Q: How Does a Timing Chain Work?

asked by on

How does a timing chain work?

A timing chain works very similar to the chain on a bicycle. The timing chain has links that engage with the teeth on the crankshaft sprocket and camshaft sprockets. The chain ensures that the crankshaft and camshafts are in constant synchronization with each other. Cams control the operation of the intake and exhaust valves. These valves must be opened and closed at the proper time so they don’t make contact with the pistons which are operated by the crankshaft.

Timing chains don’t usually break but they can stretch (by quite a lot), especially if it’s a segmented link chain. A chain tensioner keeps the slack out of the timing chain.

Timing chains don’t require very much in the way of service, except to replace them. The biggest reason to replace the timing chains is due to a failure somewhere in the engine.

If you think you are having problems with your timing chain, the technicians at YourMechanic can replace your timing chain, or chains, if necessary.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Q: How Does a Timing Chain Work?

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: At what mileage should I get my timing chain replaced?

Your Lexus IS250 uses a timing chain rather than a timing belt. Fortunately, the timing chain does not require regular maintenance like the belts typically do. Just be sure to perform regular services on your car such as oil changes,...

Q: No crank no start. Crankshaft is stuck. Could it be the crankshaft sensor? 2007 Dodge Charger

Hi there - if you are unable to rotate the crankshaft, that is a serious problem. Perhaps the timing chain has broken, and jammed between the crankshaft sprocket and the timing chain cover? Check for problem codes, whether the Check...

Q: How Long Should Belts in My Car Last?

Depending on the type of belts in your vehicle, they will probably last you anywhere from 3-10 years, or 40,000-150,000 miles. Typically, you will find the drive belt replacement schedule found in the owner's manual. This is assuming that the...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.