Several cars feature interference motors. An interference engine means that the tolerances are so close that if the timing is off even just a hair, the valves will hit the pistons. This could cause damage from a ding in the piston or it could completely destroy the interior of the engine. When working with timing belts and chains, you must know whether the vehicle is fitted with an interference engine, and you must turn the engine over by hand at least twice to make sure the timing marks are lined up after replacing the belt or chain.
While many of Toyota’s models are freewheeling, several feature interference engines. Whether a Toyota has an interference engine or not depends on which engine Toyota put in the vehicle. The 1980 through 1988 Tercel and the Corolla both use the 1.5-litre engine with the engine codes 3A and 3A-C. In 1987 and 1988, some of the 1.5-litre Tercels have an engine designator code of 3E or 3E-E, which is also an interference engine. This engine is found in the Tercel up to 1994. The 1998 through 2000 Land Cruiser, Sequoia and Tundra all use the same interference engine-–the 4.7-litre V8 with the engine code 2UZ-FE. In 1988, the Supra was fitted with the 2JZ-GE engine-–a 3.0-litre V6, which is also an interference engine.
All Honda cars from 1984 through 1996 have interference engines. The engine codes include ES2, ES3, A18A1, A20A1 and A20A3 in the 1984 through 1989 Accord and Prelude. The engine could be a 1.8- or 2.0-litre engine. From 1990 until 1997, the Accord and Prelude used a 2.2-litre engine with an engine code of F22A1, F22B1 or F22B2. From 1995 through 2000, the Accord 2.3, Odyssey 2.2 and Odyssey 2.3-litre engines with engine codes F22B6, F23A1, F23A4, F23A5 and F23A7 are all interference engines. From 1995 through 1997, Honda also used a 2.7-litre V6 engine in the Accord, with an engine code of C27A4. Throughout the years, at least until 2000, according to AutoData’s Timing Belts for Domestic and Imported Cars, Vans and Light Trucks, Honda’s vehicles all featured interference engines.
Dodge has used a combination of engines over the years. The 1995 through 1999 Neon 2.0-litre and Avenger 2.0-litre engines are interference engines. If the eighth character of the VIN is a “Y,” then the timing belt uses an automatic tensioner. The tensioner should be checked when you check the timing belt, but most technicians prefer to replace it. Because this is an interference engine, if the tensioner should fail, engine damage will result. The 1995 through 2000 Avenger with the 2.5-litre V6 is also an interference engine. This engine, unlike its four-cylinder sister, does have an engine code, namely, 6G73. The 2.4-litre engine used in the 1995 through 2000 Stratus and Caravan (engine code EDZ) is also an interference engine. Another common engine found in Dodge vehicles is the 3.0-litre V6 found in the Caravans, Mini Ram Vans and Ram 50s, with the engine code 6G72. Dodge used this interference engine from 1987 through 2000 in many of its vans and light trucks.