When it´s time to buy a new car, sometimes we can hesitate on whether to buy a vehicle with a timing belt or a timing chain. Both options are a big decision, since it can save us money on the car maintenance on the long term.

On this website we offer you an up-to-date list of cars with a timing chain; that is, cars which function without a belt. If you are considering a new car like a SUV or a work van, you might be interested in knowing it is possible to save up money on maintenance during the service life of your vehicle if it has a timing chain.

This is also useful if you are looking for a second-hand auto, such as a subcompact car like hatchback. In any case, we would like to show you the main differences between the belt system and the chain system. Knowing the full pros and cons of each distribution system is key before making the final decision on a car.

Timing Belt or TIming Chain. What are they for?

Both the timing belt’s and the timing chain’s function is to synchronize the movement of several motor parts, such as the camshaft, the crackshaft and the alternator among others.

The timing is mainly responsible for synchronizing the four strokes of the combustion engine: ignition, valve opening, valve closing and exhaust. Either through rubber belts or with chains, the system is responsible for transmitting the crankshaft’s movement to the camshaft. This allows the intake valves to open up so that fuel and air, which are responsible for producing combustion, can enter. The timing system is also responsible for closing the valves, as well as allowing gases to exit through the exhaust system.

In addition to the four phases, the timing system also helps the oil and water pumps to operate. The timing is therefore a complex system capable of synchronizing the various ‘organs’ of our vehicle. In other words, the timing is to the car what the circulatory system is to our body. That is why it is important to take care of its proper functioning: so that we can avoid a breakage that could cause irreversible damage to our car.

What are the Differences between Timing Belt and Chain Belt?

Timing Belt / Cam Belt

The timing belt is a strip made of materials with elastic properties, such as rubber and nylon. It has a grooved texture on the inside that makes it possible to adhere to the gears. Nowaday,s there are timing belts with timing belts with a high quality and resistant formula. Polymers and even metal reinforcements are commonly used to improve the timing belt structure. Despite this, the tension, the number of revolutions at very high speed and the friction it suffers during operation do not prevent the timing belt from wearing out as time goes by or the car reaches a certain mileage. This means the timing belt has loosen up and it’s time to pay a visit to the workshop to have it changed.

Timing Chain

There are, in fact, vehicles with no timing belt. Instead, the timing is provided by a metal link chain. Just like a bicycle’s. These are usually made from metal alloys. They are more robust, have greater hardiness and have a high tensile strength. The risk of breakage is minimal and it has no costly maintenance, as it would be the case if our vehicle operated with a timing belt instead of a chain.

Normally, this type of technology is linked to high-end cars, but in the last few years it has been possible to acquire more reasonably priced cars with this type of distribution. In general, they suppose significant savings in long-term maintenance, as well as saving us the risk of having our engine break down if we forget to keep up-to-date with its maintenance.

How to make our car maintenance on the Timing System

When we buy a new or used car, the last thing in our minds is taking it to the repair shop. But there’s no need to postpone the visit until we are dealing with a car breakdown. Routine maintenance is an essential procedure to ensure the reliability of our vehicles.

Timing Belt: How long does it last? How much is its maintenance?

According to the manuals provided by the car manufacturers, most cars with timing belts need to have the timing serviced every 80,000 to 240,000 kilometers. This operation costs between 300 and 600 euros. It will vary depending on the model and engine. This maintenance has to be carried out in a workshop.

We must not skip on this maintenance. If the timing belt is not replaced in time, we run the risk of it breaking and causing engine damages that are sometimes totally irreparable. In a best case scenario, we will suffer a major breakdown that will involve a several-thousand-euros investment. Therefore, it is a routine operation that we must include in the maintenance of our vehicles. Just like changing the oil, checking the tire pressure or changing the tires after a certain number of years or kilometers, this will save us money on the long term and improve the car’s general performance.

Timing Chain: How can I make it last forever?

If you follow the instructions carefully in the guides below; you won’t ever need to change your car’s timing chain.

List of Timing Chain Cars and Engines – Updated 2023

Below we will show you a list of models of private cars and vans that work with a timing chain system. A list separated by brands that can be very useful if you are looking for a used car without timing belt and thus save some money on maintenance.

In addition to showing the most representative models that operate without timing belts or cambelts, within each section you can access through a button to the complete list of cars with timing chain. There you can find more detailed information for each model and identifier of the engine that works with timing chain. They are separated between petrol and diesel engines. Within the same article you can also find links to buy spare parts online for your vehicle.

By Brands – List of Car Engines with Timing Chain

This list by brand will find all the cars that exist whose timing is by chain, both new cars and those that today it is only possible to find them second hand. This is the most complete list on the Internet. However, you should bear in mind that some of the vehicles shown may have a different name depending on the market in which they are sold.