Timing Gear Buyer's Guide
- A vehicle can only work efficiently if there is proper coordination between its engine components like the crankshaft and camshaft.To ensure this, it is equipped with timing components, such as timing gears, timing chains, or timing belts.
- A vehicle with a timing gear set has a gear located in the front of its crankshaft. Another gear is located in front of its camshaft.
- These gears create a mechanical connection between your crankshaft and camshaft, allowing the synchronized movement of the pistons and valves.
- An engine may also come equipped with a timing chain or a timing belt, depending on its vehicle’s year, make, and model.
- The gears in a vehicle equipped with a timing gear set are different from the gears in a timing chain or timing belt kit. It’s important to check product specifications first before making any purchase.
- An aftermarket timing gear replacement usually costs around $50 to $500.
Air, fuel, and spark—these are the three most important requirements of engine combustion. However, they won’t work without engine timing.
The engine only works if there is proper coordination between its components, such as the crankshaft and camshaft. This ensures that the pistons are moving as they should, and the (intake and exhaust) valves are opening and closing at the right time. Engines are equipped with timing gears, timing chains, or timing belts to help achieve engine timing.
In this article, we’ll focus more on timing gears, what they do, and what to look for in a replacement.
What Are Timing Gears?
Timing gears are used primarily to achieve engine timing. A vehicle that is equipped with a timing gear set has one gear located in front of its crankshaft and another in front of its camshaft.
Together, these gears ensure that there is a mechanical connection between the crankshaft and camshaft. This allows the synchronized movement of the pistons and valves, which is a must for the engine to maximize combustion energy.
Timing gears must be properly maintained and lubricated by engine oil. Once these gears start to wear out, there is usually no option for repair. The best thing to do is to have them replaced.
Other Related Components
Newer engines come equipped with a timing chain or a timing belt, depending on the type of vehicle that you own. In these types of mechanisms, a gear or a sprocket holds the timing belt or timing chain to enable rotation.
An engine timing chain usually connects to the gears located in the upper crankshaft and lower camshaft. This timing component is typically used in engines where the distance between the crankshaft and the camshaft is too far, which means that the gears cannot come in contact with each other.
A timing belt refers to a type of engine belt that’s used to control the timing of the engine valves. It functions just like timing chains. The only difference is that these belts are housed outside the engine.
Many car manufacturers prefer timing belts because it’s easier to manufacture and assemble them compared to chains. They also don’t require frequent lubrication.
Importance of Engine Timing
The opening and closing of your vehicle’s intake and exhaust valves affect the engine’s torque, fuel efficiency, and emissions.
The timing of your intake valves, for example, greatly affects how much air/fuel mixture is pulled into each engine cylinder. It also determines how efficiently this mixture is used in the combustion process.
If the valve does not open when it should, there may not be enough time to fill the cylinders before the piston starts back up, which will reduce compression and power. A valve that opens sooner than expected isn’t good for the engine as well. It may push exhaust gases back to the intake manifold. This may interfere with engine breathing and eventually cause damage to engine components.
To keep this from happening, make sure that your engine’s timing components are in good condition at all times. If you start noticing symptoms of faulty timing gears, inspect the affected parts immediately. Replace them right away if necessary.
Which Timing Gear Replacement Should I Buy?
As discussed, the timing components installed in your vehicle may vary depending on your vehicle’s year, make, and model. For example, the gears in a vehicle equipped with a timing gear set may be different from the gears that are needed for a timing chain or timing belt kit.
Since gears may differ significantly, it’s important to check product specifications before making any purchase. You may also get additional input from your trusted mechanic.
OEM vs. Aftermarket Timing Gears
Looking for timing gears may be a bit challenging, especially if it is your first time to replace these parts. One of the things you should decide on is whether to buy an OEM or aftermarket replacement. To help you decide, let’s look at these two categories based on the following factors:
OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer.” OEM timing gears come from your vehicle’s authorized manufacturer or any of its affiliates. For example, if you own a Ford, then OEM timing gears refer to timing gears that are manufactured by Ford or any of its authorized manufacturers.
Aftermarket timing gears, on the other hand, are manufactured by companies that are not connected with your vehicle’s automaker.
Quality and Functionality
Because they come from an automaker or one of its affiliates, OEM timing gears guarantee quality and functionality. They are identical to the gears that came with your vehicle when you bought it.
If you’re planning to buy an aftermarket timing gear, you don’t need to worry about quality and functionality. A lot of aftermarket brands produce OEM-grade gears that are functionally equivalent to their OEM counterparts. If you’re unsure which brand to choose, you may read product reviews online. Most of the time, these materials provide some helpful insights regarding the product you are eyeing to buy.
How Much Does a Timing Gear Cost?
Timing gear replacement cost may vary depending on the type of gear you need. An aftermarket replacement usually costs around $50 to $500. Again, always check product specifications first before deciding on anything. Timing gears can be sold individually, in sets, or as part of a kit. Make sure to check on these things when looking for a replacement.
Finding the Right Fit
To ensure that you are getting the right timing gears for your vehicle, enter the exact details (year, make, and model) of your ride into our search bar. You may also filter your search according to your desired brand and price range.