Timing Cover Gasket Buyer’s Guide
- The engine’s timing would be off if certain components like the timing cover gasket are not in good shape.
- The timing cover gasket seals the gap between the engine block and timing cover.
- Just like with other engine gaskets, daily use and extreme heat can wear out the timing cover gasket.
- You need to replace your old timing cover gasket if you notice signs of failure like oil leak, knocking sound from the front of the engine, and a rough-running engine. You should also look into this component if the check engine light turns on.
- Depending on several factors, it takes about five to ten years for the timing cover gasket to wear out.
- The perfect replacement timing cover gasket should be durable and designed to directly replace your old component.
- You can typically purchase an aftermarket timing cover gasket for around $5 to $250.
The engine is all about precision. The movement of engine components like the camshafts, crankshafts, pistons, and valves must be synchronized and error-free to make sure that the “heart of the vehicle” can function at its optimal level. This is why timing is very crucial to the engine.
To get the engine timing right, several moving parts must execute a series of events down to a T. However, this will be near impossible if certain components are not in good shape, especially the timing chain. If you want to keep the timing chain in tip-top condition, you need a timing cover gasket that works properly.
What is a timing cover gasket?
The timing cover gasket is the sealing component placed between the engine block and the timing cover. It helps protect the timing belt or chain as well as the engine by ensuring an airtight seal that keeps outside contaminants away. By doing this, the timing cover gasket guarantees the good condition of the timing belt or chain, allowing the synchronized rotation of both the crankshaft and the camshaft.
Why does the timing cover gasket fail?
Just like other sealing components in your vehicle, the timing cover gasket can fail due to constant exposure to extreme heat, which can speed up its wear and tear. Aside from this, daily use can also cause its deterioration. Once the timing cover gasket shrinks or gets worn out, its sealing capacity would be reduced, allowing substances to get in and out.
How do you know if your timing cover gasket is faulty?
To prevent it from causing other engine problems, you should be able to determine when your timing cover is up for replacement. The following signs can help you figure out when it’s time to replace it.
Timing cover gasket leak
Once the timing cover gasket gets damaged or worn out due to regular use, the lubricant or oil could leak down the front of the engine or onto the ground. This could lead to low oil levels or worse, the leak could reach your engine belt. The oil can speed up the wear and tear of your engine belt and make the engine belt slip on the pulleys it drives, which can result in bigger engine problems. To fix the oil leak, you should immediately replace your timing cover gasket.
Knocking sound from the front of the engine
If you hear a knocking sound from the front of the engine whenever you are driving, it could be a sign of a failing timing cover gasket. The connection between the engine block and timing cover can potentially loosen when the gasket is faulty. Moreover, this can cause the timing cover to hit the engine when the vehicle is running, creating the knocking sound that you hear when driving.
The engine runs rough
A worn-out timing cover gasket won’t be able to keep dirt and other harmful particles away from the engine. This can cause the engine to run rough and may lead to complete engine failure if not addressed immediately.
Check engine light
The vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU) can detect if the engine is losing vacuum because of a damaged timing cover gasket. Once it confirms that the vacuum level is low, the ECU will activate the check engine light on your dashboard. Look for timing cover gasket leak symptoms as soon as possible or ask your trusted mechanic to inspect it for you.
How long does a timing cover gasket last?
The lifespan of a timing cover gasket can range from five to ten years. However, this still depends on several factors like the level of usage and the durability of your timing cover gasket. If you want to ensure that the gasket’s service life is maximized, you should pay attention to the cooling system of your engine. If the cooling system does its job well, the engine heat, which can speed up the deterioration of the gaskets in your vehicle, can be reduced.
What to look for in your replacement timing cover gasket?
If you want your replacement timing cover gasket to last, make sure that it has the following qualities.
The daily punishment that the timing cover gasket receives is no joke. If it is not made with superb durability, it won’t be able to last long when exposed to extreme heat and other elements that can cause premature wear. Make sure that the replacement timing cover gasket that you will get is something that you can depend on for several years.
100% compatible with your ride
If your replacement timing cover gasket does not fit the specifications of your vehicle, installing it would be a hassle. You might need to do modifications to the product just to make it fit. Of course, this is not a good idea because it can compromise the structural integrity of the timing cover gasket, which can ultimately result in further damage or its premature failure. You can prevent this from happening by purchasing a replacement gasket that is designed to directly replace your factory-issued timing cover gasket.
Can you install the timing cover gasket on your own?
