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Summary
  • The timing cover is a metal or plastic casing that protects your engine’s timing components from dirt, dust, and debris. It covers either the engine’s timing chain or the timing belt while keeping engine oil from leaking out.
  • Common symptoms of a faulty timing cover or timing cover gasket include oil visibly leaking from the timing cover area and low oil levels.
  • If you have a minor leak, you might be able to continue driving as long as you watch the oil level. However, it’s best to address the leak as soon as possible. A substantial engine leak can lead to low oil levels and internal engine damage. Purchase a replacement cover at CarParts.com!

The timing cover is located at the engine’s front and is typically one of the components that you immediately see when you open the hood. As its name suggests, it covers key engine components like the timing chain or belt. Learn more about timing covers in this helpful guide.

What Is a Timing Cover?

A timing cover is a metal or plastic casing that protects your engine’s timing components from dirt, dust, and debris. Depending on your vehicle, the timing cover can be covering either the engine’s timing chain or the timing belt. These components are responsible for connecting your engine’s crankshaft with the camshaft. This connection is responsible for synchronizing the timing of components like the pistons and valves. Since timing chains need engine oil, the timing cover is also responsible for keeping it from leaking out.

car timing cover
A timing cover is a metal or plastic casing that protects your engine’s timing components from dirt, dust, and debris.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Timing Cover?

Vehicles that have a timing chain are typically equipped with a timing cover because the chain and the cogs need lubrication. A timing cover gasket accompanies the timing cover to prevent oil from leaking from the edges. If your timing cover or timing cover gasket develops issues, then you’ll probably notice the following issues:

Oil Visibly Leaking from Timing Cover Area

You might see oil leaks leaking from the edges of your timing cover. You might also notice oil accumulating on the ground under your engine. Faulty timing cover gaskets typically cause these types of leaks.

Timing cover leaks can also be caused by physical damage like cracks. These can prevent the cover from having a proper seal. If you have a leak, you should look for fractures on the timing cover, as they might be the cause of the issue.

Low Oil Levels

Checking your oil level at regular intervals should be part of your routine maintenance. If your oil level regularly falls below the full mark, then you might have a faulty timing cover that is steadily leaking oil. If you do not check your oil frequently enough, you may notice this problem when your dashboard oil warning light illuminates.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, get your vehicle checked immediately.

low oil level
If your oil level regularly falls below the full mark, then you might have a faulty timing cover that is steadily leaking oil.

Should You Drive With a Leaking Timing Cover?

If you have a minor leak, you might be able to continue driving the vehicle if you keep an eye on the oil level. However, you should address the issue as soon as possible because the leak will likely get worse. A substantial engine oil leak can result in a low oil level and possible internal engine damage.

Get a Replacement Timing Cover That Fits Your Vehicle

A leaking timing cover is among one of the biggest red flags you shouldn’t ignore, especially because it can cause severe internal engine damage. This can lead to some pretty expensive repairs down the line, so if you want to save some money, order a new timing cover from CarParts.com.

We offer a wide selection of products for all kinds of vehicles at different price points, so you’re sure to find a new timing cover that fits your budget. To make sure the product you’re buying is a perfect fit for your vehicle, check your vehicle’s measurements and compare them to the fitment information we provide for each of our products.

Don’t wait until your timing cover does more damage. Check out our catalog now for the best timing cover replacement for your vehicle.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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