What is the Timing Cover all about?
The timing cover is an essential component designed to protect the timing belt, timing chain or cam belt of your car from road debris, grime and gravel. The timing belt or chain of your car controls the rotation of the camshafts and crankshaft in the internal combustion engine. As long as they are spinning, the engine’s valves open and close in synchronized movement with each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes.
Depending on the make of your car, it will have a timing belt, timing chain or cam belt. If your car has a timing belt, the timing cover protects it from road debris that can damage and break its teeth. Without the protection of the timing cover, the belt can skip, slip off the timing gears or even break. In case of engines that include a timing belt the timing cover only protects the timing belt and can be made of plastic, metal or both.
In case of cars that have a timing chain, the timing cover secures the front section of the engine block with the help of a timing cover gasket. In this way, the timing gears and chain receive lubrication with the engine oil. If the timing cover gasket breaks, you will notice engine oil leaking. If your car has a timing chain, it will most likely have a metal timing cover.
Keep in mind:
- If the timing belt slips off the pulleys, your engine will be severely damaged.
- Most timing belt covers have timing cover gaskets, which help to protect the belt.
How it's done:
- The vehicle hood is raised and supported
- The defective timing cover is removed and gasket surfaces are cleaned on engine
- The new timing cover is installed and tightened to specifications
- The timing is tested and adjusted as needed and checked for any oil leaks
- The vehicle hood is closed and road tested for proper operation
If the timing belt or chain needs to be replaced, have our expert mechanics check the timing cover for damage and replace it if needed. Remember that oil leaks can damage the timing cover gasket, in which case the gasket can no longer protect the timing belt. If that happens, you need to replace the oil seals, timing belt and gasket together.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Timing Cover?
- Engine oil and/or coolant leaking
- A rasping or grating sound coming from the front of the engine
- Missed timing marks (The crankshafts, and camshafts of the car should be perfectly aligned or timed with the moving pistons of the engine. If there is any misalignment, you will notice a sharp decrease in power when moving up inclines.)
How important is this service?
As part of the regular maintenance schedule, make sure the timing cover is intact and working properly. Debris and grime can not only damage the timing belt of the car, but also damage the engine. Running the car with a damaged timing cover may lead to the timing belt slipping off resulting in severe engine damage.