Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Timing Cover

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Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Timing Cover

Common signs include oil leaking, engine running rough, a knocking sound from the engine, and the Check Engine Light coming on. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Timing Cover Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2009 Hyundai Tucson $132 $33.78 $98.00 28% $184.28
2003 Hyundai Tiburon $136 $37.68 $98.00 27% $188.18
2011 Chevrolet Equinox $224 $14.38 $210.00 33% $336.88
2008 Audi TT $489 $181.13 $308.00 25% $654.13
2011 Audi A5 $430 $184.97 $245.00 23% $561.22
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How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Timing Cover?

timing chain cover

When your vehicle stops running all of the sudden, it is commonly due to a broken timing belt or timing chain. Different engine combinations utilize either a belt or chain that is connected to the cam and crankshaft and is responsible for the internal operation of a combustion engine. They are both protected from exposure by a timing cover which can be opened and accessed by a mechanic to repair damage to these components or make adjustments as needed.

The timing chain cover is responsible for keeping dirt and debris from entering the inside of the engine. Due to the fact that the timing chain and belt are housed inside the engine, the timing cover even helps to keep the timing belt or timing chain solid and secure for smooth operation. The timing cover is constructed of plastic or metal and works in conjunction with the timing cover gasket to keep oil from leaking onto the ground.

Although the timing cover is not a moving part, from time to time damage may be done to the cover or the gasket inside that will require service or replacement by an ASE certified mechanic. When the parts wear out, they tend to display certain warning signs or symptoms. Noted below are a few of the common warning indicators that a problem with the timing cover exists.

1. Oil is leaking in the center of the vehicle

The timing cover has a gasket that allows the cover to be securely attached to the engine block. Over time and due to exposure to heat, dirt, road grime, and more, the gasket can often become cracked or wear out. This will reduce the tightness of the timing cover and may result in oil escaping the engine and leaking onto the ground. A broken gasket is not the only reason why oil might be leaking from the timing cover. In some cases the timing cover may be cracked, especially if it is manufactured out of plastic. If you notice that oil is leaking from the center of the motor, near the front, it may be due to a faulty timing cover or timing cover gasket.

2. Engine runs rough

Another common signal that a problem with the timing cover exists is if the motor runs rough. When a timing cover becomes damaged and does not properly seal with the engine block, dirt and debris can enter the engine; especially in critical areas like the crankshaft or camshaft. When this happens, the engine may run rough. If the problem is not fixed soon, it may result in complete engine failure. If you notice that the engine is running rough or sounds like it is misfiring, please contact a mechanic as soon as possible to determine the cause of this symptom and if needed, replace the timing cover.

3. Knocking sound coming from the engine

When the timing cover is loose, it may cause a knocking sound to appear from near the front of the motor. If you hear this type of sound, drive the vehicle home as soon as possible. Once you arrive home, open the hood and look right behind the radiator fan. If you see a flat, metal plate that appears to be shaking, this is most likely the timing cover that is loose. The sound is due to clanking against the engine block. If this is happening, do not start the engine again. Contact a local ASE certified mechanic so they can inspect the problem and replace the timing cover if needed.

4. Check Engine Light comes on

The timing cover is designed to seal the engine and keep oil or pressure from escaping. If a pressure or vacuum situation occurs, sensors in the motor will trigger the Check Engine Light to illuminate on the dashboard. Anytime this light appears, it's advised to take it seriously, as it could signify a major problem within the engine. When the timing cover is loose – this is a major problem.

Under normal driving situations, the timing cover should never cause a problem. Typically when an engine approaches 100,000 miles of service, the timing cover gasket may begin to wear out, causing oil to drip from the engine. Since the timing cover is also near the serpentine belt, it may cause the oil to splatter and run under the entire engine. If you notice any of the above warning signs, contact a certified mechanic from YourMechanic as soon as possible.

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Average Rating

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Number of Reviews

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Allen

33 years of experience
329 reviews
Allen
33 years of experience
Allen was on time (actually, early). He was pleasant, he knew his stuff, and he explained everything to me when he was done.
2002 FORD TAURUS - TIMING COVER - DEBARY, FLORIDA

Paul

22 years of experience
206 reviews
Paul
22 years of experience
Great experience, glad Paul (Brad) was dispatched to work on my vehicle. He is very knowledgeable, friendly and courteous. I usually do most of my own repairs, but this job was more in depth and I decided to give yourmechanic.com a shot. Glad I did. The price was right, and he did a great job. Unlike a typical repair shop, I know he didn't try to drive up the cost. An honest Mechanic for sure. I would definitely use him again in the future.
2001 CHEVROLET TAHOE - TIMING COVER - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

John

17 years of experience
261 reviews
John
17 years of experience
John was very professional. He was confident and answered all my questions(first car). I learned a lot and found out what i needed was not what I got diagnosed with before. He knew what he was doing and it showed!
2006 SUZUKI FORENZA - TIMING COVER - WINTER PARK, FLORIDA

Christopher

24 years of experience
213 reviews
Christopher
24 years of experience
He is an excellent and professional mechanic. He was able to diagnose the problem instantly. I was friendly and was on time to work my on Saturn Vue.
2005 SATURN VUE - TIMING COVER - TAMPA, FLORIDA

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