An integral part of the engine's timing system, the timing chain/belt is powered by the crankshaft, connecting the crankshaft to the camshaft, and functions to drive various components that all work together to enable the car to move. Acting as a protective cover is the timing cover.
Situated in the engine compartment, the timing chain/belt is a long strip which coils through a series of pulleys which contain bearings, usually operating with a spring mechanism. The pulleys function to enable the timing chain to smoothly spin around, allowing the chain to propel or drive various components in the engine compartment, such as the alternator, air pump and power steering pump. The timing cover protects components such as the timing gears and chain or belt. The timing cover is sealed with a gasket to ensure the timing cover is secured firmly to the engine and to help prevent oil leaks.
If the timing chain isn't properly protected it can come loose and deviate from its position. A sure sign of a loose timing chain is a nasty screeching noise. A slipped timing chain will lead to extremes of temperature as the timing chain struggles, eventually leading to a damaged part. A slipped timing chain can also affect the proper performance of the components powered by this part.
The timing covers helps to prevent damage to the timing chain and components, helping to extend their working life. The timing cover can crack and warp and eventually break, due to the high temperatures and friction it has to withstand. When replacing this part, choosing to fit the timing cover will give you perfect compatibility with the make and model of your vehicle.