Each day, millions of people start their day to the sound of ringing, buzzing, beeping, chirping and whirring. These sounds typically emanate loudly from an alarm clock or smartphone to ensure that we aren’t late for our daily schedules. So long as we don’t continue to hit the “snooze” button – most of us normally set aside enough time to shower, get dressed, help our little ones prepare for school and drive to where we’re needed to go. The whole regimen moves along like a synchronized symphony with each family member doing what they need to do all at the right time.
Conversely, and once it a very long while, this alarm may fail to go off. Perhaps it was set incorrectly, a power surge occurred overnight, or Daylight Saving Time happened and you didn’t realize it. Whatever the case may be – this new picture looks quite a bit different.
A morning sunbeam crawls upon your face and your eyes open slowly. Immediately you freeze – realize your predicament – and explode into action. The leisurely pace of normal morning activities has gone completely out the window. Everything is happening at light-speed; kids running around, a toothbrush is in your mouth while you’re buttoning your shirt and you’ve got 3 minutes until the school bus hits your street corner.
The alarm clock and its effectiveness at keeping your morning routine in sync is a lot like the timing belt or timing chain in your vehicle.
When working properly, the Timing Belt or Timing Chain synchronizes the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves – which keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently. If the timing is off, it may not run appropriately or at all. These need to be replaced on a schedule and if ignored, can cause extensive engine damage.
Timing Chains are being used in more modern engines because they are more durable and do not have a specific replacement interval, that belts usually require. However, timing chains and their associated components do wear over time. This can be caused by wear in the tensioner and guide rails which cause the chain to loosen or damage a tooth on a cam sprocket – causing the chain to slip.
When the timing chain system is worn you may notice sluggish performance, reduced fuel economy, or difficulty starting – additionally a variety of different noises: rattle, whine, buzz, or whir might be heard coming from the engine. If any of these sounds or issues happen – bring it to our attention for our review. Although a timing chain can last a few hundred thousand miles with regular, high-quality, oil changes – the symptoms listed above may suggest that a timing chain replacement is needed.