The timing chain is defective? You can do that now!

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Timing chain problems change costs 1 The timing chain is defective? You can do that now!

Table of contents for the timing chain!

  1. Why the timing chain?
  2. Timing chain: maintenance and care!
  3. Problems with the timing chain!
  4. Diagnostic options for the control chain!
  5. Notes on problems!
  6. Timing chain replacement set!
  7. Known problem cases!
  8. What happens in the workshop?
  9. Why the specialist workshop?
  10. Before the purchase!
  11. Timing chain tuning kit
  12. Instructions / tutorials for changing the timing chain!
  13. Which cars are vulnerable?

The timing chain is an essential part of many engines. It is made of metal and resembles a bicycle chain. It has been used in the manufacture of four-stroke engines since 1910. It was only since 1980 that manufacturers began to use more Timing made of rubber. Little by little, these are displacing the timing chain. Timing belts are cheaper and are therefore used in around two thirds of all current car models. They are used particularly in smaller engines, as the metallic timing chain takes up more space than the toothed belt.

Nevertheless, the timing chain is still installed in engines. The reason for this is simple: it transmits higher forces than the timing belt and is more durable. It is therefore indispensable for powerful engines. Manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes and Porsche (in the case of box engines) continue to rely on the metal timing chain as a tradition. If a vehicle has a timing chain installed, the owner often breathes a sigh of relief. Because regular maintenance, as is the case with toothed belts, is normally not necessary.

What is a timing chain used for?

Timing chain problems change costs 2 The timing chain is defective? You can do that now!

The four-stroke internal combustion engine compresses and burns gas and air. In order to be able to carry out this combustion process reliably, the clock be even. This means that the engine's intake and exhaust valves interact with the crankshaft. Here the timing chain ensures the right timing. It transfers the rotation of the crank to the camshaft, rotating itself at double speed. This ensures the timely opening and closing of the engine valves. This system is also known as timing. (Back to overview)

Timing chain: maintenance and care!

Timing chain problems change costs 3 e1600153604363 The timing chain is defective? You can do that now!

The manufacturer specifies maintenance intervals for toothed belts (all information on changing the timing belt), but not for the timing chain. Because a timing chain should last the life of a car. It is important, however, not to lose sight of this part of the engine. Because if the timing chain breaks, total damage to the engine is likely. It is particularly important that it is adequately lubricated. It is located on the engine behind the chain case and thus runs in the engine oil bath. The oil level in the engine must therefore be checked regularly.

The timing chain is cooled by the engine oil. The metal abrasion and fine particles are caught by the oil filter. As soon as the timing chain has reached the end of its service life, it must be replaced. With a simplex timing chain, the mileage is 100.000 kilometers. With a duplex timing chain with a double chain row, however, it is 500.000 kilometers. The service life of a timing chain can be increased by fine readjustment of the chain tensioner. This readjustment ensures that the chain runs tightly and precisely over the gears. (Back to overview)

Problems with the timing chain

Should there ever be a problem with the timing chain, this does not necessarily mean that it has to be replaced. It depends on the smooth interaction of individual components. Deflection rollers, slide rails and chain tensioners must function properly so that the timing chain can also fulfill its purpose. Nowadays these add-on parts are often made of plastic, which keeps production costs low. However, these plastic parts are the weak point of the system. Due to the mechanical stress they are particularly affected by wear and tear, they have to be replaced more frequently.

This exchange usually takes place after a distance of 100.000 to 300.000 kilometers. While pulleys, slide rails and chain tensioners are worn out by mechanical stress, the problem with the timing chain is its elongation. When subjected to heavy loads, it stretches out in length. This is known as the elongation of the timing chain. If the timing chain is longer than intended, it will skip individual teeth in the gear. The timing changes as the vehicle loses mileage and emissions. In addition, the engine is damaged. (Back to overview)

Diagnosis of the defective timing chain

Timing chain problems change costs 5 The timing chain is defective? You can do that now!

A problem with the timing chain is usually noticeable when the engine is cold started. A faint rattle or clatter indicates that something is wrong. The noise only lasts a few seconds, which is why you should pay attention to it again during the next cold start. If the noises occur again, it is definitely advisable to contact a specialist workshop. Thanks to modern diagnostic tools, it is possible to quickly test the functionality of the timing chain.

Although modern diagnostic devices make it possible to determine chain elongation, it is necessary to express this wish. This technology is only used if the customer insists on an additional check. This means that when the vehicle is registered in the specialist workshop, the service manager must be explicitly informed that the timing chain should be checked. The service manager then notes this in the workshop order. (Back to overview)

Notes on problems with the timing chain:

  • Broken timing chain: A loud bang followed by an unresponsive engine indicates that the timing chain has broken. The car must be brought to the workshop by tractor. At this point, it is no longer possible to drive the car to the workshop independently.
  • Defective add-on parts: If you can hear rattling noises during a cold start, this could mean that add-on parts such as pulleys, slide rails or chain tensioners are defective. In this case, too, the car should stop and not drive to a workshop for repairs on its own. If action is taken in good time, consequential damage can be avoided.
  • Lengthening of the timing chain: A rattling noise during a cold start indicates that the timing chain is lengthening. In order to protect the vehicle from permanent damage, it is advisable to visit a specialist workshop immediately.
  • A defect in the timing chain can usually not be diagnosed. If broken, then broken. (Back to overview)

Timing chain replacement set for many vehicles

Timing chain problems change costs 7 The timing chain is defective? You can do that now!

