Finding the Right Timing Chain Tensioner
Thanks to your vehicle's timing chain tensioner, your engine motor works right on time, giving you enough power whenever you want to go fast. The timing chain tensioner ensures that your timing chain is consistent, efficient, and has enough tension to keep it going. Overtime, your tensioner can get damaged due to its constant exposure to extreme under-the-hood conditions like heat and moisture. And after some time, it may develop rust, which can make it snap if left unchecked. If your factory tensioner is broken, this can cause your timing chain to malfunction or slip. Inevitably, your engine motor will not work properly and this will lead to a backfire. When worse comes to worst, your engine might not run at all. If you are currently dealing a broken tensioner in your ride, you'd better address it right away to prevent the problem from getting out of hand.
Before you go and spend your hard-earned money on a new component, make sure you verify the source of the glitch first. There are several types of timing chain tensioners in your assembly and you can find them in the following locations:
- Passenger side
- Passenger side-upper
- Driver side
- Driver side-upper
- Driver side-lower
- Upper right
- Upper left
You will find a lot of OEM brands that offer tensioners at prices ranging from 20 to 30 USD. If you want to save some cash, look for a product that comes with its own mounting hardware. Also, remember to buy from a brand with a reputation that you can rely on. Some of the most trusted brands in the industry today include Beck Arnley, Dorman, Mahle, and Mopar.
- It's advisable to change your timing chain after every 200,000 miles and when you do this, don't forget to change your tensioner as well.
- Having a bad timing chain tensioner in your system can be a bit hard to determine since you need to have a good pair of ears. The key is to watch out for a rattling noise every time you start your car and during acceleration.
How to Install a New Timing Chain Tensioner
Your ride's timing chain tensioner may give out as early as 20,000 miles, so before you experience any problems while you drive, the best thing you can do is perform maintenance checkups on your system. If it's too late and you need to replace your current one right away, you'd better invest in a good replacement to get started with your repairs. The symptoms of a faulty or malfunctioning tensioner are quite easy to spot. For instance, if you've been driving for a while and your engine has already become warm or hot, you might hear rattling noises once you start your car again. You'll also notice that this sound will eventually go away after a while. If this problem is left unchecked, your timing chain might suddenly jump and cause your engine components to go berserk. Get your vehicle back on track by following the instructions provided below.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
What You'll Need:
- Hex bolt
- Metric socket set
- Metric wrench set
- Philips screwdriver
- Needle nose pliers
- Motor oil
- Rags or paper towels
- Replacement timing chain tensioner
Step 1: To gain access to your timing chain tensioner, remove your air filter by pulling it out. After that, get your airbox out of the way by unbolting it using a socket and removing its clips. Set both components aside.
Step 2: Next, locate your timing chain tensioner that's positioned at the left side of the engine near the exhaust manifold. Before uninstalling it, don't forget to put some rags or paper towels on top of the oil filter to prevent it from spilling oil while you're taking the tensioner out.
Step 3: Use a socket to loosen the bolts that are holding the tensioner in place. Once the bolts are out, pry the tensioner out by twisting and pulling it to pop. Be very careful while doing this to avoid getting other components in your assembly damaged.
Step 4: Get your replacement tensioner and dab some motor oil on its o-rings. Bolt in your new tensioner and tighten it until attachment is secure.
Step 5: Once you're done installing your new timing chain tensioner, pull its cotter pin using the hex. This will cause the piston to pop into place. After that, replace your hex bolt with a new one.
Step 6: To wrap it up, remove the rags or paper towels that you placed on top of the oil filter earlier, and reattach your air box by bolting it back.