Timing Chain and Preventative Maitenence



Ok, this is probably a stupid question but my 1995 Buick regal has a timing chain. I know if you have a timing belt you will want to change it at some point, but would there be any point in changing a timing chain? I have 130,000 miles and there is no mention of it in the maintenance schedule which lends me to believe I should just leave it alone. Is this correct? I am also looking at preventative maintenance to keep the car going good till 200,000 at least, and beyond. I have done all the repairs myself since 90,000 miles when I got the car (so far I’m lucky and have been able to do so) and keep right on track with the maintenance schedule. Currently my fuel pump is on the fritz so I will replace that this weekend. So I guess what what parts should I replace that are probably going out by now, or if they did could do some serious damage.


Timing chains usually last at least until you already need to rebuild the engine due to worn out rings and such. Leave it alone and keep driving.
As far the other stuff, usually it is very easy to keep a car going for 200K (or even 300K) miles.


The best maintenance for a timing chain is to follow your regular oil and filter change schedule. The chain will last a long time so drive on.


I agree with the preceding posts.

As long as you do oil/filter changes on schedule, and as long as you don’t do full-throttle acceleration runs on a regular basis, the chain should last for several more years with no attention from you.

I say, “several more years” because the car itself is only going to be good for several more years before the cost of repairs in general will be more pricey than the car’s book value warrants. Just keep maintaining it properly, and the chain should last as long as you are likely to keep the car.

And, if you do keep the car long enough to need to replace the timing chain, the chain will tell you when it needs to be replaced. Timing chains tend to produce a rattling noise against the front engine cover before they actually jump or break. If you hear a metallic rattling coming from the front of the engine, that will be your sign to replace the chain.


Agree with missileman; your timing chain will likely get noisy at around 200,000 miles or more, even with frequent oil changes. Mine went noisy at 220,000 miles on a V8 Caprice. At that time it is wise to replace the timing chain and gears as a set, and buy a heavy duty one so you will never have to worry about it again. My cost was $225 but costs have gone up and it was a rear drive vehicle.

You are on the right track; do all the requried maintenance and do the transmission fluid & filter every 30,000 miles, flush the cooling system every 40,000 miles and you are on your way to 300,00 miles of reliable driving.


Timing chains do often make noise before they fail, but a better way to judge the conditon of the chain, tensioner, guides and gears, is to put a timing light on the no. 1 and put little dabs of white paint on the the timing marks and check the steadyness of the timing. Worn gears and a streached chain can cause a wobble in the position of the marks at idle. I have had timing chains go bad suddenly with no warning sound.