Timing chain stretch – a brief explanation
We published an article about a Range Rover timing chain some time ago and explained why the chain ‘stretches’ and produces the characteristic rattle noise.
If you want to know more about this topic, read the article Timing chain stretched – a common reason for Range Rover 2016 2L engine failure.
The timing systems use hydraulic chain tensioners powered by engine oil and oil pressure. However, specific designs of timing chain tensioners can pose problems. Sadly, the importance of the timing chain tensioner is often underestimated, despite it being a vital component of the timing system. If the tension is not maintained correctly, the entire system can fail. Insufficient chain tension can lead to the chain riding up the sprocket and experiencing stretching or breakage.
Another issue associated with timing chains is stretch, often due to neglecting oil maintenance. Chain stretch is the most frequently observed point of failure. The movement between the rollers and links further contributes to wear and elongation as the chain rotates around the camshafts and crankshaft gears. Inadequate chain lubrication is ultimately responsible for this stretch, causing the rollers and links to wear against each other.
Range Rover timing chain noise
Today we talk about a Range Rover Evoque L538 model, manufactured from 2012 to 2018, with a two-litre diesel Ingenium engine. In this article, we aim to highlight an important issue related to this engine: timing chain failure. If you own one of these engines, it is worth noting that a timing chain failure is a common problem. The first indication of this issue can often be heard during the engine startup after night or after a period of inactivity. Initially, the noise may be relatively subtle, but ignoring it will only lead to further deterioration. If left untreated, the timing chain may eventually break, causing significant damage to the engine.
We will focus on the sound during the initial startup to help you identify the noise associated with a faulty timing chain. Typically, you will notice a slight rattling sound that should subside after a few seconds. During our test, the noise was clearly audible.
The engine produced a rather loud sound for a considerable duration. At this point, it is evident that the timing chain is in poor condition, as it took significantly longer to quiet down. Furthermore, some residual noise was still even after switching off the engine. This indicates that the chain has become highly stretched and will soon reach a critical point of potential breakage.
It is important to emphasise that driving a vehicle with such noise is strongly discouraged. However, waiting until the situation worsens to take action isn’t a good idea, as the rattling chain can also affect the internal components of the engine housing. Driving with the chain in this compromised condition poses a considerable risk.
We hope this information will help you identify and diagnose timing chain issues early. By recognising the signs early on, you can take appropriate measures to address the problem promptly and avoid further damage.