Should I replace the timing chain on my 2003 Honda CRV as preventative maintenance? Two Honda techs have given me different answers. One says yes, the other says Honda doesn't call for it, that they expect the chain to last the life of the vehicle. Who do I believe?
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Broad opinion is the chain is good for 200,000 or the life of the engine. The big problem is the life of a chain is so variable depending on maintenance and driving conditions.
A car with fewer cold starts and longer journeys driven mostly at a constant speed that has had regular oil changes using quality oil will have a considerably longer timing chain life than a car that has lots of cold starts, short runs and minimal maintenance.
Mostly a worn chain will rattle at idle for a while before it breaks and causes damage. When servicing a chain driven engine it is often possible to get a look at the chain through the oil filler. If not it is worthwhile to occasionally remove the valve cover and expose the chain and check it for wear where it passes over the sprockets.
With a worn chain it will be possible to detect some slackness where it passes over a sprocket even though the chain seems tight between the sprockets. This condition indicates the ideal time to change the chain, tensioner and guides for the purpose of preventative maintenance, though typically a chain will last a lot longer but then when the chain must eventually be replaced the sprockets are likely to need replacing in addition to avoid a prematurely worn (replacement) chain.
Normally Timing Chains do not wear out or break like the old Timing Belts did. The main issue with Timing Chains is that the actualy chain guides will wear out usually before anything happens with the actual chain itself.
If you are not hearing any abnormal noises from the Timing Chain area, i would probably just leave it alone, you could also call the dealer and just ask them what the recommended service interval (if any) is to replace the Timing Chain.
It will have both. The timing belt is the rubber belt that you can see connected to all the pulleys. The timing chain is usually covered up and is located on the opposite side of the engine from the timing belt
Yes those vehicles have timing belts instead of chains. I have yet to see a timing belt that doesnt need to be changed at some point. Maybe the tech meant you didnt need to change them now. Each manufacturer has their own mileage interval, but generally speaking, anywhere between 60,000 and 90,000 miles they are due to be replaced.