A timing chain, also referred to as a cambelt or timing belt, makes up one of the many components of your internal combustion engine. Your engine comes with a camshaft, crankshaft, valves and pistons. All these components stroke, open and close at different times when the engine is running at full throttle. For the manufacturer to align these components and get smooth performance from the engine, they install a timing chain. The timing chain synchronises the actions of these parts and keeps them from compromising each other. For example, it keeps the pistons from hitting the valves in an interference engine.
Keeping your timing chain in good shape is critical for the health of your engine. Read this to learn the symptoms of a failing timing chain.
Your Engine Is Misfiring
Proper valve timing is essential in any combustion engine. Usually, manufacturers achieve this using several methods. The first one is a two-gear method creating a direct gear connection between the camshaft and the crankshaft. It is ideal for big vehicles, trucks and heavy equipment. The second, more popular method, is the installation of a timing chain. Timing chain kits comprise special belts and toothed chains capable of stretching as time goes. When this happens, your engine's calibration will fall out of line and your engine will respond with persistent misfiring.
Your Check Engine Warning Light Is On
Your check engine warning light can be on for several reasons. A bad timing chain is one of them. Today, most cars come with sophisticated sensors to monitor the engine's performance. A bad timing chain makes the engine perform dismally with low torque outputs and high emissions. These factors will trigger the check engine light to warn of severe underlying problems.
Your Engine Rattles
Timing chains make thousands of revolutions to keep other running components in sync. This action takes a toll on the timing chain belts, pulleys and mountings. The friction and heat degrade materials, loosening the kit's components. In the end, the loose timing chain makes a rattling noise when the engine is idling. The noise drowns the engine's smooth, consistent sound, indicating that you need to repair the timing chain as soon as possible. Failure to do so worsens the problem, and you will start to see other symptoms. Problems starting the engine is one of them.
It is not advisable to take on a timing chain repair as a do-it-yourself project. Please leave it to the experts to scan your engine and tune the new kit to the precise engine requirements. Look for a professional near you who provides car services if you notice an issue with your vehicle.