Q: How can I tell if it's my timing chain or something else?

asked by on October 10, 2016

My check engine light is on. Someone told me it could be the timing chain, but others said it isn't because then my car would not be running. It sounds like it may need a tune-up?

My car has 108000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Tune-up $178.15 - $909.68 Get a Quote

Hi, thanks for writing in. Unfortunately, I will need a bit more information before confirming if the issue lies in your timing chain or not. Your car can certainly run and start with a timing issue, however it is not safe and will most likely cause your ride to be shaky and rough. I suggest you having one of our local mechanics perform a tune-up on your vehicle before anything else, especially before replacing a timing chain, before spending a lot of money on replacing it if it didn’t even need to be replaced. I have found that most often than not, engine mounts are the reason for your car shaking while at idle. Good luck and I hope this helps!

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

Is it safe to drive with a misfiring cylinder?

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your Jeep Wrangler. I would recommend getting it checked before going away on your trip. The misfire code may be a problem with the variable valve system or the ignition system. With this...

P0171 and P0174 codes

For one, these codes are for a lean condition and are not O2 sensor specific codes. It is true that some of the newer Fords have an issue with the purge valve staying on, putting a vacuum on the system...

Changed battery in kia Rio 2010, it won't start at all now. Engine light turns on at random times as well.

If you request a no/hard starting - engine diagnostic the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you promptly. The battery should be tested to determine its state of charge. If the new battery is in fact discharged, and...

Car idling roughly and loudly

Hello. It sounds as though you have a misfire present, and the engine is not running on all four cylinders. The lack of power would also be related to this. There are many causes for a misfire: a failure in...

Chevy Camaro runs rough and stutters

There are dozens of potential causes for your problem. You didn't specify the particular 02 sensor and cam sensor codes, so it's difficult for me to provide much advice. A problem with the timing (such as a stretched chain) could...

No power to car

Your alternator and battery may be the cause of this problem. You should have the battery completely charged and load tested first. If it fails testing, then replace it then test the charging system. When the battery was dead and...

Squealing noise from front end during low speed turns.

Hi there. The noise you're hearing is metal-to-metal contact. Due to this fact, the best guess would be the wheel bearings starting to fail. When the bearings begin to wear out, the first symptom is commonly noise like you've described....

Flashing check engine light - 2007 Ford Edge

When a Ford vehicle displays a flashing Check Engine Light on the dashboard, this is an indication that your engine has a misfire. I would first recommend having your vehicle scanned for trouble codes with an OBD-2 scanner. This will...

Pressing on gas pedal, car loses power - 2010 BMW 335d

Excessive soot and carbon (pre-maturely) from the EGR system is most likely clogging up the intake system, throttle body, etc. Although the dealer is supposed to be responsive, if you are having further issues, or would like a second opinion,...

Related articles

P0160 OBD-II Trouble Code: 02 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0160 P0160 code definition Trouble code P0160 is set when no activity is detected on the bank 2 sensor 2 oxygen sensor circuit. Bank 2 refers to the side of the engine opposite of cylinder number one. Sensor 2 means...
P0369 OBDII Trouble Code Camshaft Position Sensor B Circuit Intermittent Bank 1
P0369 P0369 code definition The P0369 code is a notification that the camshaft sent an outgoing signal from position sensor “B” from bank one that was missed at some point. It is an intermittent issue that is an electrical circuit...
P0409 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor "A" Circuit
P0409 P0409 code definition P0409 is a generic OBD2 diagnostic trouble code pointing to an issue with the exhaust gas recirculation circuit. This code may be seen with other EGR codes. What the P0409 code means The P0409 code is...