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Timing Cover

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Timing Cover

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What is a timing cover and where is it located?

Any car engine with a timing belt or chain (a part that helps the crankshaft rotate in sync with the camshaft) will come with a timing belt cover (also known as a timing belt case or shroud). Timing chain covers are made of metal, and timing belt covers can be made of metal or plastic. They seal to the front of the engine block near the drive belts.

A harmonized camshaft and crankshaft rotation is so crucial to your engine’s performance that skips will eventually render your engine inoperable. Exposure to road debris and dust can accelerate this process through grime and sludge build up. Also, some timing chains need to be lubricated with oil to keep them running smoothly and to reduce wear. In these cases, the timing cover also holds the oil in. Having a timing belt cover to protect the timing belt and gears is an important and sometimes overlooked facet of your engine.

How do I know if my timing cover needs to be replaced?

Timing covers can develop various problems that inhibit their ability to keep oil in and foreign material out. Sometimes it’s important to look for early timing belt symptoms, such as uncommon high revs, start up issues, and excessive exhaust smoke, because the timing cover may actually be the root of the problem. But the timing cover has a few of its own signs, like leaking oil due to faulty seals or a cracked or corroded cover. They can also crack or warp from over-tightened bolts or get damaged from loose or rattling timing parts. And while covers are pretty resistant to wear in general, it’s still a good idea to inspect your timing cover periodically for leaks and cracks, as, in a worst case scenario, the timing belt can pop out.

Can I replace a timing cover myself?

The timing cover can be replaced by an automotive do-it-yourselfer, but it’s recommended that you seek the help of a professional unless you have prior experience. The first few steps require the disconnection of the battery, drainage of any coolant connected to the radiator, and the removal of any accessories that may be in the way of the timing cover — such as the serpentine or drive belt, belt tensioner, the water pump, engine mounts, inner fender plastic panels, the cooling fan, and anything else bolted to the timing cover. You will also need a specialty tool called a harmonic balancer puller or crank pulley tool that will lock in place so that the crankshaft bolt can be removed without turning the crank. 

Before reinstalling, be sure to clean off any residue from the old gasket. Apply the new timing cover into place and torque it to your vehicle's specifications without over-tightening the bolts. Then you can reinstall any additional parts removed, refill and bleed the radiator, and reconnect the battery.

Need a timing cover replacement?

Has your timing cover cracked or been damaged? If so, you can find a replacement right here at 1A Auto! We carry a large selection of aftermarket timing covers for many makes and models, and at great prices. They are built to replace your original exactly, so you can have peace of mind that it will fit just like your old one.

We also make shopping for a replacement timing belt or chain cover for your car, truck, SUV or van easy at 1A Auto — we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our timing covers, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online. Replace your broken, warped, or corroded timing cover now with a great fitting alternative.

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