The timing chain in a car ensures the synchronisation of the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft, and that the engine’s valves open and close at the correct time. It also ensures that the pistons do not strike the valves as this will cause bending of these valves and result in engine repairs. Nearly all modern vehicles utilise a timing belt or chain to keep the engine running smoothly. These components are very durable and last for many years without breakage. Toothed sprockets drive timing chains.
It is very important to replace the timing chain on a vehicle at the replacement interval suggested by the manufacturer. If the vehicle manual says that this component needs to be replaced every 90 000 kms or every five years, whichever comes first, then don’t put off doing this as a snapped timing chain can result in major damage to the engine and costly repairs. If it breaks there is usually damage to all the valves and lifters.
Timing chains come in various shapes and sizes and are vehicle specific, so ensure you request the correct part either online or via the counter salesman. Remember, you might need to change the water pump along with the timing chain, so asking the salesperson if this is required for your particular vehicle is a must. Keeping your car in top condition is not limited to simple servicing and maintenance but also requires the regular checking of this important component. Always ask your mechanic to check if the timing chain needs replacement and check the manufacturer specifications and the service book of the vehicle to find out when last it was changed in the vehicle. At the end of the day, it’s all about the timing.