How To Check For A Broken Timing Belt (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 1.3L Suzuki Swift -Chevy Metro)

Your 1.3L Suzuki Swift (Chevy Metro) is equipped with a timing belt and not a timing chain. This timing belt should be replaced every 60,000 miles. Beyond this mileage limit, the t-belt could break while the engine is running.

If you suspect that the timing belt is behind your Suzuki's no start problem... you can check it yourself and in this tutorial I will show you just how easy it is to check it.

IMPORTANT: Your 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 1.3L Suzuki Swift -Chevy Metro engine is an interference engine.

An interference engine is an engine whose intake and exhaust valves extend further into the combustion chamber than a non interference engine. This is good news when it comes to squeezing more performance out of the engine. The downside to an interference engine is that the valves will hit the pistons, when the timing belt breaks, and get bent/damaged.

TEST 1: Checking The Camshaft's Rotation

How To Check For A Broken Timing Belt (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 1.3L Suzuki Swift -Chevy Metro)

As you are probably already aware the timing belt connects (and synchronizes) the crankshaft and camshaft. So, when the engine cranks (or runs)... the t-belt turns the camshaft.

So, when your Suzuki's timing belt breaks... the camshaft will not turn. Thankfully, you and I can confirm this by simply removing the valve cover's oil cap and visually check the camshaft's rotation (as a helper cranks the engine).

This is a very easy test and these are the test steps:

  1. 1

    Remove the oil cap from your 1.3L Suzuki Swift's (Chevy Metro's) valve cover (see photo above).

    NOTE: Your 1.3L Suzuki Swift's (Chevy Metro's) battery should be fully charged up before starting this test.

  2. 2

    Have a helper crank your Suzuki's engine while you look down (thru' the oil cap hole) and see if the camshaft turns.

  3. 3

    If the timing belt is NOT broken, you'll see at least two of the camshaft's lobes move up and down while the engine is cranking.

Let's take a look at your test results:


CASE 1: The camshaft's lobes moved up and down as the engine was cranking. This tells you that the timing belt IS NOT broken.

Whatever is causing your 1.3L Suzuki Swift's (Chevy Metro's) ‘no start’ condition isn't related to the timing belt.

CASE 2: The camshaft's lobes DID NOT move up and down as the engine was cranking. This tells you that the timing belt is broken.

Replacing the timing belt is only the beginning of the repair due to the fact that your Swift's 1.3L engine is an interference engine. More specifically, there's a good chance that the you've got bent valves on your hands (that'll require removing the cylinder head to replace).