What Is The Difference Between A Timing Belt And A Timing Chain?

June 7th, 2016 by

Timing belts and timing chains are the devices that make the connection between the crankshaft and the camshaft which is what starts your car. They are hidden behind plastic or metal timing covers so they work no matter what the conditions may be.  What is the difference between the timing belt and timing chain and what is the better option?

Timing belts are made out of rubber with fiber glass and Kevlar woven into them for extra strength. They are known to be quiet as they rotate but wear out over time, needing to be changing between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.

Timing chains look like bicycle chains but cleaner. They last a very long time, some even for the life of the vehicle but they are generally louder and heavier than the timing belt. Unlike the timing belt, the timing chain does not have anything to do with the water pump so it does not have to be replaced at the same time.

Like an oil change, timing belts and chains should always be changed at certain times. If you let them go, you can risk auto repairs that outweigh the vehicle itself. If your timing belt or chain breaks it could completely destroy your engine, depending on when it happens. Most timing belts break at the start up or shut down of an engine and it does not cause that much damage to the vehicle. However, if your timing belt breaks at greater speeds the valves break off clean and bounce around the engine, destroying everything. The same goes for the timing chain. If it breaks off at low speeds, it will most likely not cause any internal engine damage. But if it breaks off at high speeds the chain will whip around and destroy everything in its path. Make sure to keep your timing belt and chain maintained. The timing chain is a better substitute for the timing belt because it involves zero maintenance. However, they are not used universally due to noise considerations or cost saving measures.

Freedom Honda offers services for the timing belt and timing chain to keep it working properly. We hope you come see us regularly to check up on yours today.

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