Relationship Between Timing Chain and oil Change
The timing chain comprises several links that are inside a vehicle’s engine which works together with groups of gears and pulleys in delivering power to different components of the car engine, that is, the camshafts and crankshaft specifically. There is need to ensure that the timing chain functions properly because any wear on the crankshaft and camshaft can result in unexpected noise, poor engine performance, misfires, oil leakage and damage to nearby mechanisms in the car engine.
The timing chain and oil works hand-in-hand. When oil is not changed, the worn-out oil becomes unable to lubricate the chain, the aftermath will be a wearing out of the rollers and links thereby causing friction between them. So, as the chain spins round the gears of the vehicle’s camshaft and crankshaft, the links and rollers move simultaneously, thus producing friction which then causes a wear and elongation of the timing chain.
Consequently, as time goes on, and as the vehicle’s engine mileage increases, the chain begins wearing out. This causes looseness in the pivots, rollers and links of the chain, resulting in the chain’s weakness. This looseness is called timing chain stretch or elongation and/or wear out of the timing chain.
There are various factors that can lead to short life span of the timing chain, however, many of them are related to lubrication. That is, the extension of the frequency with which the vehicle’s oil is changed more than is required or acceptable, can cause timing chain issues.
One other factor that causes an elongation of the timing chain is the engine oil with diminished additive level. Once the additive level of a vehicle’s engine begins to diminish, oxidation begins to undermine the integrity of the base oil, sooner than expected, the lubricant will become deficient in essential properties. And lubricants that has poor-quality characteristics are capable of breaking down any time and thus becomes ineffective; the resultant effect is a low lubrication, accompanied by gummy surfaces and tar-like sludge.
While it’s important to choose the right lubricant for your engine, it is equally imperative to ensure that the oil is clean and dry. One way of achieving that is through the use of quality oil filter that has a capacity to capture impurities in the oil that causes chain wear out as cheap oil filter frequently used without changing them out will eventually lead to particle ingression into the vehicle’s engine causing greater wear out that is known to cause timing chain issues.
That being said, the inability to maintain the required oil level in a vehicle’s engine is capable of causing wear out of unimaginable proportion, since the components, that is, the camshafts and crankshafts, gears and pulleys,etc., are not adequately lubricated, leading to timing chain elongation.
Finally, one way to salvage this, especially if your vehicle is experiencing any of these timing chain issues, is to investigate the cause of the problem and try to replace affected components to minimize the potential of the issue leading to more damage of adjacent components of the engine.