Timing Chain vs Timing Belt. When Should I Replace Timing chain? Why Some Cars Have a Timing Chain Instead of a Timing Belt

Posted by HJL_ADMIN 1 on

How much do you know about the timing chain?

The timing chain is an important component of the engine. A defective timing chain can cause serious damage to the engine and reduce its performance. When the timing chain fails, the car will give off some signs that allow you to replace the worn chain on time.

However, what will be the problem when replacing the timing chain?

How much does the price of a replacement timing chain?

Today, let's talk and clear up the confusion for you!


timing chain vs timing belt

The timing chain and timing belt harmonize crankshaft and camshaft rotation. This is extremely vital for keeping internal combustion engines running and letting the vehicle's pistons and valves will operate correctly. The biggest difference is the material used what we know is timing chains are made of metal which is heavier and more complex than timing belts. However, the lifespan is stronger and longer than the timing belt to prevent premature failure and valve collapse.



Timing chain advantages and disadvantages


-The timing chain is more wear-resistant than the timing belt due to its material and design.

-A chain offers superior strength, giving it a far longer lifespan.

-The metal chain has heat resistance that is not susceptible to changes in weather conditions or produced by the engine.

-It can dampen crankshaft vibration and is used in high power applications without slipping.


Except for some famous vehicles which have premature problems and require timing chain periodical replacement; no doubts with proper care and maintenance, a timing chain should last the lifetime of your vehicle.




-The timing chain is far noisier than the timing belt.

-A timing chain replacement requires regular lubrication or it will prematurely wear, stretch, and fail.

-The extra weight and complex timing chains are usually only available for larger engine cylinders which

-Increases fuel consumption which in turn affects engine power.


Since it's made of metal links the price is higher than the belt. But they really last much longer and don’t have a replacement interval need.


Bad timing chain symptoms

Although replacing or maintaining the chain requires a professional, some symptoms may warn you that's the time should diagnose the exact cause and make appropriate repairs as needed.


Stretched or Worn Timing chain

Over time, improper maintenance of the timing chain such as irregular oil changes or using the wrong type of oil that can cause the timing chain to wear out and lead the chain to stretch.

Don't ignore the importance of oil change and the inappropriate use of oil, or it will be signed by increased fuel consumption, reduced power at low engine speeds, and increased roughness.


Metal shavings found in the oil

When you find the metal shavings in the oil, you have to pay attention to this. Metal debris from a damaged timing chain can break and fall into the oil. If the timing chain starts to wear out, small pieces of metal can break off the chain and get into the oil pan. These small shavings of metal are observed when changing the oil and oil filter, which can lead to premature engine failure.


Check Engine Light

The check engine light will come on whenever there is a problem with any part of the engine. Trouble codes must be checked and scanned to determine the source of the problem, and this is a warning to evaluate your vehicle for potential engine problems too.


Engine misfires

When the timing chain jumped from its idler or timing chain tensioner, the engine's timing falls out of calibration and this can cause a misfire. If this happens, it could be the timing chain is damaged or broken and needs to be replaced as soon as possible, or the engine will run poorly and lack accelerating power.


Rattle sound

Under normal conditions, the engine should make a smooth sound without any abnormal noise. If the timing chain is loose or stretched, it can cause vibrations inside the motor, and you'll hear a rattle noticeably when the engine is running. Of course, any unusual sound is a common warning sign that something is wrong with the car. With this symptom, you can save costly spending and significantly last the life of your vehicle.


Although the timing chain is made out of metal, it is subject to wear and tear and may break if not replaced as recommended by the manufacturer. So when the engine light comes on, the timing chain needs attention.


When to replace the timing chain? Timing chain when to replace?

As mentioned before, replacing the timing chain kit is one of the most important maintenance steps your car will need.

Normally it needs to be replaced between 80,000 and 120,000 miles. Our suggestion is the well-maintained engine can give the timing chain at least 300,000 miles or an even longer life cycle and continue to power multiple mechanical components.


How much does cost for timing chain replacement?

Without proper lubrication, your chain will be fail. It will cause excessive wear and make abnormal noises even broken which will also damage the engine. However, changing the timing chain can take a whole day, even for the most experienced mechanic with the right tools. And the extra work will increase the total cost of labor and billing.


The replacement cost of the timing chain kit will vary depending on the make and model of the car. For most cars, the cost of replacing the timing chain is between US$413 and US$1,040.

This tricky complicated repair requires highly intensive skill unless you know how it works, or our suggestion is you’d be best served by a competent repair shop or dealer.


After reading the above article, you should have a more profound understanding of the timing chain. Check our blogs for more information about your vehicle. If you still can’t find the solution or have any other problems, contact HJL Autoparts. Our team is here for you anytime!


Read more:


Symptoms of Your BMW N47 Failing Problems

A guide for Replacement Timing Chain Kit! Do you need the timing chain need replacement?


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