One of the consumables of your car is the timing chain or timing belt, which varies by car. It plays a crucial role in keeping your car’s engine functioning properly.

The Purpose of Both

The purpose of the timing chain or timing belt is to synchronize the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshafts of the engine. The crankshaft is the one that rotates together with your piston and transfers energy to the driveshaft, while the camshafts are in charge of opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves that help with piston combustion. So both the crankshaft and the camshafts rely on each other to keep the combustion going, and both of them must be perfectly synchronized to allow optimal combustion in the engine.

Cars only come with either a timing chain or timing belt, and never with both of them, as you only need one to synchronize the camshafts and the crankshaft.

Timing Chains

Timing chains are made up of metal links that are connected together to form a chain. They are mostly located inside the engine housing and are lubricated together with other components of the engine.

The advantages of timing chains is their durability, as they are made out of metal, which is able to last longer and are less susceptible to environmental factors. If any problems appear on the timing chain, it will also be easier to detect, such as rattling when the chain is loose and needs to be replaced. But the disadvantages of it is that they can be quite noisy when the problems start to appear. They are also more costly to replace compared to timing belts.

Timing Belts

Timing belts are usually made of reinforced rubber which is designed to be lightweight and flexible. They are located on the outside of the engine.

The advantages of timing belts is that they are much quieter when in use, and are also cheaper to maintain and replace. The disadvantages of it is that they are more susceptible to stretching or breaking over time, and wear on them is harder to notice. They also don’t last as long when compared to timing chains.

Which is Better?

There isn’t an answer on which is better than the other, as it all depends on which the engine is designed for, either the timing chain or timing belt. Just be sure to follow your car’s scheduled replacement intervals to keep your engine running in tiptop condition!