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Proper engine operation is controlled by a precise system of gears that are connected by chains, belts, or teeth. When working correctly, timing gears control how much air and fuel enter each cylinder by opening and closing the valves, firing the spark plugs, and releasing exhaust fumes at the proper timings. They also control other engine functions such as water pump operation and oil pump operation in some cases. The primary timing gears are the crankshaft gear and the camshaft gear or gears. The gears are made of steel or aluminum normally, and are quite durable. In extreme circumstances, it is possible for gear teeth to chip or break. A damaged timing gear is nearly always an immediate cause for concern, and the engine will not run or will run very poorly because of it.
Timing gears are lubricated by engine oil, so regular oil changes are required to keep timing gears in good condition. They are only accessible when the timing cover is off for a timing belt or chain repair/replacement, and should be checked at that time. If the timing gears are damaged or worn in any way, they need to be replaced.
Timing gears in good working condition are crucial to your engine’s operation. Your engine will not run properly or at all otherwise, and If your timing gears are damaged, they need to be replaced immediately.