Timing Chain Vs. Timing Belt (Which Is Higher?)

On the subject of vital parts inside your automobile’s engine, it’s laborious to high the timing belt or timing chain. However in the case of timing belts and timing chains, there’s a transparent winner. However for those who’re taking a look at making an attempt to improve, chances are high you’re in all probability out of luck. 

However whether or not you’re researching a brand new automobile or are simply making an attempt to realize a bit extra perception into these vital parts, we’ve received you coated right here.

The largest distinction between a timing chain and a timing belt is noise and life expectancy. A series is usually maintenance-free whereas a timing belt have to be changed at a hard and fast interval. A timing belt is quieter with out the identical noise as a timing chain.

That is only a fast reply to your query and there's rather more into it. Learn on to study every thing it's important to know concerning the variations to seek out out which one is best.

Índice de Contenido
  1. What Is a Timing Belt/Timing Chain?
  2. Overview of Timing Chains
    1. Professionals
    2. Cons
  3. Overview of Timing Belts
    1. Professionals
    2. Cons
  4. Can You Swap a Timing Belt for a Timing Chain?
  5. Our Verdict

What Is a Timing Belt/Timing Chain?

Timing Engine

Because the title implies, timing belts and timing chains management the timing of your engine. It connects your crankshaft to the camshaft, and this controls when every consumption and exhaust valve opens and closes. With out this vital element, your engine wouldn’t run, and also you’d seemingly whole your engine in a matter of minutes – if not seconds.

That is a particularly vital element, even for those who can’t see it. That’s as a result of each timing belts and timing chains are coated, and it's important to take away a ton of various parts to achieve them.

Furthermore, while you’re changing a timing belt or timing chain, it’s not solely a labor-intensive course of however a technical one as properly. As a result of for those who by accident line up the brand new belt or chain to the fallacious grooves, you’ll have a mistimed engine, and that may rapidly result in numerous harm.

So, if it is advisable change your automobile’s timing belt or timing chain and don’t know what you’re doing, it’s greatest for those who take your automobile to a licensed mechanic as a substitute of making an attempt to determine it out your self. Whereas it may be tempting to try to save a couple of bucks upfront, the long-term results merely aren’t well worth the threat.

Overview of Timing Chains

Timing Chain

Timing chains are thick metallic chains that join your camshaft to your crankshaft. You’ll in all probability by no means want to interchange a timing chain, however you may want to interchange the guides that preserve your timing chain in place.

However most producers don’t advocate altering these guides for not less than 150,000 miles, and generally it’s a fair longer interval. The benefit of a timing chain is that after it’s in your automobile, you’ll in all probability by no means want to alter it, which saves you cash in upkeep in the long term.

Nevertheless, many producers go for timing belts as a substitute of timing chains as a result of they’re cheaper upfront. This permits them to avoid wasting cash on manufacturing prices and make a bit extra revenue with out elevating the automobile’s price.

This can be a price that will get handed onto you within the unlikely occasion your automobile has a timing chain and it breaks. The common price to interchange a timing chain can exceed $1,600, which is excess of the common price to interchange a timing belt.

Furthermore, generally a timing chain is a bit louder than a timing belt. However as automobile applied sciences advance, manufactures have discovered methods to make timing chains simply as quiet as timing belts. However for those who’re taking a look at an older automobile, this is likely to be a priority.

It is advisable to contemplate that many trendy automotive fashions have issues with the timing chains, which will be very expensive; correct analysis is required on your particular automotive mannequin earlier than making a alternative.


  • They final for much longer, and also you hardly ever want to interchange them


  • They're dearer upfront
  • In the event you do want to interchange it, it’s far dearer
  • Typically louder than timing belts

Overview of Timing Belts

Check Timing Belt

Timing belts are far much less sturdy than timing chains. As a substitute of a thick metallic chain, a timing belt makes use of a rubber belt that’s much like your automobile’s serpentine belt. However in contrast to your serpentine belt, which is straightforward to alter, a timing belt is buried behind the timing belt cowl, and it’s a labor-intensive course of to achieve.

Making issues worse, it is best to change your timing belt each 100,000 miles. And whereas that may sound like rather a lot, while you consider that the common price to interchange your timing belt can exceed $900, it may be an costly restore that you simply don’t wish to take care of.

However for those who ignore the alternative and the timing belt snaps, you'll be able to find yourself totaling your engine which might price you hundreds of {dollars} as a substitute.

The rationale that some automobiles use timing belts as a substitute of timing chains primarily comes all the way down to the value. Whereas timing chains are much more dependable, timing belts are far cheaper. This permits the producer to avoid wasting cash throughout manufacturing.

Moreover, timing belts was once far quieter than timing chains, however this isn’t the case anymore in newer automobiles.


  • Extra reasonably priced upfront
  • Typically quitter than timing belts


  • They don’t final as lengthy, and it is advisable change them

Can You Swap a Timing Belt for a Timing Chain?

In the event you’re trying to improve your timing belt to a extra sturdy timing chain that you simply don’t want to fret about, chances are high you’re out of luck. That’s as a result of there’s extra to this swap than simply altering a belt for a series, and it’s not one thing you’re going to determine for your self.

Nevertheless, for those who’re fortunate, there are a number of timing chain conversion kits on the market. You’ll should test on your particular automobile’s engine, however the chances are high you’re out of luck.

Maintain this in thoughts while you’re buying a automobile as a result of for those who get a timing belt, that’s what you’re in all probability going to be caught with it for the lengthy haul.

Our Verdict

In the event you don’t select a automotive engine mannequin with many failed timing chain reviews, a timing chain is significantly better than a timing belt. Whereas a timing chain is likely to be far dearer to interchange, the chances are that you simply’ll by no means have to interchange it. Conversely, in case your automobile has a timing belt, chances are high you’ll find yourself changing it two to a few occasions over the automobile’s lifespan.

This provides up, and for those who change the timing belt 3 times, the overall price can exceed $2,100! Furthermore, since timing chains are actually simply as quiet as timing belts, there actually isn't any cause to stay with a timing belt in a contemporary automobile.

However it doesn't matter what alternative you go together with, just remember to’re maintaining with your entire service intervals to maintain your automobile operating the way in which it ought to.

Keep in mind that many trendy automotive fashions have issues with the timing chains, which might trigger you to have to interchange the timing chain. That is usually extra expensive than a timing belt alternative. Due to this fact it is advisable test for the quantity of timing chain failure reviews of the precise engine mannequin earlier than shopping for your automotive.

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