I’m sure some of us are familiar with the sounds an engines makes on a daily basis. But when our engines start making a “rattling” sound, it can be cause for concern.
There is a chance the sound is a symptom of the timing chain “stretching”. Although more like elongating, the timing chain can endure hardships in the absence of regular engine checks and low grade oil quality. This is an increasing trend of late with car manufacturers chasing optimum fuel targets with extended service intervals. Buyers think longer time frames between services means less impact on the hip pocket – but in the long run it only diminishes and extracts from your cars full potential.
Other causes of stretching can be contaminated oil. Once an oil loses all lubrication effects it causes the links to roll over each other and elongate the chain which then effects timing gears. If stretched far enough the timing chain can cause a massive loss of power in the engine, difficulty starting the engine and ultimately major engine failure.
| Read: Fuel Contamination |
Most manufacturers have had issues with some models giving them a bad reputation for timing chains. However most workshops are now fully aware of stretched chains and are very proactive with diagnosing, timely and economical repairs.
Don’t despair keep a sharp ear on things in particular cold start where the chain will be at it loudest.