Timing chains are the conductor of your engine. Through a series of guides and tensioners, the chain links the crankshaft to the camshaft and is responsible for keeping the valves of the cylinder head in sync with the pistons of the combustion chamber. If the timing chain becomes loose, either by stretching or a failed tensioner, there are serious problems ahead. The most likely cause is a timing chain tensioner failure. Tensioners make sure the chain is tightly wound to the pulleys and gears. If the tensioner fails and the chain becomes loose, then the timing of the engine is thrown off.
Wondering how you would be able to know when your timing chain is giving problem?
- You might hear the engine rattle during start-up or idling. This is likely the loose timing chain vibrating inside the motor.
- You could have trouble starting the engine or it might misfire while driving. That’s because the timing between the valves and pistons are out of sync, and the combustion part of your internal combustion engine is busted.
- Sensors in the crankshaft and camshaft should pick-up on timing issues like this and illuminate the check engine light.
If a loose timing chain isn’t addressed immediately it could break, and cause catastrophic damage to the engine.