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What You Need To Know About Timing Belt, Timing Chain And Their Differences

Nwogbunyama Emeka

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timing belt vs timing chain

timing belt vs timing chain

A timing belt or a timing chain plays a vital role in the proper functionality of your car. You may have at a point heard “this car makes use of timing belt” or “that car uses timing chain.”

Whichever one found in the engine of a car serves a purpose. Let’s get to know what this purpose is before we go into their differences. Timing matters a lot in everything you do in life even when it comes to the engine of your car. When things are done properly at the right time, you’re sure of getting a good result.

In order to guarantee this specific timing, the timing belt or timing chain works with the camshaft and crankshaft to keep the motion of the valves and pistons working in perfect synchrony.To explain further, the camshaft in the engine controls the valves to let fuel and air in and out. At the same time, the crankshaft moves the pistons up and down.





This is called mechanical timing and the synchrony of these functions is imperative. If the mechanical timing is off, damage could occur to the valves, pistons, engine, or other components. The purpose of the timing belt or chain is to ensure the harmonization by keeping each turning at the precise rate.

Now you have known what timing belt or timing chain does, let’s proceed to knowing the difference between the two. How do they differ from one another?

1. The simple difference between timing belts and timing chains is that timing belts are belts and timing chains are chains. Timing belts are made of reinforced rubber materials while timing chains are made of metal.

2. Timing chains were first used in cars before timing belts were introduced in the 1960s.

3. Timing belts are quieter and less expensive compared to timing chains.

4. Timing chains are housed within the engine and receive lubrication from engine oil and can last a long time, while timing belts are located outside of the engine and tend to dry out and crack.

5. Image difference of an engine with timing belt and timing chain





timing belt

An engine with a timing belt

 

timing chain

An engine with a timing chain

However, more vehicle manufacturers have integrated timing chains back into some vehicles with vast improvements such as a reduction in noise and vibrations.

Are you wondering if your car is using a timing belt or timing chain? Check the owner’s manual of your car and find out which one it is.

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Emeka is a Contributor at Autojosh. A graduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering with a B.Eng degree. Emeka is a car enthusiast who is interested in traveling, writing, movies and driving. He also loves drinking garri with cold water.

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