What to know about the Timing Chain
Your engine is made up of hundreds of moving parts that need to move in sync to make your engine run. The timing chain joins the crankshaft in the lower end of the engine to the camshaft in the upper part of the engine so they turn together. It is made up of metal links and moves on toothed sprockets on the end of the camshaft and crankshaft. On vehicles with variable valve timing, small actuators and motors advance and retard the timing to compensate for economy or performance in varying situations. In cases where the timing chain has stretched, you may experience a rattle from the engine or a lack of responsiveness when accelerating. In extreme cases, the engine may stall while driving or not start.
Facts to Note:
Change worn timing chain guides at the same time as the timing chain.
Change balance shaft chains along with the timing chain if furnished.
How to Fix:
The timing chain is confirmed as faulty or damaged. The vehicle is lifted and held on jack stands. The coolant and oil is drained.
READ ALSO: HOW TO REPLACE A TIMING CHAIN( WITH VIDEO)
The water pump, belt and accessories are removed to gain access for the timing chain. Oil pan is lowered.
The timing cover is removed and the engine timing marks are aligned. The timing gears, chain and guides are changed with new ones. The timing cover is reinstalled.
The oil pan is reinstalled. The water pump, belt and accessories are re-installed as needed. The engine oil and coolant are filled. The vehicle is removed from the jack stands.
The engine is started and the ignition timing is checked and adjusted as needed. The vehicle is road tested for correct operation.
Unlike a vehicle equipped with a timing belt, the timing chain is not a regular maintenance item and only needs to be changed when symptoms are present. Should the timing chain need to be changed, change any timing chain guides that are worn, any variable valve timing actuators or motors that are out of spec, and balance shaft chains. The labor cost to change these parts is higher than the cost of the parts and changing them at the same time as the timing chain can stop future breakdowns.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Timing Chain:
Check Engine light is illuminated
Rattle from the engine compartment at idle
Loss of acceleration and responsiveness
Engine will turn over but not start
Importance of this service:
The timing chain is a major part in your engine. A timing chain that is not addressed in a timely fashion can produce additional problems that will incur extra costs if a breakdown occurs. If the timing chain is stretched badly, your vehicle can stall in traffic causing a hazard to you and the vehicles around you.