Pluses and cons of Timing Chain and T-belt.

Administrator posted this 11 March 2019

There are a great number of the spare parts in the vehicle arrangement, which can influence car functionality, or even suspend its ability to move. One of these parts is a timing chain or T-belt.

T-belt T-Chain
  • Resistance to different temperature conditions (neoprene belt)* 
  • Noiselessness during operation (a feature of the Executive cars or European E-segment)
  • Lower cost
  • Easy to maintain
  • Reliability and durability of operation (service life sometimes reaches, an average of
  • Resistance to different temperature conditions
  • Significantly short service life (about 50-70 th. km, depending on the car)
  • May break during engine operation (especially if careless care or ignoring the need to replace T-belt)
  • At extreme temperatures, low-quality belts wear out quickly
  • Noisiness**
  • Vibrations and beating (to eliminate it needs dampers)
  • Additional hardware may be required to provide functionality (e.g. hydraulic tensioners, limiters)
  • Lack of flexibility (one more reason for additional equipment)
  • Without the limiter, the chain can slip off
  • Require detailed maintenance (lubrication of nodes)
  • In case of breakage of links, can cause significant damage to the engine mechanism

* Belts made of butadiene-nitrile rubber - are extremely rare, they are more elastic but extremely short-lived. 

**Sprocket T-chains have lower noisiness and better flexibility. 

In conclusion, it should be noted, despite the shortcomings of the timing chain, they are all easily removable, subject to the rules of operation and timely replacement of the chain, such a car will be reliable. Therefore, even manufacturers of powerful cars & sports cars install chain drive on some models of cars. For example, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Lexus, Infinity, BMW and many other brands have in their model line of cars with a chain timing mechanism. 

T-belts are used more often s in the engine mechanism. But not always pleased with the quality. Often owners of cars of the lower price segment replace belts with better analogs or at all on a chain.