Timing Chains and Timing Belts
Timing belts and timing chains are essentially the same thing but the difference lies in the materials each is made of. Timing belts are similar to the serpentine belts you see on the oustide of the engine, albeit much tougher. Timing chains are exactly what they sound like - metal chains. These link the crankshaft to the camshaft, which provides the precise valve timing necessary to operate a vehicle's valve train. Timing belts are wear parts, and as such require regular maintenance. Timing chains are usually expected to last the lifteime of a vehicle, however if they require service are much more expensive to fix.
Depending on the engine, a worn or broken timing chain/belt could cause significant damage. If a belt stops transferring the circular motion of a crankshaft to the camshaft, the valve train will cease to function properly. On some engines this can result in the pistons smashing into valves at high speeds which results in very, very costly damage to the engine. If your vehicle manufacturer recommends regular maintenance of a timing belt DO NOT IGNORE IT!
Replacing a timing belt or timing chain should be left to experienced or trained mechanics. Given the high price of machine work and engine parts, the last thing you want is to damage your engine!
We have a large selection of quality timing chains and timing belts from these manufacturers: