WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A BAD TIMING CHAIN?
A timing chain is one of the integral components of an internal combustion engine. Its failure can result in extensive engine damage costing the owner a small fortune in repairs.
WHAT IS A TIMING CHAIN?
Composed of metal links, a timing chain runs along a set of gears to rotate the crankshaft and camshaft and regulates the opening and closing of the engine valves in coordination with the firing pistons. Since the timing chain is housed inside the engine, it receives its lubrication from the engine oil, which is essential for its smooth functions. Despite having a metallic composition, timing chains can wear over time, causing them to become loose and even break due to stress.
Signs of a Faulty Timing Chain
A worn timing chain exhibits some symptoms that signify that the timing chain is not functioning properly. These signs include:
Rattling Sound on Starting The Engine or Idling
A common finding in a vehicle with a bad timing chain is unusual rattling noise when the engine is started or when brakes are engaged. It happens due to the loose or stretched timing chain that shakes and rattles while rotating when the engine motor is running.
Since the timing chain times the opening and closing of engine valves, any damage can unbalance the air-fuel ratio and result in a lack of power. It appears as a jerking motion and loss of acceleration.
Contaminated Engine Oil
Another warning sign is finding metal bits in the engine oil. Metal parts from a damaged timing chain may break off and land in the oil. If you or your garage technician finds this symptom then inspect the timing chain immediately.
Check Engine Light
Just like any other misfunctioning component of the engine, a faulty timing chain will illuminate the check engine light. It is a warning to get your vehicle assessed for underlying engine problems, which might include a bad timing chain.
Inability to Start The Engine
This is a sign of the ultimate breakage of the timing chain. The vehicle won’t start and can result in damaging other engine components as well.
Additionally, regular routine servicing and maintenance is crucial for increasing your vehicles longevity and maximising its performance. Not only does it work to rectify any current wear and tear in your vehicle, but it also effectively aids in preventing further damage from presenting itself in the future.
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