The type of maintenance your car requires depends on the engine setup. No extra parts are needed or recommended for a timing belt beyond what you can do in your garage with a few pieces on hand. For a timing chain, these cars require additional parts and multiple days of labor to complete, as well as more frequent oil changes. The difference is how fast the engine speed will shift from one to another.
2012 Hyundai Elantra has a timing chain. Read this article for more information on the timing chain and differentiate between the timing belt and the timing chain.
Timing belt vs. Timing chain
Timing belts and timing chains are ways of keeping a car engine running at the right speed. There are, however, some differences. Always check your owner’s manual to determine what kind of timing operation your vehicle utilizes. They can change between cars made by a particular manufacturer and across years.
Timing belts were first introduced into vehicles in the 1960s. Timing belts are much quieter and simpler to produce due to their material.
A timing belt is created from rubber and has fewer moving parts than a timing chain. It usually has higher tensile strength (the maximum load it can bear). A timing belt is a metal chain that connects the crankshaft and camshaft in an engine. This belt is often replaced in modern cars, as it has become fairly common for them to fail without warning – leading to expensive repairs.
Timing belts are located outside the engine and tend to dry out and crack.
Timing chains came into use before timing chains. A timing chain is developed to last the car’s entire life and is used in many different applications throughout a vehicle’s lifetime. You don’t need to change a timing chain along with a plethora of parts every 100,000 miles.
Manufacturers have been integrating timing chains into more automobiles in the past decade or so. These additions provide major improvements that are different from those of timing belts. Some automobiles come with a vast array of makeovers such as less noise, less vibration, and so on. This is different from what happens to a timing belt. The timing chain no longer drives some water pumps to work efficiently.
To keep the timing chain in good condition, you need to take care of your engine in the right way by changing the oil at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals or earlier. If you neglect to change your oil, it won’t just go unnoticed. Besides engine responsiveness and power loss, you may also have problems with the timing chain. Your engine oil lubricates that component, so if it dries out, then you may need a new timing chain set.
The purpose of a timing belt and timing chain
A timing belt or timing chain keeps the fuel injectors, air intake, and pistons in sync. When a piston moves down, air and fuel go in. The spark plugs light up when the piston moves back, and the piston shoots back down. When it moves down the cylinder, the piston moves back up to push all of the remaining gas out of the engine and out through the exhaust pipe.
This happens at the speed of a blink of an eye. As the crankshaft moves the piston down, getting fuel in the cylinder is important. In a car engine, the timing belt or chain connects the camshaft, crankshaft, and a few other mechanisms to control when fuel is let in.
Failure to time the engine properly can result in many problems, such as engine misfires. This is a result of unlit fuel, which hinders combustion and leads to poorer performance and reduced fuel efficiency. When this issue occurs, it is possible to notice it in your car’s engine. It might idle the engine poorly or not work at all. Therefore it is better to be prepared with preventative maintenance to help keep the car running smooth.
2012 Hyundai Elantra
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra comes equipped with a 1.8 L 4Cylinder engine, and all trim levels were offered with this engine. There is no option for any other engine, and this engine uses a timing chain.
The chain is designed to last the vehicle’s life, and as a metal part, by default, it is more durable, and as it works from inside rather than outside the engine, it doesn’t suffer from breaking or drying out like belts.
Most belts need replacing after around 60,000-100,000 miles. The Elantra’s timing chain is often maintenance-free. If it breaks and you notice metal shavings in the oil, experience misfires, or hear a rattling noise when idling, make sure to get it fixed at a reliable repair shop.
Timing chains should be able to last the lifetime of a vehicle. However, it is possible that timing chains can fail due to manufacturing errors or any major damage to the vehicle. If something like this happens, you have to replace the chain. You can buy a new timing change kit between $200 to $250, and replacing it at a shop will cost more than $850, including the replacement of parts and labor costs.
When should I change the timing chain?
Sometimes technicians suggest removing or replacing the timing chain if the timing chain often blocks access to the water pump. If the timing chain is still in relatively good running condition, replacing just the water pump is best. If the timing chain is already showing wear and tear, or if it has already gone out in your car and you will have to replace both anyway, it can be a good idea.
There are no direct warning signs when the timing chain should be changed. A failure or trouble may occur anytime without warning. So it is good to replace the timing chain at the right time. The timing chain is so crucial that the engine might stop running, lose power, and make a huge noise without it.
How can I replace the timing chain?
One way is to take off the valve cover and see how much deflection you can get on the chain when you push down on it in the center between the cams. Beware, there is a special sequence for tightening the valve cover bolts, usually when reinstalling. The gasket should be able to be reused.
You can control the misfortune of having a timing chain go out while you’re driving by having it replaced by the manufacturer’s recommendation. Keep in mind chain-driven vehicles are dependent on oil viscosity. Lighter oils are designed to get the smallest areas of the engine to ensure components are equally lubricated.