Timing belt or chain?

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by bnaccs, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. bnaccs

    bnaccs bnaccs

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    191
    10
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Does the 1.5 Ice in the Prius use a timing belt or chain? If it is a belt when does it have to be replaced?
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    19,854
    1,088
    Nixa, MO
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    chain, never needs serviced.
     
  3. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    10,666
    544
    Adelaide South Australia
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Yep, chain and when it gets noisy. Normally when the engine is pretty worn out too.
     
  4. kammssss

    kammssss Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    256
    60
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Hello,

    I know that the chain itself will probably never break; however, does anyone know about the chain tensioner? My Saturn had a timing chain, it didn't break, but the chain tensioner wore out and crack/broke, which destroyed the top part of the engine. Any thoughts?
     
  5. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    4,096
    56
    USA | Oregon | Portland area | 97004 |
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Let me think... GM Saturn or Toyota Prius? I bet you're glad you're not driving the Saturn.
     
    PriusGuy32 likes this.
  6. kammssss

    kammssss Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    256
    60
    SoCal
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Hey buddy,

    I know that a Saturn is not made better than a Prius;however, I don't think the chain tensioner can be warrant for the life of the car--which means how many miles? BTW, the Saturn was a good car; it didn't break until 100k with autobahn driving--this was when I was stationed in Germany. So, we got to give credit to the Saturn for that. Again, anyone with a good estimate on when to check these parts, like how many miles? I might do mines when I hit 200k. Any thoughts?
     
  7. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,796
    141
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    i can't recall 1 post where someone had to change the timing chain.. not even on the 250k+mile taxis...
     
  8. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    9,809
    383
    MD
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    we had the *exact same thing* happen to DH's 94 SL1 at about 140k. smashed up the head pretty bad too... but the story of that mess is far longer than a smashed head.

    anyway, that's not so much the tensioner as the chain guide that the tensioner pushes against the timing chain. it's made of plastic, and in our saturn, the chain ate through the plastic. end of engine.

    first things first, the prius chain tensioner is nothing like that. it should probably last the life of the timing chain. if you're in there anyway replacing a vcg around 200k miles, you can check on everything and replace if need be. around 200k you should be needing a crank seal and stuff too so it may be a good time to stick your head in there and just do a bunch of the inside-engine stuff.
     
  9. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    13,443
    597
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Both my Prius and FJ use a chain. With appropriate care and the use of a high quality oil - I'm biased to synthetics for obvious reasons - the chain and tensioner *should* last the life of the motor
     
  10. sandman

    sandman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    274
    14
    kentucky
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    I am so glad to hear the prius motor has a chian. My 1992 toyota truck has a chain and its lasted rather well you can go here and read more about it :

    Toyoland Featured Fan
     
    7-0-SAV likes this.
  11. mingoglia

    mingoglia Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    845
    6
    Gilbert, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Like was posted you're usually good until they start slapping around. You'll typically hear it at startup and shutdown slapping if it's very warn or the tensioner is worn. I too am happy it's a chain. It makes for a bit more engine noise but a belt breaking is a very very bad thing (think valves making contact with pistons).

    Of course the above is from experience with other cars and not the Prius... but a timing chain is a timing chain. :)

    With regards to the post about losing the tensioner and (I'll assume) causing the chain to hop a few sprockets this must have been pretty bad luck. :( There isn't usually this much play and losing a tensioner (which is pretty common because most are plastic) is pretty common but usually just result in the slap I talked about. In fact I had a '91 Nissan truck that had some timing chain slap because of the tensioner. I replaced it and the timing chain (myself) just to have the darn plastic tensioner decide to break (again) about 6 months later. :mmph:

    Mike
     
  12. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    9,809
    383
    MD
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    yes, but only when you're talking about interference timed engines.

    fortunately, toyota makes a better tensioner than gm... ;)
     
  13. auricchio

    auricchio Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    921
    5
    Cambria, CA, USA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Actually, many engines are not "interference engines;" on those, the valves will not contact the pistons when the belt breaks.
     
  14. tnthub

    tnthub Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    519
    6
    Brunswick, Maine
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I doubt the chain in the Prius will have a problem within any normal lifespan of the car. However I must change the extreme duty chain in my Camaro every two years due to it stretching... ;)
     
  15. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,044
    2,971
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Our marine diesel uses gears for timing, as opposed to chains or belts. I like that. On the other hand it weighs 500 pounds for 10 horsepower, so it probably wouldn't make a good motorcycle or airplane engine. :rolleyes:

    Tom
     
  16. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,044
    2,971
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    I despise blue laws, and I don't even drink that much.

    Tom

    Edit: The database seems a bit knackered at the moment. This reply ended up in the timing chain thread, which is miles from the original one. I think I'll stop posting tonight until it sorts itself out.
     
  17. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    13,443
    597
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Tom

    It's also probably built like a brick s***house too, so with reasonable care will outlive you or me

    jay
     
  18. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    13,443
    597
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Tom

    You *could* try heavy drinking - it works for me!

    jay
     
  19. Genoz World

    Genoz World ZEN-style living

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    797
    17
    La Canada
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    i wondered about this today as i was waxing my car.

    as always, thanks for this info, timing chains are the way to go. makes me love my prius a bit more!!!!!:rolleyes:

    yeahh!
     
  20. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    2,212
    163
    Sacramento, California.
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Is there any procedure for checking the timing chain?