In the past it was normal for most cars to be built with a timing belt and the more expensive timing chain was only fitted to hi-end European cars.
However the standard car is now more and more being built with a timing chain. This is mainly due to the fact that timing belts need to be replaced more frequently than timing chains.
Part of the problem was that car owners did not change the timing belt as frequently as the car manufacture’s handbook instructed them to because of the cost and sometimes car owners traded their cars in instead of changing the belt. This in turn led to the new owner not being aware that the belt needed to be replaced until it was too late.
The difference between a timing belt and chain is that the belt is made of high quality rubber and runs outside the engine protected by a cover.
The timing chain is made of metal similar to a bicycle chain and runs inside the engine lubricated by the engine oil. A timing belt need to be replaced between 65 km and 90 km depending on the vehicle. A timing chain does not need to be replaced unless there is a problem with it.
Does that mean that the timing chain is there for the life of the vehicle? No like other mechanical parts the timing chain is subject to wear particularly in high mileage vehicles The chain is lubricated by the engine oil and wear will occur faster if the oil is not changed at specified intervels,,the oil level is too low or inferior oil is used.
A worn timing chain causes a rattle from the engine ,low power, lower fuel consumption and difficulty in starting.
Your Team AutoCentre garage will advise if the timing chain needs to be replaced.