99 Neon, Is it the timing belt???

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Hey! This past weekend my car just died on me while driving about 65/70 mph on the highway and it wont restart.... here's the details

1999 Plymouth Neon Expresso, DOHC 2.0 LT

Approx 130k miles

Havent done anything mechanical to it except change plugs and wires and the EGR valve since 55k miles, not sure what was done before then.

I always get regular oil changes but as far as tune ups and check ups... let's just say I haven't really been too smart.

Here's the details on the symptoms....

Recently the car has been stalling/sputtering after I try to accelerate after stopping at a light or stop sign etc. After I give it extra gas, it is typically fine, but has been doing it a little more often.

About 30 minutes before it died, I pulled through a drive through to get a drink and I heard somewhat of a clicking noise, quiet but loud enough that I can hear it with the music off. (I was out of town about 2 hours away so I had no choice but to just continue home and have it checked out when I got there)

While :driving: , the engine light comes on along with the oil light and not even a half second later (maybe even simultaneously) the car just dies. I pull off to the shoulder and there is grey smoke coming from the engine (while looking at the car from the hood, it's the front left of the car - where my timing belt is)... the car did not overheat.

It turned over but wouldnt restart. I had plenty of oil and fluids in the car.
Had to leave it there. The next day, approximately 20 hours later, we went back to try and restart it, wouldnt restart. Tried jump starting it, again, would turn over but not start. ALL the fluids were at appropriate levels.

Towed it back to the house, been working on it for the past 4 days.

Any ideas?

Sad to say, but I am 99% sure the timing belt has never been replaced which is why I'm so highly concerned if that is the problem. The belt is NOT broke. It is still in tact, not cracked or anything to my knowledge, but possible sheared some teeth and not catching at each relay that it should?

posted by  a_pence19

Does the engine "turn over" when you turn the key in the ignition? Does it turn over but sound as if nothing's happening in there, ie; almost as if it's lazy? (Lack of compression).

posted by  Cliffy

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