Reader Question: Replace Timing Chain?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Jeremy asks: My 2002 Dakota, 4WD, 4.7L V8, five speed manual has 185,000 trouble free miles (sorry Nunz, my Dodge has been super reliable). I’ve spoken to two mechanics I trust and both tell me that I don’t need to worry about the timing chain. What are your thoughts?

My reply: Timing chains generally don’t require scheduled replacement because they don’t usually break (as timing belts will, eventually). Timing chains may stretch – but it’s usually not enough to cause problems (possible problems include timing being off) bad enough to be worth messing with until the engine itself needs messing with. So I agree with your mechanics; I’d leave it be unless there’s reason not to.

Probably, it’ll last as long as the engine does.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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