Which cars have timing chain or belt?

There is an easy way to find out if your car is driven by a timing chain or timing belt motor. If, on the side (not top) of the engine, either left or right, there is a plastic cover, your car has timing belt. If there is no plastic on the side, you have a timing chain. Here is a video that explains and shows the point.

Another way to find out is through some external sources. One good resource is the Honest John website. They made a list of timing chain driven cars. You can find the original article here – https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/chain-cam/ I repost it here in case the article disappears from the original source. By no means, this is a full list. If you know that a car with chain drive which is not mentioned in this list, please, post it in the comments with the model, engine type/size and year. I will add it to the list.

Alfa Romeo 159 and Brera 2.2 litre 4 cylinder and 3.0 litre V6 petrol engines.

Audi: 1.4TSI and 1.4TFSI (but from 2013, EA211 1.4TFSI ACT is belt cam), 1.6FSI petrol in A3, 1.8 non turbo petrol and TSI 160 in A4 B8, 2.0 litre 1,984cc 2-1PS EA888 TFSI in A3 and A4 B8, 2.7 and 3.0 V6 TDI, late V8s,

BMW: All models since 1993

Cadillac: All models

Chevrolet: Corvette, Epica 2.0 straight six petrol, Colorado pick up with I-TEQ engine, Spark 1.0 and 1.2, Colorado 2.5 and 3.0 diesels from 2007.

Chrysler: Neon, PT Cruiser, 4.0 straight six, 300C petrol and diesel.

Citroen: C1 1.0 petrol, C3 Picasso 1.6 petrol, C3 1.4 and 1.6 petrol from 2010 model year, C4 petrol from 2010 model year, DS3 1.6 petrol, DS4 1.6 petrol.

Dacia: Duster 1.6 petrol, Sandero and Sandero Stepway 0.9TCe 90, Logan MCV 0.9TCe 90.

Daewoo Musso 2.9 diesel.

Daihatsu: YRV and Terios, Copen 1.3, Sirion 1.3.

Fiat: 1.3 litre Multijet diesel, Sedici 1.6 petrol, 500 875cc TwinAir.

Ford: Ka and Fiesta pushrod 1.3, Ka and Fiesta ohc 1.3, Ka 1.6, C-Max and Focus 1.8 125ps, and 2.0 145ps, all Mondeo 2001 – 2006, all Mondeo V6s, Mondeo 2.0 litre 4 cylinder petrol engines from 2007 including SCTI 200 and 240, Galaxy 2.3 and V6, Transit 2.2 litre diesel from 2012, Ranger 2.2 litre and 3.2 litre diesels.

Honda: all Jazz, all 2006 Civic including 1.8i-VTEC, all 2.0 litre 4-cylinder from 2002, including CR-V, 2.2iCDTI diesel, 2.4 4-cylinder, 1.6iDTEC diesel, 2.2iDTEC diesel, 1.6iDTEC diesel.

Hyundai: i10 1.0 and 1.2, i20 1.2, 1.4 petrol and 1.4 diesel, ix20 1.4, 1.6 and 12.6 diesel; i30 1.4 and 1.6 petrol, 1.6 diesel, ix35 1.7 diesel, 2.0 diesel, i800 2.5 diesel, Santa Fe 2.2 diesel (from January 2010); Grandeur 3.3V6 petrol.

Isuzu: 2007 twin-cam 2.5 and 3.0 I-TEQ diesel in D-Max and Rodeo pick-ups.

Jaguar: all models, including X-Type 2.0 litre and 2.2 litre diesels, but excluding 2.7V6 diesel and 3.0V6 diesel and 2.2 litre 4-cylinder diesel fitted to XF.

Jeep Compass 2.2 diesel from 2011 (Mercedes diesel engine); all 3.0 V6 diesels (Mercedes or VM Motori).

KIA: 1.1 3 cylinder diesel in Rio from 2011, 1.4 petrol in Rio from 2011, 1.0 and 1.2 petrol engines in Picanto from 2011, all 1.5 diesels in Cerato and 2005-2011 Rio; 2.5 diesel in 2003-2009 Sorento and Sedona; Ce’ed 1.4 and 1.6 petrol, 1.6 diesel; 1.4 petrol, 1.6 petrol and 1.4 diesel in Venga; all engines in Optima, including 1.7 diesel; 1.6 GDI, 1.7, 2.0 and 2.2 R Type diesels in Sportage, Sorento from 2010 and Sedona from 2010.

LandRover 2.2 litre Ford Transit diesel from 2012.

Lexus: IS250 V6, IS220 diesel.