The location of the timing cover gasket will require you to dismantle pretty much everything on the front of the engine just to access the part. If you are not confident with your DIY skills, it’s best to leave this job to a professional mechanic. Be prepared for the additional expense that comes with the timing cover gasket repair cost, though.
How much does timing cover gasket replacement cost?
The prices of an aftermarket timing cover gasket is typically anywhere between $5 and $250 per piece. You can also purchase a timing cover gasket as a set or kit that comes with other components crucial for its installation. If you want the most value for your money, it would be best to buy a product that comes with warranty.
Finding the right fit
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Timing Cover Gasket: Choosing the Perfect Gasket for Your Ride
Your vehicle is surely equipped with parts that are exclusive for it, so whenever they wear, direct-fit replacements must be acquired to restore their original performance. Better yet, find upgrades that feature direct fit to even improve their functionality and thus the vehicle. One of these is your timing cover gasket that works to keep your lubricating oil from leaking. And to help you get the right gasket for your automobile model, here are some considerations you need to check:
Basically, there are just four types of materials you can choose from for a timing cover gasket. These are:
Rubber or fiber. Early automotive gaskets are either made of rubber or fiber only, including the one in your timing cover. Both materials are known to provide the flexibility that is necessary in accommodating any irregularities between the mating surfaces or their castings.
Molded rubber. Gaskets getting blown all the time have found a solution with more innovative molded rubber. Though this one seems to be the same type of material used in older versions, but this one is made a lot distinct by its thicker and more reliable construction. It is also crafted to match particular timing cover models for perfect fit.
Metal. You can also find timing cover gaskets made from metal. Basically, this is a more durable type of replacement or aftermarket. It is also distinctly manufactured as direct replacement to your factory part.
Plastic. Lightweight, inexpensive, and made-to-fit replacement are characteristics known to plastic timing cover gaskets. They are also made to resist oil and excessive heat that are both common inside your timing system.
World-class aftermarket manufacturers commonly offer timing cover gasket products in sets. And there are two types you can find in the market these days, with or without repair sleeve.
With repair sleeve. This is the timing cover gasket kit you need to acquire if your front crankshaft hub is already grooved.
Without repair sleeve. This is the gasket set you have to purchase if you just need to restore the leak-free cover of your timing system.
Getting the appropriate replacement for your bad timing cover gasket isn't supposed to be difficult if you know what your automobile requires. For best result, check your ride's specifications. If you are buying from online auto parts stores, provide the make and model of your vehicle early in the search. Doing so ensures you get compatible gaskets for your timing cover model.
Seal the Leak: DIY Installation Manual for Your Timing Cover Gasket
Overheating is one of the most common problems under your hood where all the working parts of your vehicle are found. But if you have enough oil to lubricate them, you have nothing to worry. You can ensure that by checking your oil level before and after hitting the road and inspecting your engine compartment, especially the front section where the timing system is located, for leaks. If indeed there is, you surely have a bad timing cover gasket. This problem calls for a replacement, and you should do that ASAP. If you are one of those DIY enthusiast types, you can use the step-by-step installation procedure below:
What you'll need:
- Set of sockets
- Drain pan
- Park your vehicle on a level surface.
- Turn off your engine.
- Use your owner's manual for reference.
- Disconnect your battery cable (preferably the negative) from its terminal to avoid electrocution.
- Allow your engine to cool before you start working on your timing cover.
Step 1: Remove your air duct.
Step 2: Take the fan shroud off. NOTE: If you have a rear-wheel drive, unbolt the shroud and push it back and over the fan.
Step 3: Loosen the tension on your drive belt/s. NOTE: If you're equipped with a serpentine belt, slide a socket into the tensioner's center, rotate it toward the engine, and lift belt from the pulleys. For v-belts, you need to loosen each adjusting bolt. Rotate without removing them from their brackets towards your engine's center. NOTE: V-belts sometimes have lock bolts. If yours have, loosen them first before sliding the belts off the pulleys.
Step 4: Remove the bolts of your timing cover, your old gasket, and clean the mating surfaces of the timing cover and engine block.NOTE: For rear-wheel drive vehicles, you still need to completely remove your fan and shroud as one assembly. You'll also need to evacuate the coolant, remove the water pump, and clean the pump and block surfaces.
Step 5: Apply silicone or the recommended adhesive on those mating surfaces, and install your cover-gasket assembly.NOTE: For best result, install your new timing cover gasket onto the cover. This allows your gasket to sit properly in place.