What is Timing Chain Kit and Bad Timing Chain Symptoms

Does Timing chains go bad and is so what are the bad timing chain symptoms ? Like all parts of an engine, the timing chain will also subject to wear & tear and will also need replacement to maintain engine performance. 

A timing chain life is usually as long as the any other major engine part life is and it last the entire engine life.

In some cases these timing chains do need early replacement. In those cases there are usually some timing chain symptoms that show the timing chain has gone bad and need replacement. 

These timing chain are always replaced and are available as a complete set known as timing chain kit. So out this article is all about the timing chain kit and bad timing chain symptoms

Timing Chain Kit

Engine timing chain is one of the parts of the timing chain kit. The system that manages the engine timing i.e. valve opening and closing on a whole is known as engine timing chain kit. 

The timing chain kit consists of sprockets, timing chain whether single roller or double roller, chain tensioner and sliding rail, seals and other required accessories. All the parts of the timing chain are matched together to attain a smooth and efficient operation.

It is usually suggested that the whole engine timing chain kit must be replaced along with the timing chain because parts of kit from different manufacturer may not work together smoothly. The replacement of whole timing kit will keep the system safe from further defects also. 

To Know about Timing Chain basics read our article on What is a Timing Chain? What Does It Do? and How its Different from Timing Belt and To learn about timing chain kit or bad timing belt symptom read our article on Timing Chain life, Cost and Replacement

What Is A Timing Chain Tensioner?

The proper amount of tension in a timing chain is very important for the engine’s efficient performance. A slack timing chain will result in the improper combustion and untimed valve opening and closing which results in the poor overall engine performance. 

Chain tensioners are used to ensure the appropriate amount of timing chain tension. A tensioner can have a variety of arrangements depending upon its use but mainly there are two types of chain tensioners that are commonly used for this purpose. 

The first of chain tensioner is called as hydraulic chain tensioner. A hydraulic chain tensioner consist of a hydraulic actuator, a lever and a tensioner pulley bearing exerts a suitable amount of hydraulic pressure using a hydraulic pump.  

The second type of chain tensioner is known as mechanical chain tensioner. A mechanical chain tensioner is quite simple in construction and it exerts the right amount of tension on the chain that goes around camshaft and crankshaft sprockets. 

A mechanical chain tensioner uses mechanical springs to attain the desired or appropriate amount of tension. A proper amount of tension also keep the timing chain system from wear and tear and enhances the working cycle of the timing chain system.

Does Timing Chain Needs to be replaced?

The answer to this question is a big Yes! A timing chain is made out of metal but this does not make it invincible and it needs to be replaced like other parts of the engine. But worry not as the replacement of a timing chain is not a routine task. 

But if the life of the timing chain is over, it must be replaced as a preventive measure for the better engine performance. A faulty timing chain may cause a rattling or clattering sound which can be very annoying and detrimental to the engine’s health. Several problems such as damage to the engine valves and pistons can also occur. 

An overused timing chain can become stretched and loose which will affect the operation of engine valves and the quality of combustion and power will also be affected. Hence, the well-timed replacement a defective timing chain is imperative. 

Furthermore, the sprockets must also be replaced with the timing chain because a worn sprocket will not mesh with the chain properly influencing the engine’s performance. 

Timing Chain Symptoms (Bad Timing Chain Symptoms)

A timing chain is an important engine part that links the upper part of the engine i.e. valves and cylinder head to the lower parts of the engine i.e. pistons and crankcase. 

A timing chain is usually replaced after a certain mileage of the engine but its replacement might also become indispensable under certain conditions. Following are the bad timing chain symptoms

  • If the engine is not starting or facing difficulty in start, the timing chain must be checked.

  • A rattling or clattering sound from the front side of the engine body near the timing chain cover region also indicate a problem in the timing chain. The rattling sound will be loud and easy noticeable in the cold engine as compared to the hot engine. 
  • In the idle condition, the engine will vibrate more than normal if the timing chain is loose or out of order.
  • As the timing chain run the engine valves hence a problem with the timing chain will surely affect the combustion process in the engine and it will cause misfire and sluggishness.
  • As the quality of combustion in an engine is directly related to the proper working of the timing chain therefore reduced fuel economy can also be an indicator of a faulty timing chain.
  • Poor engine performance and overheating can also be a sign of malfunctioning timing chain.

Last Words

So that was our writeup for timing chain kit, timing chain tensioner, and bad timing chain symptoms. Its important to know that timing chains are always replaced as a kit and tensioner is an important part of the kit. 

Its also important to know bad timing chain symptoms as their complete failure can be prove harmful for other parts of engine.

If your still have any question as ask them in comments or contact us through the contact form. We will be happy to help you.

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