Many people consider a car’s engine to be its most important part. In reality, however, cars comprise many essential components that all play an important role in the operation and design of your vehicle. You may need to replace your engine if one of these parts fails to function correctly.
The timing chain is one of the many important parts of your engine that needs to be in its prime working condition. Though the timing chain replacement process costs a pretty penny, it’s best that you get it replaced as soon as possible so that you’re able to travel distances without any sort of malfunction.
Timing chain replacement costs anywhere from $400 to $1,800. This price includes all parts, which cost between $50 to $400, and labor that can cost from $300 to $1,000 on average, depending on the mechanic you use. You can save some money by hiring a mechanic who is more affordable than others.
Find out more about timing chains and how much it costs to replace them below.
What Is A Timing Chain?
Timing chains are constructed similarly to bicycle chains, but they’re typically much sturdier and tougher for those more demanding purposes. They’re commonly used in engines and other areas where there’s a lot of stress on the chain.
What Does A Timing Chain Do?
Your timing chain stretches behind your engine, coiled up behind your timing cover. It’s connected to your crankshaft and camshaft by tensioners that keep it tight. A crankshaft is a part of your engine which consists of a gear that drives the timing chain. As you drive your car, it opens and closes the intake and exhaust valves regularly.
A timing chain tensioner keeps your timing chain in place so that it doesn’t skip any teeth on your camshaft. Your intake and exhaust valves will open and close at the right times as long as your timing chains are in good working order. Your engine is in top condition because your timing chain keeps everything moving in unity.
Signs Of A Bad Timing Chain
Worn or damaged timing belts may cause mechanical problems with your vehicle. Here are some of the signs to look for:
1. Engine Misfires
A worn timing chain can drastically crash the engine’s fire rate and cause a big decrease in its performance. A misaligned timing belt could slip from the gears to the camshaft and cause one of the cylinders to open or close too quickly.
As a result of this, the engine may misfire. Change the timing chain as soon as possible; otherwise, the damage could be permanent.
2. Rough Idling Of The Engine
Timing chains have teeth that hold the gears in place while they rotate different engine parts and components, but if one of these teeth becomes loose or broken, the timing belt can slip.
The teeth from the gears can fall onto the camshaft, jolting it out of alignment. Or worse, cause rough idling of the engine.
3. Smoke From The Engine
It may be hard to tell if these clouds coming from your tailpipe are steam or smoke. If you experience excessive steam/smoke coming from your car’s exhaust pipe, it could be a sign of a problem with the timing chain.
Air enters and pumps out of an engine via controlled openings. The opening of these valves happens according to the camshaft’s rotation and cylinder movements occurring in time.
A worn-out timing chain can cause your engine’s exhaust system to become disordered and out of sync. This will lead to the inefficient combustion of gases in the engine, which results in excessive amounts of exhaust being emitted into the environment.
4. Broken Pistons And Valves
The timing belt can be broken to the point that it causes severe symptoms. If a timing chain fails, this is usually bad news for your engine. This is because your crankshaft may start turning on its own, and it won’t be going in sync with what the camshaft is doing.
The piston can strike the valves when they open. If a piston hits a valve, it could bend it or cause more damage. This can damage your engine if you don’t turn it off as soon as possible to prevent further damage and permanent engine failure.
5. Decline In Oil Pressure
The timing chain of your vehicle turns the camshaft, which in turn moves the intake and exhaust valves. If the timing belt is misaligned or the engine has some issues, it may end up stalling at an inconvenient time. The oil pressure will drop significantly if portions of your engine break free from their lining and get stuck in your oil pan, which can cause the engine to fail.
How Much Does A Timing Chain Replacement Cost?
One might expect that timing chain replacement for an automobile would cost a lot of money. However, this assumption is 100% true; timing chains are important components protecting your engine and should be replaced regularly.
While timing chain replacement costs vary depending on make and model, these repairs typically cost between $400 and $1000.
The prices for repairs may vary, but the following factors will most likely apply: $50-$400 for parts and $300-$1,000 on average for labor.
A less expensive option would be to find a mechanic who charges less than others might, but it’s important to look into working with someone you trust so as not to get ripped off and end up paying more in the long run.
Also, Check Out Spark Plug Replacement Cost
How Long Does A Timing Chain Last?
The average timing chain should last between 80,000 to 120,000 miles. If your timing chain is over that number, it may be time to replace it. Any mechanical defect can throw off the timing of your car components, including or in this case, the engine timing, and result in serious problems down the road with things like costly repairs.
In many cases, people won’t have to worry about changing the timing chain on their car’s engine, and luckily for them, it isn’t something they ever need to do either. This is why many people don’t know how much it will cost to replace their timing chains when they have problems. It’s important to remember that the timing chain in your car and most cars will eventually need to be replaced no matter what kind of vehicle you drive or own.
There are times when you may be able to get away without having to replace your timing chain. It all depends on how your car is driven, how well you maintain it, and how fortunate you are during your time of ownership of a vehicle. People can keep their vehicles for over 150,000 miles without ever replacing the timing chains.
It’s hard to know whether or not you’ll need to replace your timing chain. It all depends on how well you maintain your vehicle and how lucky you are with any particular model of car you own.
