Timing chains and timing belts are key components in the car’s engine that very few notice and address. This is because timing chains and timing belts are integral parts that usually have a long interval life and will rarely provide any issues. Nevertheless, knowing about them, their value and their importance to a functioning engine will increase your appreciation towards a normal functioning engine.
A timing belt or a timing chain, as the name suggests, are either belts or chains that have designs that fit perfectly into the teeth of the crankshaft and camshaft. By doing so they manage to connect the two functioning motions and allow for the opening and closing of the valves to have precise timing. This way the engine can work in complete harmony and synchronization.
The rotation of the crankshaft is responsible for the up and down motion of the pistons. This brings forth precise mechanical timing and even the slightest inaccuracies in this timing will result in the car’s engine performing poorly. The pistons and the valves need to have motion at a precise rate, and the belts and timing chains contribute to that motion.
Before chains or belts exited, car manufacturers used gears to integrate connections between the revolutions of the crankshaft and the camshaft. However, gears were costly innovations, which was a problem for the carmakers.
Another problem was that gears tend to be noisy, and this hindered a car owner’s automotive experience. These problems gave birth to the timing chains and timing belts. For the fraction of the cost, these components serve the same purpose as timing gears. Moreover, they also help mitigate engine noise.
Timing Chains and Noises
There are two types of timing chains, whereas all timing belts are more or less the same. One type includes a silent chain. As the name suggests, the silent chain quiets down the engine noise and makes the driver experience better. Similarly, rubber belts also perform a similar action.
Their rubber qualities help in absorbing the vibrations of the combustion engine, which helps lowering sound levels. Therefore, the pursuit of making car engines cheaper and less noisy led to the brilliant innovations of timing chains, and then gradually timing belts.
Which One is Better?
The question concerning whether a chain belt or timing belt is better is very debatable. Nevertheless, old-timer mechanics and car enthusiasts will tell you that a car engine with a timing chain is better. This is mainly because a timing chain will last the car’s lifetime without any replacement.
While on the other hand, a timing belt can wear after it passes its recommended mileage. Moreover, since it is mainly rubber, it will naturally deteriorate with time. A timing chain can also wear, but if you are consistent with lubrication, and oil replacement, then it is less likely that a timing chain spoils.
Now that you know all about the timing chain and timing belts, you can make better decisions regarding your automotive.