​​What Is the Difference Between a Timing Belt vs. Timing Chain?

Unless you drive an all-electric vehicle, your car, SUV, or truck has either a timing belt or timing chain. Today, we will go over the difference between these two components.


Importance of Engine Timing

Your vehicle's internal combustion engine has many parts at play, and they all work in tandem to ensure that there is enough power for your car to run. One key objective that your engine has is to have the proper timing of its internal components. Timing belts and chains are engine components that sit under the hood to help achieve perfect timing. 


Over time, debris (rocks, sand, ice, mud, etc.) can make its way into the engine and disrupt the timing components. Your timing belt can also wear down as it is simply made of rubber. An old and worn timing belt can also run the risk of breaking, which would lead to major engine damage. Without a working timing belt or chain, the internal combustion engine would be nearly impossible to run. 


Differences Between a Timing Belt and Timing Chain

A timing belt is simply a belt with ribbed edges to maintain consistent timing. A timing chain is very similar to its rubber belt companion, except it is made out of durable metal. It kind of resembles a bike chain, except it's less greasy, bigger, and more long-lasting.

One advantage of having a timing chain over a timing belt is durability. A timing chain failure is much less likely to happen than a timing belt failure. One of the only downsides of having a timing chain is that it is heavier, so in the event that it breaks, the damage will be more destructive for your engine.


Please refer to your vehicle's manual for instructions to know when to change your timing belt or chain. We invite you to Chicane Motorsport for dependable and quality timing belts and timing chain replacements!