What is a timing chain?
A timing chain coordinates the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft(s) in correct timing and permits the engine’s valves to open and close during each cylinder’s firing. The chain is located inside of the engine and needs to be lubricated by the oil in the engine, making oil maintenance essential as well. A timing chain is in the front of the vehicle and is connected to a set of gears and pulleys that power several mechanical components. For your engine to fire perfectly, the timing chain must effortlessly rotate around the gears without delay. Even though the timing chain is made from metal, it is subject to wear and tear and will in time need replacing as recommended by the manufacturer in their guide.
A four-stroke engine will work on a cycle with four strokes within each one:
The task of your timing chain is to perform the accurate operation of the cycle at the correct time of its strokes. If the pistons and valves don’t move exactly at the right time, then the engine will not work or it can get damaged, leading to costly repairs.
Timing chain replacement costs
The cost of a timing chain replacement can vary depending on your car due to differences in labour time and parts needed. The average cost to fix a timing chain is around £702.15 on average when booked with WhoCanFixMyCar.
|Car Make||Average Price|
Which timing chain repair service do you need?
A manufacturer will advise in the guide, when a timing chain must be replaced.
Timing chain replacement
The timing chain generally needs to be replaced between 40,000 and 120,000 miles in most vehicles unless there is a specific problem or warning sign that it's on its way out. The cost of a timing chain replacement is on average between £500 and £900.
I don’t know
Unsure of whether the timing chain is the problem or something else with the engine? Book your car for a diagnostic test and the mechanic will be able to tell you whether the timing chain needs to be replaced or not.
The average cost of a timing chain repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £702.16. A timing chain is an essential part of a car engine and needs to be replaced every 40,000 to 100,000 miles.Can include
- Timing chain replacement
The average cost of a cambelt change booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £266.80. A damaged or snapped cambelt will cause damage to the car engine if it’s not replaced.Can include
- Cambelt repair
- Cambelt replacement
The average cost of a car diagnostic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £48.
Car diagnostics testing involves plugging your vehicle into special software that can reveal issues with its engine, electrical system, transmission, braking, exhaust system, and more. A specialist will run tests on your vehicle to expose the cause of any problems you're having with your car.Can include
- Full diagnostic testing
- Recommended repairs
Top warning signs you need to replace your timing chain
The timing chain can start to stretch and wear over time, which will cause the engine's timing to be inaccurate and produce a few warning signs.
Engine misfires or runs poorly
A sign of a timing chain wearing out is if your garage technician tells you they have found small metal pieces in the oil, as these can break off the chain and find their way into the oil pan.
If the engine does not start, or fails when driving, then this can be caused by a broken timing belt. If the belt is broken before you start the engine, then it will not have enough compression to start it at all.
Engine light on dashboard can illuminate due to faulty timing belt
When the timing chain is loose, it often causes a vibration from within the vehicle and that will produce a rattling sound as the engine idles.
What impacts the cost of a timing chain replacement?
There are a few factors that can impact the cost of your timing chain replacement. The main one is the make and model of your vehicle. You can compare average prices for timing chain replacements by car using the table above.
If your problems aren’t just caused by your timing chain wearing out, you’re likely to end up paying more too. For example if the engine is damaged due to the timing chain, then the repair of the engine could be another cost to consider.
Find timing chain replacement garages near you
We can help you find local timing chain replacement specialist garages so they can diagnose and replace your timing chain, to get your engine running smoothly again. We help you find and compare quotes from reputable timing chain replacement garages near you who will be trained to repair your central locking system.
We work with over 15,569 garages and have a number of timing chain technicians on our site to deal with any problems arising with your vehicle.
What does a timing chain do?
The timing chain is specifically responsible for connecting the crankshaft and camshaft within the engine, which are in turn, responsible for opening and closing the engine's valves.
How complex is a timing chain repair?
A timing chain needs to be replaced between 40,000 and 100,000 miles and problems are not uncommon, especially for cars with higher mileage on them.
Like every part used to construct a car engine, the timing chain is subject to natural wear and tear which means, eventually, it will need to be replaced. If your engine oil is low, this will speed up the process of degradation for the part as the build-up of heat and friction will damage the part.
Furthermore, there are a variety of parts which are responsible for keeping the timing chain in the correct position including the chain guider, chain tensioner and chain silencer, which are also liable to suffer from wear and tear. If these parts are damaged, the timing chain will invariably become unsafe as well.
What will happen if my timing chain breaks or is damaged?
If the timing chain in your car is damaged or broken, the engine may feel sluggish, be low on power and or completely unable to start. As the timing chain wears down over time it becomes longer as it is stretched. Once this process has taken place, the ignition and valve timing becomes troublesome.
There are also a few signs that other parts surrounding the timing chain are damaged. If you can hear rattling, whirring, whining or buzzing, there is a good chance that the timing chain guide or timing chain tensioner are broken and responsible for the offending noise.
How much does a timing chain replacement cost?
The average price for a timing chain replacement is around £702.16 when booked with WhoCanFixMyCar. The cost of a replacement will depend entirely on the extent of the damage, the age of the car and the model of the car as well.
What can I do to prevent timing chain problems?
Changing your engine oil regularly will give you the best chance of keeping the timing chain in the best health and using premium oil will improve the help even more. In a well maintained engine, a timing chain could last for up to 300,000 miles and above.