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Timing Belts, Chains & Components

Timing Belts, Timing Chains & Components

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Timing Belts, Timing Chains & Components at 1A Auto

What is a Timing Chain and where is it Located?

The timing chain is the most important part of an automotive's engine timing system. Typically located on the front of the engine, the timing chain syncs together the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft. While most older automobiles only had one camshaft inside the engine block and required only one timing chain, today’s more complex overhead cam motors can have as many as 4 cams and multiple chains connecting everything together. 

Although it is rare for a timing chain to break, and can often last as long as the engine itself, they can stretch over time. To compensate, some automotives use timing chain tensioners to eliminate slack in the chain. However, if the stretch is too far out of specification, or the tensioner fails, the camshafts and crank will not be properly aligned with each other. As a result, the engine will lose power and typically trigger the “Check Engine” light on the dashboard. If there is something wrong with the timing chain and a replacement is required, this will need to be taken care of as soon as possible in order to get the car back on the road again.

What is a Timing Belt and where is it Located?

Much like the timing chain, timing belts connect the camshaft to the crankshaft. However, instead of being a metal link design, timing belts are made of reinforced rubber. In order to fit in tighter and more intricate engine designs, the timing belt system may incorporate the use of multiple hydraulic or mechanical timing belt tensioners, and belt tensioner or idler pulleys.

Since timing belts are rubber, they do require scheduled maintenance. The typical service life of an engine timing belt, at which point a replacement is required, is between 50,000 and 70,000 miles, but you should refer to manufacturer’s specifications for your specific application. A worn engine timing belt can break, causing a complete failure of the engine to operate. In vehicles equipped with Interference Engines, this could mean severe damage to the motor since the pistons and valves are only kept from colliding with each other by the timing belt’s movement. If the timing belt has been damaged prior to the recommended interval, a timing belt replacement must be obtained and installed immediately.

For an even more in-depth explanation of mechanical timing, belts, chains, how they each work, why they fail, maintenance and replacement tips and more, check out our timing belts Vs. timing chains guide.

Need a Timing Chain or Belt Replacement?

If you need a replace the timing chain or belt in your car’s engine, then you have come to the right place. At 1A Auto, shopping for a timing chain or timing belt replacement for your car is easy - we're here to help you! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our timing belts or chains, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online. Order your timing belt or timing chain replacement today at 1A Auto and get your vehicle back in working condition!

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