Which cars are known for their weak timing belt/chain?

With engines, the timing belt or chain is often the Achilles' heel of internal combustion engines. Unfortunately, many cars can be mentioned where the timing belt or chain is a weak point. In a combustion engine, the timing belt/chain is responsible for driving the camshaft, which, like the crankshaft on which the pistons sit, guides the valves. If it breaks or shifts, engine failure (and damage) is irreversible. You have to be careful with these models.

Cars with weak timing belts:

  • Volkswagen 1.4 TSI engine
  • Renault 1.6 16v engine
  • Renault the 1.5-litre dCi K9K diesel engine (from 65 to 110 hp)
  • Fiat 1.3 JTD engine
  • Opel 1.6 engine
  • Opel 2.0-litre D20DTH diesel engine with 170 hp
  • The PSA 1.6-litre e-HDi DV6 and 2.0-litre HDi DW10 diesel engines (from 110 to 150 hp). This engine can be found in the PSA (Stellantis) group's cars, such as various Peugeot, Citroën and Opel models.
  • The PSA 1.2-litre VTi/PureTech EB2 three-cylinder petrol engine (from 68 to 130 hp on petrol) found in several Peugeot, Citroën and Opel models. The first generation of this belt wore out prematurely, especially on turbocharged models (110 and 130 hp). Since 2018, the manufacturer has been fitting a different belt, but it is recommended to replace it sooner (6 years or 100,000 km) to avoid problems.

Cars with weak timing chains:

  • The BMW group's 1.6-litre Turbo N14 petrol engine found mainly in Mini models (Cooper S R56 and JCW), but also in PSA group cars such as Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles and Opel. This since it is nothing but the 1.6-litre THP engine.
  • BMW N47 diesel engine: 2.0-litre N47 and 3.0-litre N57 diesel engines fitted in BMW models (16d to 30d), from 2007 to 2014.
  • 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine two distribution chains from Jaguar/ Landrover. The models in question were produced from 2015 to 2019. You will find the engines particularly in the Range Rover Evoque.
  • Mazda's 2.2-litre MZR-CD R2 diesel engines (150 and 175 hp, from 2008 to 2013) often suffer from slack timing chains. Notably found in the Mazda 6.
  • 1.2-litre TCe/DIG-T H5F petrol engine (100 to 130 hp) at Renault, Nissan and Mercedes. Especially the models between 2012 and 2019.
  • 1.2 litre Twinport Ecotech petrol (85 hp, from 2006 to 2015) from the Opel Corsa
  • 1.6-litre CDTi B16DTU and B16DTE diesel engines (110 hp, from 2015 to 2018) also from Opel.
  • 1.3-litre Multijet SDE diesel engine (70 to 95 hp) found between 2008 and 2014 at Alfa Romeo (MiTo), Fiat (Panda, 500, Grande Punto, among others), Lancia (Ypsilon, Musa) , but also at Citroën (Nemo), Opel (Corsa, Astra, Combo) and Peugeot (Bipper)
  • 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre TSI/TFSI EA211 petrol engines (85, 105, 122 to 160 hp, from 2005 to 2013) from the Volkswagen group (VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda). From 2011 (1.4 TSI) and 2015 (1.2 TSI), the manufacturer updated these engines
  • The 2.0-litre TSI EA113 petrol engine (200 to 210 hp, from 2004 to 2015) is causing problems with the tensioners on Golf's GTI.
  • Audi 2.0 TFSI engine
  • Ford 1.0 EcoBoost engine

Timely replacement of timing belt and chain

It is important to check and replace a timing belt and timing chain on time because these parts play a vital role in the functioning of a vehicle's engine. The timing belt or timing chain ensures that the camshaft, which operates the intake and exhaust valves, is kept in the correct position in relation to the crankshaft. This ensures that the valves open and close at the right time and that the combustion of fuel and air in the cylinders is optimal.

If the timing belt or timing chain breaks or stretches, this can lead to serious engine damage, such as valves opening at the wrong times and colliding with pistons. This can lead to a stalled engine and costly repairs. Replacing the timing belt or timing chain on time will prevent these problems and ensure that your vehicle continues to run safely and reliably.

Replacement intervals for the timing belt and timing chain vary by car make and model and depend on several factors, such as engine type and driving conditions. It is therefore important to consult the manufacturer's maintenance instructions and replace the timing belt or timing chain according to the recommended intervals. Want to know when your timing belt should be replaced? Then click on the following link: When to replace timing belt

Chrysler a timing chain or belt?

Of the Chrysler Voyager, there are models with timing chains and also with timing belts. For versions with a timing chain only regular checks are required. In engines that use a belt to drive the camshaft, it is imperative to replace the timing belt regularly.

Chrysler Voyager timing belt or chain

Chrysler uses a low-maintenance timing chain to drive the engine in the RT generation petrol engines. The diesel-powered Grand Voyager V, on the other hand, has a belt that wears out over time. The manufacturer prescribes timing belt replacement for CRD versions every 200,000 km or every 10 years.

