Timing Belt vs Timing Chain – Basic Understanding

Toyota Chain Belt

A timing belt or timing change is the basic part of an engine. Both of these perform the same functions but the question is date how these items are different from each other. A very simple answer to this question is, that one is a chain while the other is a belt.

But this answer is not enough to know about what is the timing chain and what is the timing belt. We need to more know about these two things what are a timing belt and timing chain exactly and how do they work and when do both of these perform the same function so what are the reasons which make them different from each other?

So there are some differences, not functionally but critical differences, among both that make a difference in the driving of a vehicle. Let’s see those differences.

What is a Timing Belt?

Usually, the timing belt is based on composite materials such as rubber and other materials that were made by Pontiac and one of the great inventions in the middle of the 1960s. The timing belt has teeth that help to make a grip on the vehicle. It works under different timing belt replacement intervals for the maintenance of the vehicle systems.


Mostly, the manufacturers of an automobile recommend that a timing belt has need replacement at every 60,000-100,000 miles. Usually, requires an inspection at the time of its replacement that is the water pump, pulley, oil seals, and timing belt tensioner because these all things are run with the belt. The belts are built with hydraulic timing around the tensioners. It holds on to a fixed movement via the engine cycle and keeps things on track for the whole time.

What is Timing Chain?

A timing chain is used for the same purpose as a timing belt but a timing chain is more reliable than a timing belt. The timing chain is designed by a roller chain and made of metal. The vehicles that are designed with the timing chain, have less need to change or replace the timing chain as they need to change the timing belt at a fixed distance. Generally, the timing chain does not need much attention as the timing belt needs because the timing chain is much strong than the timing belt and runs the whole life of an engine.

A timing chain has a similarity to the timing belt which is a tensioner. Like a timing belt, it has also a tensioner that helps to keep its function properly. Oil pressure has controlled the tensioners of the timing chain in the engine. when the oil pressure is low in your car’s engine it will make cause some issues such as it will create a disturbance in the engine or the system will be off. One of the good qualities of the timing chain is that it is not attached to the water pump as the timing belt is attached and has no immediate effect on the others.

What do they Work?

The modern engine’s main part is the timing system that helps to keep the vehicle’s running in perfect condition. A timing belt or a timing chain are those implements that create a connection between the two most important parts of the engine crankshaft and the camshaft. It also controls the pistons and valves inside movement in the vehicle’s engine cylinders. The valves open at an exact time in the contrast with the pistons, and if the engine won’t work they do not perform their functions properly.

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