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Timing Chain Tensioner

By Bret Bodas, July 23, 2008

The timing chain tensioner maintains the appropriate tension in the timing chain. The tensioner can use spring tension or hydraulic pressure to properly tension the chain.

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Timing Chain Tensioner

  • Engine may stall or run rough
  • Noise in the front of the engine (a rattle or rumble, associated with engine speed)
  • Check Engine Light may illuminate and set misfire, camshaft sensor, and crankshaft sensor codes

Timing Chain Tensioner Related Repair Advice

  • When replacing a timing chain tensioner, replace the whole timing chain set, which includes all of the chains, the gear set, the tensioner(s), and the guides
  • An engine may have multiple timing chains; replacing all of the chains and their related components is recommend if one chain requires replacement
  • Using high quality, fully synthetic engine oil may extend the life of the timing chain and related components
  • On certain engines, the water pump is driven by the timing chain. It should be replaced if the timing chain is replaced.

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