-The timing chain is an important component because it keeps the camshaft and crankshaft connected and synchronized as they rotate.
If you’ve ever seen a bicycle chain before, the timing chain
looks very similar. There are several pulleys and
gears which provide power to the camshaft,
crankshaft, and other
of the system.
The timing of the rotation is
extremely important for the engine to function
properly. This can only happen if the timing chain
rotates smoothly on the gears. If there is any kind
of hesitation or resistance in these movements, it
could cause problems for the engine.
Top 5 causes
Timing chains tend to work for a long time. Butthey are also very fragile components too, which means they won’t stay strong forever. If you ever start having timing chain issues, one of the first symptoms you’ll notice is noise. As the timing
chain moves, it will generate a noise which may
become intolerable as time goes on. The solution
may be to replace the timing chain, depending on
what the actual cause of the noise is. Sometimes
the cause can be directly linked to the chain while
other times, it is another component that it is
connected to. You need to figure out what the cause
is and fix it to get rid of the noise.
Below are the top 5 causes of timing chain noise.
1) Wear and Tear – The most common cause of
timing chain noise is when the timing chain is
wearing out. All the wear and tear it incurs over the
years will diminish its ability to function properly.
Even if you have gotten the proper oil changes and
performed regular maintenance on your engine, it
still won’t completely prevent problems with your
timing chain. Those actions will merely extend their
lifespan. But eventually, the timing chain will wear
out. Noise will be the first sign of this.
2) No Oil Changes – You’re supposed to get oil
changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on
what your car’s manufacturer recommends. Oil is
important for the lubrication of your engine’s
components, including the timing chain. If you don’t
get regular oil changes, the quality of the oil will
diminish. This means that it won’t be able to
lubricate as well as it used to. Once that happens,
your timing chain will wear out faster than normal.
3) Wrong Oil – In addition to getting your oil
changes regularly, you need to use the right kind of
oil in your engine too. Check the owner’s manual of
your vehicle and see which oil grade and viscosity
your manufacturer recommends. You should also
choose an oil which has anti-wear additives too.
You’ll find these with most synthetic oil options.
Even though you’ll need to pay more money for
synthetic oil, it is a worthy investment because
these additives help prolong the life of the timing
chain. Otherwise, if you choose an oil with the
wrong viscosity for your engine, it could cause the
timing chain to wear faster and make more noises.
4) Bad Oil Filter – Oil filters are positioned either
on top of the engine or on the side of it. These
filters have an anti-drain-back valve which stops oil
from leaving the filter after the engine is turned off.
But if the valve goes bad or malfunctions, the oil
flow will get delayed when you go to start the
engine again. This causes a delay in the lubrication
for the engine, including the timing chain. So, you
should hear a lot of noises soon after the engine is turned on.
5) Heavy Loads – Adding more weight to your
vehicle causes more stress on your engine. Anytime
you add more stress to your engine, it causes more
wear to the timing chain. If the timing chain is
already in bad shape, you can expect the noises to
generate a lot faster.