Timing Belts And Timing Chains: How Do They Work?
If you have ever bought a car or planning to buy one, every motoring expert will tell you to ensure that the timing belt or chain is in top condition. This is a great advice but do you even know what timing belts or chains are?
What exactly are timing belts and timing chains?
Timing belts and timing chains have the same function. They connect the camshaft and the vehicle crankshaft so that they can continue rotating in sync. Though the timing chain and belt have the same roles, each comes with unique benefits and disadvantages. Note that you cannot directly see them by simply opening the bonnet because they are protected by guards.
To understand the two, it is advisable to get under the bonnet and understand some mechanics. A vehicle’s engine can be considered to consist of two main parts; the top half (valves, cylinder head, and camshafts) and bottom part (pistons, crankshaft, and cylinder block). To have the two sections operate effectively, you will need the timing chains or timing belts done well. If it is not done appropriately, the car will experience the following problems;
- Lack of power.
- Rough running.
The timing belts
These are designed of rubber and reinforced with using steel wires. Note that since the belts are flexible, you do not need lubrication. Most manufacturers recommend that every timing belt is replaced after the vehicle does 60,000 to 100,000 miles. The best thing is following the manufacturer’s recommendation and ensuring they are checked regularly by a mechanic. The timing belts, like the bx100 belts, are designed to deliver long lifespan and quiet operations.
Note that because the timing belts are fed by pulleys, it is advisable to change them when replacing the belts. It is also recommended that you also change the water pump.
The timing chains
Unlike the timing belts that are made from rubber, the timing chains are created using metal. They look like bicycle chains. Because the metal gets into contact with other metal, you will need to regularly grease the chain. The rule of the thumbs when using the timing chains is ensuring that they are fixed only when there is a problem. Just like the high quality bx100 belts, the timing chains last longer though they are noisier.