  • CHRYSLER GRAND VOYAGER V (RT) 2.8 CRD, 120 kW, 2777 ccm, 10/2007 - present, timing belt, replaced every 200,000 km or every 10 years
  • CHRYSLER GRAND VOYAGER V (RT) 3.8, 142 kW, 3778 ccm, 10/2007 - present, Distributor chain
  • CHRYSLER GRAND VOYAGER V (RT) 3.3, 125 kW, 3301 ccm, 10/2007 - present, Distributor chain
  • CHRYSLER GRAND VOYAGER V (RT) 3.6, 208 kW, 3604 ccm, 10/2007 - present, Distributor chain

Chrysler 300

Most variants of the Chrysler 300 are equipped with timing chains. These require little maintenance and last a very long time. But there are also vehicles of this type equipped with belts. These vehicles require regular timing belt replacement.

The manufacturer Chrysler prescribes that the timing belt should be replaced after 168,000 km for the 300 model. Belt replacement intervals are prescribed for each engine type and year of manufacture. It is important to follow the same to avoid serious engine damage.

Chrysler PT Cruiser

When should the timing belt of the Chrysler PT Cruiser be replaced? When is the right time to replace the timing belt on the Chrysler PT Cruiser depends on both the engine and the year of manufacture of the vehicle. For many models of this type, the intervals are 96,000 km and 144,000 km. However, the mileage at which the timing belt should be replaced can also be quite different.

Chrysler Crossfire, timing chain or belt?

The Chrysler Crossfire is a sports car that is also available as a coupé station wagon and a roadster. It was built from 2003 to 2007. The engines of all models are equipped with a timing chain, making timing belt replacement unnecessary. Still, a timing chain is not maintenance-free. It too is subject to wear and tear. Therefore, a timing chain should also be checked from time to time. We recommend checking the timing chain regularly, especially in sports cars whose engines are more heavily loaded than those of a normal mid-size car.

More info on Chrysler? Then read on here:

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Does Lexus have a timing chain or belt?

If you drive a Lexus, chances are it uses a timing chain instead of a timing belt. Only older models of Lexus used timing belts, but that was usually before 2005 or 2006. Since then, almost every vehicle Lexus makes is equipped with a timing chain instead of a timing belt. Depending on the model, it may be a slightly later year when the switch was made, but for the most part, you can expect that every modern Lexus currently uses a timing chain.

Replace Lexus timing chain?

This is a tricky question to answer, a timing chain is meant to last the lifetime of your engine, but what exactly does that mean? The lifespan of an engine on paper is not necessarily the lifespan in practice. What that means is that a timing chain is designed to last up to around 300,000 km without any problems. But it is possible for the chain to fail at an earlier point due to circumstances.

The problem with faulty timing chains is that they usually don't have as many signs and symptoms as a timing belt when it breaks down. A timing belt can stretch and lose teeth, but you are less likely to see that with a timing chain. The chain can become too stressed over time and not fit properly, but otherwise it usually gives very few visual signs before it breaks completely. If you have already driven more than 300,000 km with the timing chain, it won't hurt to have a mechanic look at it in case something is wrong with the chain. Want to read more about the pros and cons of a timing chain? Then read on in our blog.

Which Lexus models have a timing belt?

As mentioned, mainly the older Lexus models have a belt. In the overview below, we have listed some models equipped with a belt:

LEXUS IS (XE10) 1st generation (1998 - 2005)

  • Lexus IS 200 114 kW / 153 hp / 155 PS | 1988 cc | 6 | 1G-FE
  • Lexus IS 300 157 kW / 211 hp / 214 PS | 2997 cc | 6 | 2JZ-GE


  • LEXUS RX (MCU15) 300 AWD 148 kW, 2995 ccm, 01/1998 - 05/2003 (for VVT-i engine)
  • LEXUS RX (_U3_) 300 (MCU35_) 150 kW, 2995 ccm, 05/2003 - 12/2008
  • LEXUS RX (_U3_) 400h AWD 155 kW, 3311 ccm, 05/2003 - 12/2008 = every 150,000 km
  • LEXUS RX (_U3_) 400h (MHU38_) 155 kW, 3311 ccm, 05/2003 - 12/2008 = every 150,000 km


  • Lexus SC 430 210 kW / 282 hp / 286 PS | 4293 cc | 8 | 3UZ-FE V8

Lexus GS

  • LEXUS GS (_S19_) 430 (UZS190_) 208 kW, 4293 ccm, 04/2005 - 11/2011 = every 150,000 km
  • LEXUS GS (_S16_) 430 (UZS161_) 208 kW, 4293 ccm, 08/1997 - 03/2005 (for VVT-i engine)
  • LEXUS GS (_S16_) 300 (JZS160_) 163 kW, 2997 ccm, 08/1997 - 03/2005 (for VVT-i engine)
  • LEXUS GS (_S16_) 300 (JZS160_) 161 kW, 2997 ccm, 08/1997 - 03/2005 (for VVT-i engine)

Lexus LS

  • LEXUS LS (_F3_) 430 (UCF30) 207 kW, 4293 ccm, 10/2000 - 08/2006