hopefully someone can guide me on the timing settings. I see that there are four flywheels for the valves that the timing belt goes on. Does anyone know the proper setting for the notches. The back timing cover has notches to align them with but there are two notches per flywheel. My mobile mech has a good idea what they are but I would like to be sure. Thanks for your input....... Romans 12

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