You’re probably wondering how engines’ camshafts and crankshafts rotate in perfect synchronicity. The timing chain and tensioner are in charge of this. The tensioner is the component that provides the required amount of pressure for proper chain control.
The tensioner behind the chain cover is frequently seen working overtime to ensure that the chain remains in the proper position for an extended period of time. What happens if the timing chain is moved from its original location? As the pistons and valves open, the car’s performance suffers.
The tensioner’s other components, such as the pulley, spring, and arm, are held in place by a base. All of the tensioner’s components are important in managing the chain’s movement. In other words, if any part fails, it appears that the chain will struggle to stay in the correct position for an extended period of time.
Keep in mind that the timing chain is an important component of the vehicle’s engine that can be found in particular models. Simply put, this chain looks to be the beating heart of automobile, SUV, and truck engines. There are a few car models that include the timing belt as well (made of nylon threads).
Please keep in mind that these chains have a series of links, similar to a bicycle chain. Is this something you’ve heard before? The chain, which connects the rods within the combustion chamber, plays an important function in the movement of the valve and pistons.
The tensioner, on the other hand, applies pressure to the chain to ensure that it operates at its best. A broken timing chain tensioner indicates a broken chain, and even minor misalignment might cause engine difficulties.
You may begin to hear a timing chain tensioner noise soon, which you should strive to correct as soon as possible. You may easily look up how to stop the timing chain noise caused by a defective tensioner on the internet or take the automobile to a repair.
There are a few more timing chain tensioner indications that might help identify the issue, and it’s important to recognize them as quickly as possible. With this information, you may do more diagnostic checks and work on repairing or replacing the tensioner in order to optimize the vehicle’s performance.
Read also: What’s Timing Chain Replacement Cost?
Symptoms Of a Bad Timing Chain Tensioner
These are the signs of a bad or faulty timing chain tensioner:
Stretched Timing Chain
Due to wear, the timing chain will extend over time. Correct valve timing will no longer work as a result, and you will notice an increase in fuel consumption or reduced power at low engine specs. A stretched chain will also make extra noise, which will be audible with the hood open but may vary depending on engine speed.
Worn Timing Chain
The symptoms of a stretched chain will be present in this scenario. Furthermore, when the engine is running, both the tensioner bearings and the idlers may make whirring sounds, which will become louder as the engine speed increases.
Broken Timing Chain
The symptoms of a visibly broken timing chain are likely to be the same as those of a timing chain that has come loose from the sprockets. These failures are also caused by engine damage.
Check Engine Light
If valve timing exceeds emissions limitations, the check engine light may illuminate. If you disregard the warning, your car’s engine, as well as the rest of its components, will fail soon.
How To Replace Timing Chain
Timing chain systems are built to last as long as the car. These chains, on the other hand, do not need to be replaced on a regular basis. However, if you detect any of the symptoms listed in today’s article, you should take your vehicle to a certified mechanic.
It will be costly to replace the worn timing chains. However, doing so is preferable to paying for a new engine or even a new automobile, which may be required if the chains break completely. Don’t allow the tensioner on your timing chain to fail. To avoid the chains from failing, you should get your car inspected by a specialist every now and again.
How To Check Timing Chain Tensioner
The different timing chain tensioner symptoms that might help you determine when your tensioner is failing go a long way toward assisting drivers. Most seasoned automobile owners are familiar with the challenges of removing the timing chain and tensioner.
Simply put, some components need a deep dive to reach them, and it seems only right to remove them only if they are actually failing. However, these symptoms are only indicators, and you must validate that the timing chain tensioner noise or the flashing check engine light is caused by a malfunctioning tensioner.
In essence, similar signs can also appear when the vehicle is experiencing other issues. If the tensioner is genuinely failing, it would appear that it is important to assess the extent of the damage. So you’re probably wondering how to inspect the timing chain tensioner. So, before your automobile suffers a complete timing chain tensioner breakdown, here’s a quick technique to check your tensioner.
Park Your Car Well and Open The Hood
Before you start doing anything, make sure you park the car safely and switch off the motor. Allow the vehicle’s engine to cool down a little before proceeding with the procedure.
Then, on the passenger side, open the hood and look for a chain cover. Take a good sketch of the arrangement or use your phone’s camera to get a photo of it in its original state. When you conclude the inspection, such action will assist you in properly repairing the parts.
Work On The Tensioner
Once you can find the chain, you would find the tensioner at its side, completely attached. Then, work on loosening the chain from the tensioner by moving it in the required direction. Once you do that, the chain appears loose enough, and you can easily get it removed.
Switch On The Engine
You want to be sure that the tensioner is the source of the problem before totally removing it from its location. Please start the automobile and listen carefully for any strange sounds.
If unusual noises persist, the problem is most likely with the tensioner, which you should investigate further. However, you must not operate the engine for an extended period of time, as the battery will not charge when the chain is disconnected.
Remove The Tensioner
You can evaluate the degree of the damage by checking the tensioner on your work table. A look at the car’s manufacturer specifications may provide some insight on how to remove the tensioner.
A torque wrench should be used to assess the extent of the tension it provides as part of the further diagnosis. You can always verify your local auto store if the damage necessitates a new timing chain tensioner replacement.
What Is Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement Cost?
It would be beneficial to your engine and car’s performance to replace the damaged tensioner. The cost of replacing the tensioner ranges from $786 to $958. It appears that replacing the chain is critical to avoid the stress of having to do it later.
You can find out how much “timing chain replacement near me” costs. The timing chain replacement, on the other hand, costs between $1,290 and $1,550. Please keep in mind that this price includes both the parts and labor.