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Timing Chain Break

I had a timing chain break on a Nissan King Cab with 137,000 miles. Four cylinder, 1.8 liter engine The color of the truck is white. The chain broke will in transit , so it was driven a minute or so at 20 mph which allowed me to drive the vehicle to safety on the side of the street. I was told by a repairman that the moment a timing chain breaks the damage to the engine starts. Is this true?


If your timing chain breaks, your engine would stall and in most cases piston would hit a valve or two.

What year?

If the timing chain broke, the engine would have stopped right then and there. It could be that the timing chain jumped some teeth. And if that happened you would be able to limp it off the street.

I have 95 Nissan pickup where the cam shaft sprocket came unbolted from the cam shaft. And when that happened the engine just stopped running. And there was no engine damage.


Compression check, would be best way to find out if you got any damage there.

If a timing chain breaks the engine will not run. If a timing chain slips a few teeth it may continue to run, although not very well.

It is difficult for a chain to slip but I think this model uses an oil pressure operated chain tensioner. If the oil pressure was very low, the engine had worn chain guides, etc. then it’s possible one could slip.

About all I can suggest is check the oil level first but a chain problem usually involves some racket.

Hey OK. When the cam shaft sprocket fell off the cam shaft, not a noise. The engine just shut off. Imagine my surprise when I took the valve cover off!


One would have thought there would have been a a second or two of rattling; kind of like a fork down the garbage disposal!

You may actually cause damage by doing the test. So if you didn’t have any damage before the test…you sure do now…

Second…If the chain broke then there would be 0 compression…that doesn’t tell you if there’s any damage.