What is the Timing Cover all about?
The timing cover is an essential component designed to protect the timing belt, timing chain or cam belt of your car from road debris, grime and gravel. The timing belt or chain of your car controls the rotation of the camshafts and crankshaft in the internal combustion engine. As long as they are spinning, the engine’s valves open and close in synchronized movement with each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes.
Depending on the make of your car, it will have a timing belt, timing chain or cam belt. If your car has a timing belt, the timing cover protects it from road debris that can damage and break its teeth. Without the protection of the timing cover, the belt can skip, slip off the timing gears or even break. In case of engines that include a timing belt the timing cover only protects the timing belt and can be made of plastic, metal or both.
In case of cars that have a timing chain, the timing cover secures the front section of the engine block with the help of a timing cover gasket. In this way, the timing gears and chain receive lubrication with the engine oil. If the timing cover gasket breaks, you will notice engine oil leaking. If your car has a timing chain, it will most likely have a metal timing cover.
Keep in mind:
If the timing belt slips off the pulleys, your engine will be severely damaged.
Most timing belt covers have timing cover gaskets, which help to protect the belt.