When you buy a car, you probably don’t think about the intricate timing chain that’s hiding under the hood. But when your car starts to make an unusual noise or doesn’t start up right, it’s likely that your timing chain is to blame. Timing chains are essential components of all engines, and they play a huge role in the engine’s performance. They regulate how fast the valves open and close, which is why they’re so important. If your timing chain isn’t functioning properly, it can cause serious engine problems. In fact, it may even be capable of destroying your engine completely. So if you think your timing chain might be causing problems with your car, it’s time to take action. Here are some tips on how to determine if your timing chain needs replacement and what to do if it does.
What is a Timing Chain?
A timing chain is a mechanism that helps to keep the engine running at its optimal speed. It works by constantly confirming the positions of the camshafts, which allows for accurate fuel delivery and combustion. A timing chain can also help prevent wear and tear on other critical parts of the engine.
How do timing chains work?
Timing chains are a type of chain that connect the engine crankshaft to the car’s transmission. The timing chain links the crank to each gear in the transmission, so that each gear can rotate at its own prescribed speed. This is important because it allows the car to move forward or backward at a consistent rate, regardless of how quickly the engine turns.
The timing chain consists of several gears and a connecting link. The gears are all marked with numbers, which correspond to the order in which they should be turned. The connecting link is also marked with numbers, but it has an extra number at the end – this number is called the “timing mark”.
When you start your car, the engine turns clockwise (or “leading”) around its crankshaft. The first number on the crank (the one closest to you) corresponds to the first gear on the timing chain. The second number on the crank (the one farthest from you) corresponds to the second gear on the timing chain…and so on.
As long as you keep turning those gears in that particular order, everything will go according to plan – your car will move forward or backward just like normal! However, if something goes wrong and you forget to turn a Gear 1 with Gear 2 attached, for example…well, let’s just say things can get pretty hairy pretty fast!
In most cases, when something goes wrong with your timing chain, it will cause
Types of Timing Chains
There are three main types of timing chains: chain, gear and belt.
Chain timing chains use a metal or plastic ring to link the crankshaft to the camshafts. The chain tensioner pulls on the chain, which in turn links the two camshafts. Chain gears use cogs that mesh together like gears on a wheel. Belt timing chains use a woven fabric belt to transfer engine power from the crankshaft to the pistons.
How to Replace a Timing Chain
If your timing chain has failed, it’s time to replace it. Here are the basics on how to do it:
1. Remove the engine cover. On some models, you may need to remove the front wheel first. If so, remove the tire and wheel.
2. Detach the serpentine belt from the crankshaft pulley. The belt should now be loose and can be removed from around the crankcase area.
3. Locate the timing chain tensioner pulley and remove it by unscrewing its bolt (counter-clockwise). Now lift off the tensioner assembly from below (see photo 1).
4. Slide out the timing chain guide plate and remove both screws at its base (see photo 2). Keep in mind that there is a spring located inside this guide plate which will try to push it back into place after being removed – don’t lose it!
5. Carefully pull out the timing chain (it’s a tight fit) while watching for bits of debris that may fall off – they can be annoying when driving! Once out, inspect it for damage and replace any parts that are worn or broken. Replacement chains come in different lengths so be sure to measure your existing one before purchase (or have a garage do this for you). Note: You’ll also need a new tensioner pulley if yours is bad or worn out, as well as gaskets, sealant, and bolts for installation (see
If you’re thinking about replacing your timing chain, or if you just need to have it inspected and tuned up, be sure to get a quote from a qualified mechanic. Not only will getting a proper price for the work save you time and money in the long run, but having an accurate estimate will help ensure that the job is done properly and without any surprises.