Symptoms Of a Bad Timing Chain. The timing chain, or timing belt in some motors, is in charge of synchronizing the opening and closing of valves in an internal combustion engine. The camshaft and crankshaft are synchronized to open and close the valves while preventing the pistons from hitting the valves.
The timing chain is made up of numerous links that travel smoothly across gears, but because it plays such a dynamic function in the motor, it is prone to wear and tear and can cause issues.
In this article , we are going to consider some of the symptoms of a bad timing chain plus many other information you need to know about timing chain.
Do Timing Chain Need To Be Replaced?
We all know that an automobile engine’s timing belt needs to be replaced at regular intervals, but what about the timing chain? What’s the difference between a chain and a timing belt? A timing belt is a toothed rubber belt that travels outside of the engine and is protected by a protective cover. A timing chain, like a bicycle chain, is comprised of metal. Because it needs to be lubricated by engine oil, a timing chain runs inside the engine. Depending on the vehicle, a timing belt should be replaced between 40,000 and 100,000 kilometers. It’ll set you back a few hundred dollars to fix it. Unless there is an issue with the timing chain, it does not need to be replaced.
What Are The Symptoms Of a Bad Timing Chain?
In a combustion engine, valve timing can be achieved in two ways. The first is the two-gear technique, which involves a direct connection between the crankshaft and camshaft gears. This is the method employed in the majority of heavy machinery and large trucks. Consumer automobiles with high-performance engines are more likely to use the timing chain approach. The timing chain can stretch with time, causing the chain to skip a gear on the camshaft or crankshaft.
This causes the engine’s timing to become out of whack, resulting in a misfire. It’s also possible that the engine will operate badly and lack accelerating power. If this happens, the timing chain is most likely destroyed and needs to be changed as quickly as possible. The loose metal moving about inside the motor if the timing chain breaks might cause catastrophic engine damage.
Metal Shavings In The Oil
Every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, all automobile manufacturers recommend changing the engine oil and filter. As oil heats up and is exposed to natural solvents inherent in gasoline, it begins to separate. Small metal pieces can break off the timing chain and find their way into the oil pan if it begins to wear down. When you get your oil changed and the mechanic tells you that there were small pieces of metal in the oil as it drained or in the filter, it’s a sign that your timing chain is failing.
Metal shavings are also prevalent when cylinder head valves, keepers, retainers, and other cylinder head components are worn out. It’s critical to have a mechanic or technician assess the problem as soon as possible and perform the necessary repairs.
Read also: How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?
Engine Fails To Start
An engine with a broken timing chain will not start or will fail while driving. If the belt is already broken, the engine will not start due to a lack of compression. The pistons will be damaged by contact with the valves if it breaks or leaps while driving. The valves will bend, perhaps destroying the engine. If the belt has become loose, it might flail around and cause harm to other sections of the engine. If your engine won’t start or starts driving erratically, it’s time to take it to a trained mechanic for an inspection and repairs.
Check Engine Light Illuminates
The check engine light can come on for a number of causes, one of which being a broken timing chain. Warning lights on a car’s computer must be checked and trouble codes scanned to pinpoint the source of the problem. When the onboard computer identifies a problem with the emissions system or engine operation, the check engine light may illuminate. A strained timing chain causes poor engine performance and higher emissions, causing the check engine light to illuminate and a diagnostic fault code to be stored. The code will need to be examined by a mechanic, who will then prescribe the necessary repairs.
Rattling Sound In Engine
Unusual noises are also a regular indicator of a problem with your vehicle’s engine. The engine should make a constant, smooth sound under typical circumstances, indicating that everything is working properly. When the timing chain is loose, however, it can cause a vibration inside the engine, resulting in a rattling noise when the engine idles. A rattling indicates that something is loose and has to be addressed before it breaks.
The timing chain is an essential component of any engine, and your car would be useless without it. If your timing chain breaks while you’re driving, your vehicle’s engine is likely to suffer catastrophic damage. If you detect any of the danger signals described above, the best way to avoid major engine damage is to have your timing chain replaced by a skilled mechanic. You may save thousands of dollars and considerably extend the life of your engine by being proactive and aware.
Timing Chain Replacement Cost
The timing chain must be replaced, which is a difficult task with considerable labor expenses. A timing chain repair costs between $413 and $1040 for most autos, or you may get the pieces separately for $88 to $245. However, because it’s a difficult repair, it’s usually better left to a mechanic unless you’re exceptionally skilled.
How Long Does a Timing Chain Last?
Unless there is a specific fault, the timing chain should be replaced at between 80,000 and 120,000 miles. High-mileage automobiles are more likely to have chain problems. Look for indicators of a bad or failing timing chain if driving an older car or one with close to 100,000 kilometers.
What Causes Timing Chain To Go Bad?
When a timing chain is under too much or too little force, it might break. Slack can develop if the chain is not properly tensioned…. A chain under too much tension might potentially break because it is put under too much stress. Tension in the chain generates friction and heat, which can lead to failure.
Are Timing Chains Lifetime?
In most cases, the timing chain is designed to endure the lifespan of the vehicle and does not need to be replaced at the suggested service interval. A timing chain can deteriorate to the point that it needs to be changed, even if it does not require regular maintenance.