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When to Replace a Timing Chain Kit?

A timing chain kit is an important equipment used in the functioning of the engine.  It has several important roles contributing to the smooth running of the car’s systems. Thus it is important to take its maintenance serious and replace it when it is needed. Before we delve into when it needs to be replaced, let’s first understand what timing chain kit is, how is it important for the engines, what does it consist of, what are its symptoms of deterioration and finally when to replace the kit. 

What is a Timing Chain Kit?

File:Wiki 66 SOHC timing chain and cam.jpg - Wikipedia

A timing chain kit is that part of the engine which controls the rotatory cycles of the camshafts and crankshafts.  By managing the rotation of these  parts, the timing chain kit attempts to synchronize the opening and closing of the valves each time an engine is ignited.  It is the pathway that connects the upper parts of the engine to the lower parts of the engine.  It can be said that it is like the cycle chain but a little louder than that. 

Why is It Important?

The timing chain kit is important because it regulates the opening and closing of the inlet and the outflow valves by ensuring a smooth rotation of crankshaft and camshaft. This synchronization is extremely important for maximum functioning of the engine. Helping the intake and exhaust strokes, the timing chain kit allows for maximum durability, fuel consumption, and optimum performance of the engine. 

What does a Timing Chain Kit Consist of ?

The kit consists of various other parts. These parts are timing chain, chain tensioner, tensioning rail, timing gears, VVT gear which are not always for all the vehicles, seals, and gaskets, as well as lubrication pipes and oil seals. All of these parts have their own functions. 

For example, the chain is the pivotal part of the kit. It can come in various shapes and lengths.  These days, Roller Chains or Double chains are dominating in the market. The timing gears are closely connect to the camshaft, and they are important to be part of the kit because if you are replacing the chain, it means that somewhat damage might have been cause to the gear. These gears are potent to the timing of rotation of camshaft. The seals and gaskets allow for the system to be well-secure. 

Similarly, the tensioner allows for the chain to remain at a constant tension. It achieves it by pushing the sliding block. The lubrication pipe is important in the kit because the former one may be clogge up with dirt and filth from the exhaust of the cat. Also, it allows for the cooling of the system and the smooth movement of the chain. 

Symptoms of Deterioration of the Timing Chain 

There are several red flags that a timing chain kit raise, so the user is alarm to change it. These include 

the engine misfiring, or running poorly. The engine misses a gear on camshaft or crankshaft, affecting the synchronization of the valves. You may find metal shavings in the oil pan. One always has to regularly change the oil or oil filter of the engine. If you find the metal bearings in them, it is an indication that chain is overwork. 

Moreover, engine rattling and failing to start are other symptoms that suggest that there is some problem with the chain and they are calling for a replacement.

When to Replace them?

When you see the symptoms of the chain finally giving up, you need to replace them. However, as part of regular maintenance of the car, the timing chain kit should be replace when you hit 80,000 0r 120,000 miles. The more you advance upon the mileage, the more risks there are to the timing chain. You should just observe the chain, if it particularly strikes out in its degraded performance, it would be important to change them. You should look for any rust or metal shavings. 

If the timing chain gets damages, and you are negligent to it, you can cause severe problems to the engine as well. Therefore, to prevent the loss of engine, it is better to look and observe the warning signs. The idling of the engine, sound nuisance, engine light warnings and all the other symptoms mention should be take great care of and should be follow until the real problem is eliminate. 


A timing chain kit is central to any vehicle’s engine. Any damage to it, is going to cost you heavily and the vehicle too. In case of the engine fails as a result of the timing chain, you can be abandon on a desert road, and may become involve in accidents. Thus, it is highly recommend to take care of your vehicle’s maintenances and particularly of the timing chain. 

Make sure that the replacement kit you are getting has all the important parts that are mention. If some are missing, it might be because your car model may not need them. But do question the vendor from whom you are picking up stuff.

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