German auto manufacturer Volkswagen is renowned for manufacturing practical cars that offer safety and great performance on the roads. Over the decades, the engineering of these vehicles has greatly improved in an effort to give their customers affordable luxury. While the car may have the perfect level of engineering, it still experiences mechanical problems of its own after a period of time. One such problem that the car is likely to encounter is a malfunction in the timing belt.
A car’s engine is made up of many rotating parts that move in sync to ensure that the process of combustion happens smoothly. This process of fuel combustion is responsible for the running of the car. The timing chain is a chain that serves to synchronize the movement of the camshaft and the crankshaft. The chain has teeth that rotate the camshaft to open the valves and then open the crankshaft as soon as it revolves to close the camshaft.
The whole process of opening and closing of these two valves rely explicitly on the timing belt. When these two parts move in sync, the valves in the engine will open and close at the precise time to let in fuel and take out exhaust gases respectively. Another function of this belt is that it helps to prevent the piston from hitting the valves.
Causes of a Malfunction in the Timing Chain
After driving a Volkswagen for a period of time, the timing chain should always be replaced. This is because it is a moving part that is heavily prone to wear and tear. Failure to replace it may cause immeasurable damage to your car. Some of the causes of a malfunction in the timing chain include:
This is simply the amount of time that the timing chain has been in your car without changing. The failure due to age comes from the wear and tear as a result of friction. When the chain is kept on too long without change, debris may be deposited in the spaces, including carbon particles that after a while will interfere with the smooth running of the chain.
If the timing chain is too tight, it might break in the process of turning the camshaft and crankshaft. If it is too loose, it will also not turn these parts in a timely manner. Both instances will cause the entire system to malfunction.
Seizure in the engine
When an engine runs out of oil, the pistons within the cylinders will seize. The engine may also seize because of overheating. In case this happens when the car is running at very high speeds, the movement of the timing chain will be interrupted, causing breakage.
Symptoms of a Malfunctioning Timing Chain
Some of the most common signs that will indicate that your timing chain is faulty include:
Because the timing chain ensures that the camshaft and the crankshaft open at the exact same time, when it becomes too loose or overstretches then the coordination between the two parts is lost. This will cause the engine to misfire due to the failure in the timing.
Unusual rattling sounds from the engine
This unusual noise will be audible when the engine is on idle mode. This rattling noise points to something being loose within the engine, likely the timing chain.
Presence of metal particles in the oil
These are small bits and pieces of metal that break off the chain when it becomes too old and starts to tear. This can easily be noticed during regular servicing when changing oils and filters.
Solutions for a Malfunctioning Timing Belt
As soon as the timing belt shows signs of failure, you should have your car checked before the car stalls completely. This can easily be done in a proper repair shop and by an experienced mechanic. Picking a mechanic that is familiar with the Volkswagen will save you the hassle of repeat repairs in the future that may result from poor workmanship and substandard parts.
Hayes European has the experience and technology to correct the fault in your Volkswagen’s timing chain efficiently. We are licensed to provide these services to Volkswagen owners in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, as well as Capitola, California. Get in touch with us today and prevent a small problem from becoming a full-blown disaster.