Timing chain


I have a 2002 Saturn L-300 with 80,000 miles. It has been a great car. What are the symptoms or signals to look for when it will be time to replace the timing chain or belt.


If belt (I think So) Replace it NOW as they snap- you will be stranded, some times pistons kiss valves -not good. If chain should be no problen if not noisey and timming screwy.


Timing chains get noisy before they develop problems. Mine, on a Chevy at 170,000 miles started making a growling/rattling noise, after which I had it replaced. My mechanic said it was quite a ways from failing, but it was the beginning of the end, so why wait?

If you have a timing BELT, replace it NOW!


Clearly, you have not read the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule that is in your glove compartment. If the engine has a timing belt, the maintenance schedule will tell you when replacement is called for, according to both odometer mileage and elapsed time (whichever comes first). I believe that you have a timing belt, but I can’t reach your glove compartment from here, so you will have to look in there for yourself in order to verify this information.

On the other hand, if you have a timing chain, there will not be a replacement listed in the maintenance schedule, as timing chains are not replaced as part of preventive maintenance. Timing chains are replaced only when there is a definite indication that wear has taken place.

Anyway, there is no substitute for reading and following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule–even after 6 years and 80,000 miles.


Use the recommendation in your owner’s manual. If it says 100,000 miles, you should get it done then if not sooner. If you have driven conservatively you could wait. If you have a highway nearby and you love to blast right up to speed or you have a son driving the car, don’t wait too long…to make him get his own ride!


It’s a belt, replacement is every 100,00 miles, so you have a little breathing room. Personally I’d get it changed ASAP.

Seems Saturn chains are more prone to snapping than their belts for some reason.


It is a belt. Thank ypou for your replies


oh how much time have I wasted on customers who dont bother to read thier owners manual? ALOT!!!