I Installed a New Timing Chain and It Jumped Some Sprocket Teeth

May 4, 2021


Welcome to Grafco Electric's comprehensive guide on fixing timing chain problems after installing a new one. If you are facing issues with your vehicle's timing chain, specifically jumping sprocket teeth, you have come to the right place. Our team of experts has assembled this detailed guide to help you troubleshoot and resolve this common issue.

Understanding Timing Chains

Before diving into troubleshooting, it's important to understand the role and functionality of a timing chain. The timing chain is an essential component in an engine's valve train system. It synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft, ensuring proper valve timing and engine performance. When the timing chain jumps sprocket teeth, it disrupts this synchronization, leading to various problems.

Possible Causes of Timing Chain Jump

Several factors can contribute to a timing chain jumping sprocket teeth. It's crucial to identify the root cause before attempting any repairs. Here are some common causes:

  • Incorrect installation of the new timing chain
  • Worn or damaged sprocket teeth
  • Insufficient tension on the timing chain
  • Excessive engine vibration
  • Lack of lubrication or oil leaks
  • Manufacturing defects

Troubleshooting and Solutions

1. Verify Proper Installation

The first step is to ensure that the new timing chain has been installed correctly. Double-check the alignment marks on the chain, camshaft, and crankshaft sprockets. Make sure they are all properly aligned according to the manufacturer's specifications.

2. Inspect Sprocket Teeth

Examine the sprocket teeth for any signs of wear, damage, or misalignment. If any issues are found, it's recommended to replace the affected sprockets. Remember to choose high-quality replacement parts to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

3. Check Tensioner and Guides

A faulty or improperly adjusted timing chain tensioner can lead to sprocket teeth jumping. Inspect the tensioner and guides for any damage or wear. Replace them if necessary and adjust the tensioner according to the manufacturer's guidelines.

4. Address Engine Vibration

Excessive engine vibration can cause the timing chain to jump sprocket teeth. Check for any underlying issues such as misfiring cylinders, worn engine mounts, or damaged harmonic balancer. Repairing these issues will help reduce vibration and prevent further chain jumping.

5. Lubrication and Oil Leaks

Inadequate lubrication or oil leaks can adversely affect the timing chain's performance. Ensure that the chain is properly lubricated, and there are no leaks in the engine's oil system. Regularly check and change the engine oil as per the manufacturer's recommendations.

6. Consult a Professional

If you have tried the above solutions but are still experiencing timing chain problems, it is recommended to consult a professional mechanic or an authorized service center. They have the expertise and specialized tools to diagnose and resolve complex timing chain issues.


Fixing timing chain problems, especially when it jumps sprocket teeth, requires careful attention to detail and thorough troubleshooting. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be well-equipped to address the issue effectively. However, if you are unsure or unable to resolve the problem yourself, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance. Grafco Electric is always here to help you with any automotive issues you may encounter.