Whether your vehicle has a timing belt or chain, it is vital to keep it maintained to prevent slippage or breakage that could harm your engine. If the timing belt or chain running the engine fails, it could have a catastrophic effect on your valve train.

Timing Belt Maintenance and Service Indicators

For many vehicles, the manufacturer provides an ideal mileage limit to observe for timing belt and chain replacements. Even when sticking to a schedule, it’s possible your vehicle could end up needing the part replacement early. Watching for common signs of timing component failures can help you protect your engine.

Warning signs for Timing Belt Repair or Timing Chain Replacement

The overall condition of your engine and timing components will greatly influence the signs presented as the timing belt or chain wears out.

Timing Belt

Common signs of a timing belt problem include:
  • Hard starts whether the engine is hot or cold
  • Large amounts of dark gray exhaust exiting the tailpipe
  • Poor idle that causes the entire car to shake
  • Frayed or split belt edges
  • Squeaky tensioner

Timing Chain

Common signs of a timing chain problem

The inability to see the timing chain directly makes it difficult to visually detect failing parts. Instead, report all:

  • Misfires, which make the engine shake uncontrollably or run unevenly at idle
  • Rattling or scraping sounds coming from the front of the engine
  • Noticeably poor gas mileage

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