Can I Drive A Car With A Bad Timing Chain?
You might be tempted not to repair your timing chain IF it is broken, but you’ll also have to fix the damage that occurs while driving on a broken timing chain.
This additional damage may cost as much as a new timing chain. Therefore, it may be cheaper to fix the bad timing chain than to pay for all of the additional damages that would occur while driving with your car’s original timing chain still in operation.
Bad timing chains aren’t something you want to run around with for too long. If a bad chain is left unattended for too long, there’s a possibility that your car’s engine could fail. And if this happens, it might lead to expensive repairs.
If a timing belt snaps or becomes loose, you can usually repair or replace the belt before it causes too much damage. You shouldn’t try to limp your car to your next service appointment with this problem.
And if you’re not confident in your ability to fix this problem yourself, you should seek help immediately! If a timing belt isn’t repaired within a certain period of its failure, it can cause more damage than initially considered.
How Long Does It Take to Replace a Timing Chain?
Replacing a timing chain in a car takes approximately six hours from start to finish and requires a trained expert. Because it’s such a time-consuming activity, timing chain replacement costs can be higher than other auto repairs.
When a mechanic is performing timing chain replacement, he or she is essentially going to have to take out your engine’s timing chain cover, guide rails, and even your timing chains. All of these items will need to be replaced as well, costing you a high price for the overall timing chain replacement.
A mechanic couldn’t just give you the keys back to your car before he or she had performed some tests. They would have to take a look at your timing chain, ensuring that it is working correctly before allowing you back into your car.
Can I Replace The Timing Chain Myself?
Timing chains should be replaced by a qualified mechanic or anyone who has specialized training in these matters. A timing chain replacement, while not hard to do on paper, is a very technical procedure that someone shouldn’t attempt without the right level of expertise.
If your vehicle does need its timing chain replaced, then rather than try and risk causing even further damage in doing so, why not hand it over to the professionals?
If you take your car to the mechanic for basic maintenance and they happen to notice it’s having some issues, ask them if they recommend replacing it before a bigger problem occurs.
You can also ask friends, family, or coworkers to recommend a good and trustworthy repair shop in your area. Get estimates from a few places and make sure the quality of work and price are what you had hoped for.
Here is a detailed video showing you how to replace your timing chain yourself
Is A Timing Chain Worth Replacing?
It is absolutely worth replacing the timing chain in a vehicle if the car has more than 100,000 miles on it because the chain that is on there right now is on its last leg. It is an extensive repair to replace a timing chain, and if the vehicle is still under its powertrain warranty, it will probably cost the dealership a lot of money to replace the chain.
It is definitely worth replacing the timing chain before it breaks and wrecks the cylinder head because then you will be looking at at least $3,000 or more in labor costs.
Timing Chain Replacement Benefits
Here are the benefits of timing chain replacement:
1. Increased Horsepower
Replacing the timing chain in your car can enhance its horsepower. In fact, you’ll probably feel like you have a brand-new car.
A timing chain that’s in good condition can make your acceleration feel better as well. And after replacing the timing chain, all you will have to do is step on the gas pedal for the perfect drive.
2. Lower Car Repair Costs
A timing chain replacement can reduce the costs associated with the repair. Replacing your timing chain will cost about four or six hundred dollars, but failing to do so could cost you even more money in the case that it does not get fixed immediately.
Having your car checked out regularly will help save you costs and make it easier to find any problems once they arise, rather than waiting until it is too late – eliminating any surprises and problems along the way.
3. Increased Fuel Economy
A new timing chain will help improve your car’s fuel efficiency and save you money at the pump. The timing chain can be replaced to ensure that the crankshaft can function properly, which allows the valves to open and close with perfection.
This, in turn, allows combustion within the cylinders to take place without any issues so that you may benefit from great fuel economy.
Also Read: How much Really Does An Alternator Cost
Four Ways Of Lowering Timing Chain Replacement Cost
1. Choosing The Right Garage
You can choose to have your timing belt replaced at either an independent mechanic or a dealership. You may be able to save on costs by making the right decision.
Although they are more costly, authorized repair shops can get your car up and running faster due to their special expertise. This reduces the largest cost factor: labor andThis is especially true of newer and more updated car models.
Independent garages are incomparable when it comes to fixing up older vehicles because they can get the parts faster and easier. It’s always worthwhile to ask about how long each repair is expected to take and whether or not any additional parts will need replacing.
2. Early Timing Chain Replacement Saves A Lot Of Money
It’s often recommended that one gets their timing chain and their belt tensioner checked out regularly to make sure you avoid any unnecessary expenses down the road (by having to pay for expensive engine repairs like new cylinder head repair or water pump replacement costs, etc.).
3. Get Free Quotes And Compare Prices In Your Area
The price of garages can vary greatly, even within the same city. The best way to compare prices is by searching online and reading customer reviews before you visit a garage. This will help you find the best price available in your area, saving you time when hunting for the best offer.
4. Agree On A Fixed Price
Occasionally, unexpected complications may arise that extend repair times for timing chains. Fixed prices should be used whenever possible to avoid any additional costs that might suddenly arise.