When does the timing chain need replacement?
First, let’s see when does the timing chain need replacement?
Many people have the myth to think that timing chain is immune to mechanical failures.
They never wonder do timing chains need to be replaced.
The truth is the timing chain problems are not uncommon, especially if you have BMW N47 engine, the range rover L322, or F150 american muscle monster.
You’ll shout out loud that how many headaches the timing chains failure has caused to you.
Timing chains is subject to wear especially in high-mileage vehicles.
Luckily more mechanics now are aware of the car timing chain needs proper maintenance and regular replacement.
With the proper maintenance, the cost to replace timing chain can be reduced.
Like many moving components inside the engine, an engine chain is subject to wear.
The timing chain on a car is lubricated by the engine oil so the lack of oil or dirty oil can cause timing chains to wear faster than it should be.
Ideally, timing chain replacement schedule is around 80,000 to 120,000 miles or even longer if the car is under good care.
However, if driving order cars which are more than 100,000 miles, it’s recommended to shorten the cam chain replacement interval.
Also, pay more attention for high mileage vehicles if there are any timing chains going bad symptoms.
Signs a timing chain needs replacement
#1 Rattling sound while idling
When timing chain is loose or the tensioner is failing, it may cause a vibration inside the engine and cause the rattling sound while the car idles.
The wearing timing chain, tensioner, or guides can cause a variety of noises in the timing chain cover area.
You may also hear some other unusual noise like whirring, whining or buzzing.
So whenever you hear a rattle, very possible it is something loose and needs to be fixed.
Don’t hesitate to visit a repair shop for profound check before the timing chain is broken.
#2 Engine fails or won’t start
A failing chain will cause the engine fail to start.
Or if you starts to drive rough, very possible that the timing chain is failing.
It is not fun if the chain breaks or jumps during driving as the pistons may be damaged from the contact with valves.
You can imagine the disaster that whole engine could be crashed.
#3 Poorly engine runs or misfires
Timing chains stretch over a period of time, which will cause the chain to skip a teeth on the cam or crankshaft gear.
This causes the timing chain fall out of calibration in the engine and leads to the misfire.
The engine will lack accelerating power and run poorly.
If this symptom occurs, very possible the timing chain is failing.
If the timing chain snaps, the loose chain may damage the other components like tensioner, timing guide, and even the valves.
#4 Debris or metal shaving found in engine oil
Metal shaving or the metal debris is often seen in the engine oil changing.
The reason to have this situation is some components are wearing especially the metal parts.
Whenever there is extensive wearing of valves, keeper, cylinder head and other head hardware; or the timing chain begins to wear out, the small metal pieces shows up.
So it’s recommended to change the engine oil & filter periodically upon your vehicle user manual.
When we’re having our oil changed, it can make sure the engine components lubricated with quality oil.
Also, it gives us good chance to inspect if there are any parts failing in the engine.
Apart from these top common 4 signs which are reminding us to have timing chain inspection.
The recent new models equipped with VVT gears will generate faulty codes and have the check engine lights on prior to the engine rattle sounds appear.
Benefits of timing chain lubrication maintenance
We all know that the chain movement counts on the engine oil lubrication which can reduce the wearing between the roller, pin and bush.
The sufficient oil lubrication keeps chain movement operating smoothly and offers protection to the chain to avoid rust and corrosion.
Basically the chains are pre-lubricated to maintain good status during the delivery.
After installation, mechanics know to put on proper amount good quality grease onto the chains.
The gears in your car also need lubrication.
“Should I replace sprockets too when do timing chain replacement”, you may ask.
The answer is positive!
The reason is using a worn sprocket gear may result in the chain not meshing with the gears and cause the poor engine performance.
Well, the oil lubrication maintenance has more benefits than we imagine.
What jobs are done during timing chain replacement
It requires several steps to replace the timing chain so it is high skill intense and timing consuming job.
Here we summarize some important parts of the whole timing chains replacement and installation.
#1 It requires mechanic’s experience to determine the orders of the job.
#2 The engine will be disassembled.
#3 Then is to clean the engine thoroughly with de-greaser.
#4 Don’t forget the battery cables need to be disconnected and remember to remove the radiator cap.
#5 Drain out the coolant from the engine. So are the radiator hoses, heater hoses and water pump as well as the fan.
#6 Align the timing mark on both the old chain and the tooth of chain gear.
The engine will be rotated until the marks are aligned. Once so, the mechanic can remove the chain and gears.
#8 Lubricate the sprockets prior to the new chain is installed.
#9 Ensure the marks align properly, the new timing chain will be placed onto the gears.
#10 Reinstall the camshaft sprocket bolts and seals. Make sure the seals are covered with oil.
Then can start to mount back all the other dissembled parts which are removed earlier.
Gee, I feel daunting enough only be reading all these steps and couldn’t help to pay respects to all the auto shop experts.
How do you feel about these processes for timing chain replacement?
Leave comments below to share with us!
The timing chain is kept by a chain tensioner with applying the proper tensioner on it.
The chain guides also help to keep the timing chain from vibrating.
Once the chain is failing, all these components fail as well.
That’s why it’s recommend to change the whole timing chain kit includes timing tensioner, guide, sprockets and even cam phaser vvt gears all together since it can save the labor hours and cost.
How to save cost of timing chain replacement
Alright, now you must understand that replacing the timing chain kit is something need to be carried out by a qualified mechanics.
Also it’s very skill and time-intensive.
Overall speaking, the best way to save the replacement cost is the regular maintenance with oil changing.
On top of that, have the repair work done as early as possible before it turns into bigger trouble and cause further damage to your engine.
Whenever you feel some symptoms we just talked earlier, get a few quotes from garages and go with the one you feel trustful with their skill, reputation and price offer.
Unless you have the car like BMW N20, N47 or Toyota 22R 22RE, which will require preventative timing chain replacement, just follow the user manual to maintain your vehicle will be fine.
Fail to Install DQ200 DSG 7 Mechatronic 0AM TCU Because of These 4 Mistakes You Made
Need help to check engine size by vin number?
DM me and let’s talk!
Welcome Repair Shop Owner contact us for cooperation discussion!
► Facebook: @hjlautoparts1020
► Instagram: @hjlautoparts
► Whatsapp: +886939531551
Parts You need for Your BMW N47 engine:
BMW X3 03-10 engine N52/N54 Top Common Problems