Replacing the timing chain at an early stage makes particular sense if the other wearing parts have to be replaced. Usually the manufacturer offers complete timing chain replacement sets. The price of these replacement sets varies by several hundred euros depending on the manufacturer and model variant. If the wearing parts have to be replaced in the specialist workshop, the workload and thus the working hours are comparatively high. The complete replacement therefore only takes slightly longer. Taking into account the repair costs, the complete replacement is more cost-effective than if the timing chain has to be replaced later. This also ensures that the entire transmission works properly again for the time being. (Back to overview)

Problems with the timing chain!

EA111 VW engine engine timing chain Is the timing chain defective? You can do that now!

The VW EA111-TSI engine family is one of the best-known problem cases. Both the 1.2 TSI and the 1.4 TSI are installed in many models from Volkswagen and its subsidiaries. In addition to VW, this also includes Skoda, Audi and Seat. The manufacturer cites a faulty production by the supplier as a reason. He used both inadequate punching tools and inadequate material. Originally, when it became known, a goodwill regulation was introduced, but the manufacturer has since refrained from doing so.

In individual cases it should therefore be checked whether a possibly defective motor has been installed and whether this falls under the goodwill regulation. In addition to VW, there are also problems with timing chains at BMW. The 1 Series and 116i (built 2004-2005) in particular have to struggle with timing chains that pop off. Although there was no recall, BMW exchanged all affected engines without any problems. If you buy a used car, you should therefore check whether this replacement has already been carried out. (Back to overview)

What happens in the workshop?

Build workshop vehicle repair tuning yourself The timing chain is defective? You can do that now!

If the timing chain is damaged, the car must be taken directly to the workshop. If possible, the car should be brought to the workshop by means of a transporter. If the timing chain breaks, no other procedure is possible because the engine can no longer be started. But even if you suspect that something is wrong with the transmission, the car should be driven as little / not at all as possible.

Protecting the car from further damage must be the top priority. Repair costs may be high, but they cannot be compared to the cost of engine failure. If it turns out that the timing chain is actually defective, it will be replaced. Otherwise it is possible to readjust the chain tensioner. As a result, the timing chain runs smoothly again and the vehicle regains its original performance. (Back to overview)

Repairs should be carried out by a specialist workshop!

To change the timing chain, the motor must be opened sideways. It is a component, not a Attachment. The timing chain should only be changed by trained specialists, because the front side of the engine also contains the gears as well as the crank and Camshaft. When changing independently, the position of camshaft to crankshaft could be accidentally changed. It is also possible that the gears have moved on unintentionally.

In the specialist workshop, fixing tools are used to prevent this unwanted further turning. The tools that are in the hobby auto mechanic's garage may not be sufficient for this task. The material price of the timing chain is 100 euros or more. In addition, there are working hours in the specialist workshop. Since the exchange can be very complex depending on the respective engine model, the price comparison is worthwhile. (Back to overview)

Listen carefully when you buy!

When buying the used car, you should find out whether it is on the red list. In specialist circles there is an overview of vehicles that are prone to major engine damage or gearbox damage. And even without specialist knowledge, you can find out whether it is a risky vehicle. To do this, simply look for the model with the addition "Problems with timing chain" on the Internet. Information should then be available in numerous forums. You can also search for “defective vehicles” in the relevant car markets. If a particular specimen occurs frequently with engine failure, then you should be vigilant.

  1. When buying, let the engine run and listen for a "rattle".
  2. Check the history of the vehicle
  3. question repairs that have already been carried out (Back to overview)

Timing chain tuning kit

The timing chain tuning kit must be EXAKT suitable for the vehicle and the engine type. The kits are available from well-known manufacturers who stand for quality. When buying, however, you should not only pay attention to the high-performance timing chains, but also ensure that the accessories supplied are of high quality. The timing chain must be tensile and not lead to rattling noises after a few kilometers. The kit must not make any loud running noises. Specialized retailers have high-performance timing chains with little elongation that enable particularly stable timing.

A timing chain tuning kit consists, for example, of a hydraulic tensioner, guide bolts, slide rails, timing chain (s), chain case seal, shaft sealing rings and an oil drain plug. A chain run-in additive can also be included with the kit. You can find more information about this in our article on the timing chain tuning kit! (Back to overview)

Timing chain problems change costs 9 The timing chain is defective? You can do that now!

Of course that had not happened yet!

tuningblog has countless other articles on the subject of car and auto tuning in stock. Do you want to see them all? Just click HERE and look around. In part, we would like to provide you with news but also off the tuning. In our category Tips, products, information & Co We have reviews of car or accessories manufacturers, new ones Tuning Wiki Terms or one or the other Leak veröffentlicht. Following an excerpt of the last articles:

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Instructions / tutorials for changing the timing chain!

(Back to overview)

Which cars are prone to broken timing chains?

(Back to overview)

  • Petrol 1.2 and 1.4 TSI from Volkswagen
  • Diesel engines 3.0 TDI from Audi
  • Petrol 2.0 from BMW
  • 2.0 BMW diesel engines
  • 1.6 THP and VTi petrol engines from PSA (also BMW)
  • Fiat Diesel 1.3 MultiJet
  • Alfa Romeo 1.9 and 2.2 JTS petrol engines

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  1. My timing chain is having problems and I suspect it needs to be replaced. I wasn't aware that this would involve a lot of work because the engine had to be opened. I'll get in touch with my garage and get a quote.

  2. I have a Mercedes-Benz and I suspect I need to have it repaired because the timing chain is broken. I wasn't even aware that the chain would generally have to be replaced after 100.000 to 300.000 km. Since my car recently reached 130.000 km, it all makes sense. I'll ask in the workshop, thank you very much for the information.

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    Hi, just wanted to tell you, I liked this article.
    It was helpful. Keep on posting!

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