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All You Need to Know About Timing Chain Replacement

Ujwal Deshmukh
You don't need to perform a timing chain replacement frequently. However, over a period of time, when the timing chain starts malfunctioning, you need to look into this matter, as your vehicle would show signs that a replacement is needed.
Be it any vehicle, the timing chain or the timing belt is amongst those parts which serve your vehicle for a long time without getting damaged. A timing chain acts as a connecting bridge between the camshaft and the crankshaft. It controls the opening and closing of the valves of the engine, thereby contributing to the efficient working of the engine.

Signs Indicating Need for Timing Chain Replacement

The timing chain normally works efficiently and hassle-free for a long time without maintenance and repair, however, it needs to be replaced at some point of time eventually. Usually, it needs to be replaced anywhere between 75,000 to 100,000 miles of running the car.
The following are instances that would indicate the need for timing chain replacement.
  • Vehicle vibration
  • Delayed and difficult ignition
  • Excessive firing
  • Frequent overheating and leaking of the engine
It is not necessary that if there is a problem, all these signs will show up in your vehicle. Even one or two problems might surface, and when they persist, then you know it is time for a replacement. When it has been determined that a replacement is due, then comes the question of how to do it. Here's how to replace the timing chain.

Procedure for Replacement of Timing Chain

Before moving on to the procedure for timing chain replacement, let me tell you that this is actually not a 'do it yourself' procedure! You should go for it yourself only if you have thorough knowledge of all the vehicle parts, and are also confident enough to do this procedure all alone.
If both the prerequisites are fulfilled by you, then you can start the procedure.
  • Let the vehicle cool down for the entire day or at least overnight. Disconnect the vehicle battery from the engine.
  • Detach all the parts that would come across your way while removing the old timing chain. You need to remove the water pump pulley, air intake assembly, and all the other parts that might create an obstruction.
  • Now, with the help of a spanner, bring the mark on the crankshaft pulley to zero timing scale cast on the engine block.
  • Take out the bolts on the timing chain and pull out its cover. Inspect the crankshaft and camshaft seals, tensioner bearings, and all the cast timing markings.
  • If any of them are damaged, replace immediately, otherwise the new timing chain would fail in a short time.
  • Now take out the new chain and then adjust the tension as specified by the manufacturer. Attach a new gasket to the timing chain and then perform a check on the timing marks.
  • Fix all the other parts back that were removed earlier, and connect the battery to the engine.
  • Turn on the vehicle and then check if any of the given symptoms are still prevalent.

Timing Chain Replacement Cost

If you are not confident enough to do the given procedure by yourself, then you should take your vehicle to a mechanic (this is actually a better idea). The mechanic would inspect the vehicle properly and then take the necessary steps to fix it.
The cost of replacing a timing chain is usually around $500 - $1,500. The cost depends upon the location, other complications in the vehicle if any, and the maintenance of other parts associated with the timing chain. The purchase price of the new timing chain and the time required for the entire procedure decides the cost of the timing chain replacement.
Perform the given procedure only if you are very much sure about what you are doing. Otherwise, the best way is to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic, and he will do the entire work for you. After all, your car maintenance is not something that you can compromise on, in any way whatsoever!