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Old 04-10-2015, 04:30 PM
 
4,039 posts, read 3,698,225 times
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I noticed Toyota and Honda uses mostly timing belts on their cars vs Nissan and many domestics (Big Three) which uses chains. Toyota and Honda motors are known to last a very long time, but is this due to overall engineering or are timing belt engines more reliable than timing chain engines, or does it even matter.

I personally avoid cars with a Timing Belt due to the $800-$1000 cost to replace it, the water pump and pulleys when that time comes or not knowing if the used car im looking at has had that service done. When it used to be $4-600 to do that I thought that was a bit much, but now with even less space in the engine bay, it looks like pain in the butt to get that done, especially on a FWD car. I know a chain replacment will probably cost much more than belt repalcment, but I have never really heard of many people having to get their timing chain replaced.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:43 PM
 
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Chains are better than belts.

Some Toyota and Honda engines have timing belts and some have timing chains.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:56 PM
 
922 posts, read 759,014 times
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4 cylinder Honda use timing chain. V6 is belt.

Pretty much all Toyota uses chain now.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:56 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
4,747 posts, read 7,491,873 times
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Chains ( or better yet , gears if available) are best. These is no required change interval for chains. Not that they are immune to wear or breakage, but not nearly as bad as belts.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:34 PM
 
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gears are best, chains are better, belts are at the bottom, though they are generally good these days.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Idaho
2,476 posts, read 2,013,442 times
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Gears best; but nosiest, chains next best and quieter, belts are the quietest of the three. And "most" belts made now are pretty darn durable and any are made of Kevlar reinforced material. But they will need replacing before chains or gears.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:54 PM
 
8,142 posts, read 5,998,122 times
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The better question is interference or non-interference engine.

If it's a non-interference.. Does it really matter that much if a belt breaks? Sure, you're stranded, but.. A tow and a belt replacement (Which you should have done before it broke) and generally, you're back on the road.

An interference engine.. The belt breaks.. You've got big problems.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,790 posts, read 12,632,569 times
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I think non interference is quite rare these days.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Saint Paul
792 posts, read 304,984 times
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Timing belts can be tweaked with minute adjustments so the engine runs perfectly. Engines with timing chains can be near-perfect when they come from the factory, but they wear gradually and cannot be tuned so finely.

I had a 1984 Saab with a timing chain. My mechanic warned me that it was beginning to wear, but I ignored him and six months later it broke, putting a hole through the valve cover. So, my mistake.

I had a timing belt break on my 2003 Golf TDI, less than 30k miles after it was replaced at a VW dealership. Again, my mistake -- for letting a mechanic at a VW dealership touch my engine.

Live and learn. What I do now is find a very good mechanic and have him install a new TB at the prescribed time -- TB, tensioner, roller/idlers, water pump, and any single-use torque-to-yield engine mount bolts. I usually replace the auxiliary belt at the same time, because they're cheap. I do not trust anyone I do not know to work on my engine.

Only very expensive engines have gear-driven cams, so they are not worth discussing in this thread.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:24 AM
 
48,519 posts, read 80,998,062 times
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I have had one timing chain break in in my life and no belts. I was lucky the chain broke on startup. I always change belts as recommended along with tensioner; drive belts ;hoses and water pump .
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