Mazda: all 2008 model Mazda 2 except diesel, all Mazda 3 except diesel, Mazda MX5 1.8 and 2.0 from 2005, Mazda 5 except diesel, all 2002 – 2008 Mazda 6 except diesel, all 2009 model Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 except diesel, Mazda 2.2 diesel. All Mazda Skyactiv 2.0 petrol and 2.2 diesel engines.

Mercedes: all models including A Class, but excluding 2012 model A Class 1,461cc diesel and Citan van with Renault 1,461cc diesel engine which are belt cam.

MINI: all models including 1.4 diesel, and 1.6 N47 diesel and 2.0 diesel from 2011, but not 2007-2010 1.6 diesel. Also all new MINI 1.2, 1.5 3-cylinder and 2.0 4-cylinder engines from 2014.

Mitsubishi: All Colts, petrol and diesel, Shogun and L200 2.8 and 3.2 diesels, ASX 1.8VVT diesel, 2.2 litre diesel manual in Mk II Overland.

Nissan: all Primera petrol, all recent Micra, Almera, Primera models (except Micra 1.5 diesel and older Primera 2.0 diesel), Qashqai 2.0 diesel, 2.0 petrol, X-Trail 2.2 diesel 2.0 petrol and 2.5 petrol and 2007 X-Trail 2.0 diesel, Note and Juke 1.4 and 1.6 petrol (not 1.5 diesel), Navara, Pathfinder and Murano 2.5 diesel, Navara and Pathfinder 3.0V6 diesel, 350Z, 370Z, 1.6 diesel in Qashqai from 2012, 1.6DIG-T petrol in Qashqai and X-Treail from 2015.

Peugeot: 107 1.0 1.0 litre petrol, 207 2007 MY 1.6 120PS and 150PS, 308 1.6 petrol.

Perodua: MYVI 1.3.

Renault: Twingo 0.9TCe 90 and 1.0; Clio 0.9TCe 90 petrol and 1.2TCe 115 petrol; Captur 1.2TCe 115 petrol, Scenic and Megane 1.2TCe 115 petrol and 1.4TCe 130 petrol, Scenic 2.0 diesel, Laguna 2.0 diesel, Laguna Coupe 2.0 diesel and 3.0V6 diesel, Renault 1.6DCI 130 diesel.

SAAB: all turbo petrol 4 cylinder engines and 2.2 diesel, but not 1,796cc 1.8i and not 1,910cc diesel.

SEAT: 1.2 litre 3-cylinder petrol engine, 1.2TSI and 1.4 litre TSI 4-cylinder up to 2012 when replaced by belt cam EA211, 1.6 litre FSI,1.8 litre TSI 160, 2.0 litre 1,984cc 2-1PS EA888 TFSI and Alhambra V6.

Skoda: 1.2 litre 3-cylinder petrol engine, 1.6 litre FSI, 1.2TSI and 1.4 litre TSI 4-cylinder up to 2012 when replaced by belt cam EA211 (though some Yeti 1.2TSIs remained chain cam up to 2015), 1.8 litre TSI 160, 2.0 litre 1,984cc 2-1PS EA888 TFSI.

Smart: All ForTwos; All ForFours, petrol and diesel.

Subaru: flat-four ‘Boxer’ 2.0 litre diesel from 2008, Subaru H6 three litre petrol.

Suzuki: 1.0 litre (including BoosterJet), 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4T petrol engines, SX4 1.6 petrol, Grand Vitara 2.4 petrol.

Ssangyong Musso 2.9 diesel.

Toyota: Aygo 1.0 petrol; IQ 1.0 petrol, 1.4 diesel; all 1.0, 1.3, 1.5 VVTi and 1.4D-4D Yaris; 1.5 Prius; 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 Corolla VVTi petrol and 1.4 D-4D; 1.8 MR2; all Auris engines; 1.8, 2.0 and 2.4 Avensis and Verso VVTi petrol from 2003, Avensis 2.0 and 2.2 diesel only from July 2006; 2.0 RAV-4 VVTi petrol, 2.2 RAV-4 diesel from 2006; LandCruiser LC 4.0 V6 petrol.

Opel/Vauxhall: Agila 1.0 12v, 1.2 16v; 1.3CDTI, Corsa 1.0 12v, 1.2 16v; 1.4 1,364cc petrol and petrol turbo (fitted to Adam, Astra, Meriva, Zafira Tourer and Insignia); 1.3CDTI; DI 16v 1.7, 2.0 and 2.2 diesels; 2.2 petrol in Vectra and VX220, but not 2.2 petrol Omega; new 1.6CDTI from 2013; new 1.6 petrol from 2015; new 1.0 3-cylinder petrol from 2015.

