Why do we usually say that the timing chain is better than the timing belt?

Most modern cars are equipped with distribution chain, as these require almost no maintenance compared to a timing belt. The timing belt, being made of a less resistant material, is less durable and prone to breaking over time.

Here you will learn what the timing chain is and why it is better than the timing belt, as well as other elements that are important for you to know for the proper functioning of the engine.

What is a distribution chain?

distribution chain It is a vitally important component of a car engine, since it is the one that synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft. at the top and bottom of it.

This causes the engine’s intake valves and exhaust valves to open and close precisely at predetermined intervals during each round of the engine. It serves as a link between the cylinder head and valves at the top of the engine and between the piston and the crankcase at the bottom.

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The timing chain resembles a bicycle chain and produces a louder noise than a timing belt. It is made of metal links, allowing it to hold on to the different gears and wheels. This can be single, double or triple depending on the car model and is kept taut by the presence of a hydraulic tensioner.

What are the components that support the correct operation of the timing chain?

The timing chain relies on a set of components to function properly:

  • Input cam sprocket.
  • output cam sprocket.
  • Distribution chain.
  • Guide rail (upper).
  • Guide rail (lower).
  • timing gear.
  • Tensor.

The weakest link in this set of components is the guide rails as they are made of plastic and over time they become brittle and can break. Some diesel engines feature rubber-coated metal rails.

Cars usually come with plastic guide rails, because this is supposed to guide the metal timing chain in the correct motion. If they are made of metal, it would rub against the metal chain; and I would be rubbing metal on metal.

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The plastic rail would also cause less hassle should a metal rail break off and fall into the oil pan.

How is a fault in the timing chain detected?

  • Making the car engine start becomes more difficulttaking longer than usual to do so.
  • The motor produces a metallic screeching sound. This sound is not the same as the sound of the belt.
  • When the chain is loose, engine makes a rattling sound.
  • When timing chain skips timethe cam sensor error indicator lights up.
  • The engine starts to vibrate a lotwhich is behavior similar to a misfire.
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