How Often Should I Change the Timing Chain?
The timing chain is designed to last the lifetime of the engine if it is maintained properly. Timing chains do not typically need to be replaced after so many miles or years.
The best way to maintain an engine and therefore the timing chain if it is equipped with one, is to keep the oil in the engine fresh and clean with regular oil changes. This keeps the chain properly lubricated. Today's vehicles are also equipped with a timing chain tensioner that is oil fed. Low oil pressure or a tensioner that has become clogged due to dirty oil can cause it to fail and the chain to slack. This can cause the valve timing of the engine to change.
Timing chains can stretch, slacken and the sprockets that they ride on and the guides that help hold them in place can wear and break. Symptoms to look and listen for are poor performance, misfires, rattling noises in the engine compartment, the check engine light is on, or it won't start.
Have your vehicle inspected, tested and a conclusive diagnosis of the cause of the symptoms. Some timing chains can be replaced with the engine inside of the vehicle and some engines have them installed on the backside next to the firewall. When that is the case, the engine has to be removed for replacement.
Avoid a possibly expensive repair by taking care of your timing chain with oil change maintenance. Happy Motoring!
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