VW: 1.2 litre 3-cylinder petrol engine, 1.2 litre and 1.4 litre FSI and TSI and TFSI up to 2012 when replaced by belt cam EA211, 1.6 litre FSI, 1.8 litre TSI 160, 2.0 litre 1,984cc 2-1PS EA888 TFSI from 2009, Golf VR5 and VR6, Sharan VR6, all Touareg, all Phaeton (later VW 2.5 5 cylinder diesels and 5.0 V10 diesels have gear train driven camshafts rather than belts or chains).

48 thoughts on “Which cars have timing chain or belt?”

  1. this a fine list but I cant help but wonder that todays high classed engines are not equipped with tower or king shafts to drive the cams (deadly accurate timing over th lifetime of the engine) lasting almost forever and if they are driven and drive thru helical gears deadly quit and very low friction and while they are at it design the cylinder block with the head in one piece without a gasket like offenhauser did with modern machinery and knowledge none of this should be a problem as far as the excuse of increased manufactering cost goes it will not wash with me because so many cars have many junk assesorys that also drive up the cost so as soon as one maker goes to those systems I will believe in superior qualit and not mass production Junk

    1. Just came across your comments about engines with integral engine block cylinder head and remembered that Leyland built such an engine (400series) for commercial use, (trucks, machinery etc). It wasn’t very successful due the bad habit of dropping exhaust valves and the major repairs needed. The later series engines went back to traditional build.

    2. Noise is the issue for passenger cars.
      Helical gears still have an inherent whine, fine for machinery etc.
      Early Holden 3.0 sixes used gears, one had to be fibre to reduce noise – they failed at hub.

    1. You can pop up the hood and check the side of the engine. If there is a plastic cover, it is a belt. See the video in the post.

    1. You can pop up the hood and check the side of the engine. If there is a plastic cover, it is a belt. See the video in the post.

    1. Perhaps, you are right. This is not an absolute guide to timing chain or belt examination. Please, check your engine according to the guidance from the video provided under the article

    1. Philip, usually v6 3.5 engines have the belt, at least, this was the case for older engines. It is hard to say about your case as you provide no year for your model.
      In your case, please, check according to the guidance: if you see the plastic cover along the whole side of the engine either from the left or right, you have a belt.

    1. Pau, your engine has a chain according to the photos on Google. These are unavailable in Europe under the same name so I cannot advise with 100% assurance. You can check if there is plastic cover on the side of the engine. If yes, you have a belt.

  2. Festinger…my vw transporter high roof vsn t5 ..is it a chain or belt driven engine & another question is if in the unfortunate situation that it be belt driven is it interference or non-interference? It has done 300miles and no trouble as yet but i qualm my stomach when it came to notice of differences in modes of timing ..pse inform

    1. Depending on your engine, if you have a 2.5 TDI, like mine, it is neither belt or chain driven but timing is done by gears. Very accurate and reliable but at the same time you should not try to save on oil. Buy proper oil and change it in time.


    1. 800USD is no joke indeed. Would you specify exactly the car model, year and engine type? It might be that the same cars in Europe have different engines. I will update the list accordingly

    1. Sarah, would you please mention the year of the model, engine size, fuel. That would help correct the data.

    1. Usually, Jaguar X-type with diesel engines have the same engines as Ford Mondeo Mk3. At least, this is the case with cars in Europe. Those engines are timing chain driven.

  4. I think, the most stupid engine is in Ford Transit Connect 1.8 diesel. It has TWO timing belts, another is wet (in the oil) an another is dry. Very difficult an expensive to change, serious damage, i one of them breaks down.
    The designer must have been a mentally defective chimp, that was fuddled, or was told to deliberately design an engine, that becomes as expensive as possible to the owner.
    Never buy that van.

  5. Im trying to buy a car problem everything is chain driven and i was told not to buy a chain driven motor what can I buy? Price round $8000

    1. It is rather odd that someone suggests not to choose the chain driven cars unless that was a car mechanic. Timing mechanism maintenance is very profitable operation for garages. Take this into account.
      Chain driven cars are easier in maintenance since do not require timing mechanism maintenance. There are some brands and models that are known for chain problems, for example, in Mercedes S-class W221/W222 engines or VW Passat 1.4 TSI chains jump over the teeth. If you do a search online for feedback and a proper shopping checkup, chain driven cars is a better choice imho. I currently own 2 chain driven cars with one having 210 000 and the other 320 000 km. The engines are healthy and will run easily for another 100 000 km each.

      As for what car to buy, I cannot suggest. Australia is a long way from where I am. Sorry

  6. hi Alex,
    I want to know that does my vehicle have cambelt or cam chain? The answer would be appreciated.
    REG: SJ08USZ
    Citroen c4 grand picasso 2008 diesel

    1. It is hard to say with given information. Is it a gasoline or diesel? Engine size? The post has a tip – if the engine has a plastic cover that can be taken off on any one side of the engine, it is a belt. Usually the chains are covered with metal covers.

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