Symptoms that the timing chain jumped

Updated March 23, 2017

The timing chain or timing belt makes your engine run. The only difference between a timing belt and a chain is that belts are made out of rubber, while timing chains are metal chains. The chain connects and synchronises the camshaft and crankshaft, while governing the combustion in your internal combustion engine. In some engines, it plays a governing role in other systems, such as the water and power-steering pumps. If it has jumped or become otherwise ineffectual, it will be hard to miss.

Engine Stall

If the timing chain has jumped, one immediate symptom is that your engine won't function. The chain helps regulate the car's internal ignition, so if the chain has jumped your engine simply won't work.

Rattling Noises

Unlike timing belts, which break silently, timing chains will make noises before they jump or otherwise fail. Pay attention to rattling noises that occur when you are speeding up, slowing down, or that last only a few moments after you turn your engine over. These are all instances in which the rate at which your engine, and by extension your timing chain, is rotating. It is during these changes that the engine will have the most problems with gripping the teeth it rotates on if it is working its way towards jumping.

Excessive Oil Losses

If your car is burning through an unusually high amount of oil, then it could be a sign that the car's engine is not functioning correctly. Since the timing chain plays a major role in regulating engine function, this could be a sign that there is something wrong with the timing chain.

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About the Author

Micah McDunnigan has been writing on politics and technology since 2007. He has written technology pieces and political op-eds for a variety of student organizations and blogs. McDunnigan earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Davis.