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Timing Chain Replacement

What is a Timing Chain?

Most vehicles on our roads use a cambelt to ensure the engine valves operate with the correct timing. These belts wear out over time, needing to be replaced at specific intervals. To avoid this, some vehicles use a timing chain, which achieves the same objective without the maintenance hassle. Timing chains are made of hardened metal to reduce the impact of wear and tear. Timing chains are not part of a vehicle’s scheduled maintenance and only need replacing when damaged.

Why do you need a timing chain?

You need a timing chain to control the camshafts, if they aren’t controlled then your engine won’t run. Your timing chain is what lets air in and exhaust out. It’s an important piece of kit for sure. 

How do you know when it is time to replace your Mercedes-Benz's timing chain?

Timing chains are typically installed on more modern vehicles. In some cases the vehicle will let you know through a Check Engine Light if there is an issue with the timing chain, but if this fails, listen out of rattling noises from the engine bay. If the engine's timing is off you may also notice a significant increase in fuel consumption or reduced or lagged power output.

What happens during a timing chain replacement?

Similar to a cambelt change, the mechanic will need to remove covers and accessories to access the timing chain, located towards the front of the engine. They will release the tension on the timing chain, then remove the camshaft and crankshaft gears. During this process the mechanic should install new tensioners and guides. 

Once a new timing chain is installed the mechanic will ensure they are aligned to the same position as previous, then reinstall the covers and accessories, before testing the engine.

How much does a Mercedes-Benz timing chain replacement cost?

Timing chains are an expensive fix, albeit not a very common one. The time to do this fix is a major component of the cost, which starts at around $1,100. This cost varies by make and model.

Is driving with a broken timing chain unsafe?

It can be dangerous driving with a damaged timing chain, but the main risk here is the significant damage you will cause your engine should it break completely.

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