A Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement cost in Midland in 2023

The average cost for a timing chain tensioner replacement with CarAdvise is $194 and the range is generally between $61 and $4639.

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A Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement costs by shop in Midland.

CarAdvise Customers save an average of $39 on A Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement.


Average cost of A Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement for popular vehicle models in Midland:

Car Model

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THE IMPORTANCE OF A Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement

What is a timing chain tensioner and how does it work?

A timing chain tensioner is a device that places tension on the timing chain in an engine to ensure contact is maintained between the belt and the sprockets on which it rides.

In order for your engine to function properly, all of the moving parts inside must be synchronized. They need to move at just the right time and in the right relationships to one another, just like the instruments in an orchestra. Like the conductor, your timing chain serves to coordinate movement of the crankshaft, camshaft(s), intake and exhaust valves, and more.

Timing chain tensioners vary in design from one engine to the next, typically relying on spring tension. Some modern engines use hydraulic tensioners that use engine oil to self adjust automatically.


How do I know if my vehicle needs a timing chain tensioner replaced?

A timing chain tensioner that is failing might cause the timing chain to rattle when the engine is running. It might also cause the check engine light to come on. Unfortunately, a tensioner can fail without making a noise at all. When this happens, your engine might run rough. It might stall out. Or it might suffer severe damage inside. That is why vehicle manufacturers recommend that the timing belt and tensioner be replaced periodically.

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How does a technician perform A Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement ?

It is quite an extensive process and requires a significant amount of tools and training to replace a timing chain tensioner. The procedure can lead to engine damage if performed improperly.

To replace a timing chain tensioner, a technician needs to gain access to the front of the engine. This often requires lifting and supporting the vehicle in the air. Shields, guards, covers, ducts, drive belt, and even the radiator might need to be removed as well.

With those items out of the way, a typical timing chain tensioner replacement involves the following general steps (the procedure differs from one vehicle make and model to the next):

  • Remove the water pump (on some models)
  • Detach the drive pulley on the crankshaft
  • Remove any engine accessories (AC compressor, alternator, power steering pump, etc.) that are in the way of the timing cover
  • Remove the valve cover(s) (on some models)
  • Unbolt and remove the timing cover from the front of the engine
  • Synchronize the timing marks on the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets and align to top dead center
  • Remove the timing chain tensioner pulley (s)
  • Dislodge the crankshaft sprocket and timing chain
  • Install a new chain - usually done in tandem with the tensioner(s) - taking care to align to the timing marks
  • Install the timing chain tensioner sprockets and set chain tension
  • Reinstall all components and add fluids as necessary This abbreviated list of steps does not account for differences between engines, whether your has single or dual camshafts, the style of tensioners used, and other variables. It is common to replace not only the tensioners, but also the timing chain and even the sprockets on which the chain rides. If your engine has a water pump that is driven by the timing chain, that too will be recommended for replacement. The procedure is similar if your engine has a timing belt rather than a chain. If the procedure is not done properly, your engine could fail to run, run poorly, or suffer severe internal damage.


Can you just replace the timing chain tensioner?
A timing chain and its related parts are critical components inside your engine. The timing chain tensioner is responsible for maintaining adequate tension on the timing chain to ensure that the crankshaft, camshaft(s), and valves are synchronized with one another. It also makes sure the water pump (on some models) is working properly. When a tensioner goes bad, it is technically possible to replace only the tensioner, but it is recommended that the other components be replaced at the same time. That way there is little chance of another part failing. Besides, because this is a labor intensive repair, it is economical to do it all at once.
What causes timing chain tensioner failure?
Over time and under normal operating conditions, a timing chain tensioner simply wears out. The same is true of the timing chain. That is why vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing them somewhere between 80K-120K miles or so, depending on your make and model. If the timing chain stretches, the tensioner can become overextended and wear out faster.
Will a broken timing chain destroy my engine?
At the very least, your engine will stall and fail to restart if your timing chain breaks while you are driving. That can become dangerous if you happen to be pulling through an intersection when it happens. But with many modern engines, the results can be far worse for your engine. In order to save on weight, manufacturers have been building smaller and lighter engines that have extremely tight tolerances. And in some cases, the pistons and valves must occupy the same space in the combustion chamber, albeit at different times. If the timing chain or tensioner breaks, those parts can collide at high speeds and cause catastrophic engine damage.

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