Timing Belts versus Timing Chains

Being able to complete projects yourself is a pretty thrilling experience. Who doesn’t love taking matters in the own hands when it comes to repairs? It saves money, and it is a pretty big accomplishment for most people.

It can feel like a daunting task for people who don’t have much experience, though. Car repairs can be costly if you don’t know what you’re doing.  There are many little different pieces and parts in an engine, using the wrong part could end up doing more harm than good. Your engine alone is surrounded by belts, hoses, or chains. How do you know which one your car needs?

Timing Belts versus Timing Chains

It can help to start by explaining what exactly these different things do. Timing is incredibly important in an engine. If the timing in your engine is off, then it can lead to some serious problems.  Cracks in the belt in the belt can cause these pieces to pull and move differently than they should which will affect your engine’s performance and could even make it seize up.

Person shifting something around in an engine

Side view of a large diesel engine

So, what is the difference between a belt and a chain? The answer is a little self-explanatory, but let’s walk through it. A timing belt is usually made out of some sort of plastic and is located outside of the engine. Timing chains are typically metal and housed inside of the engine but can sometimes be noisier than other engines. Manufacturers have made a lot of improvements to reduce the noise in recent years. You can consult your owner’s manual or this guide to find out if your car uses belts or chains.


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Engine Service in Yuma, AZ

Are you having problems with your engine or transmission? Stop by Alexander Toyota to see what our technicians can do to help out. Give us a call and you can schedule an appointment or answer any other questions that you might have.