The timing chain functions in the same way that a timing belt does. The difference between the two is simply the material and location. One is constructed of metal and the other, a reinforced rubber. Though timing chains were used first, belts were introduced into vehicles in the 1960s. Belts are quieter and because of their material, less expensive to produce. Timing chains are housed within the engine and receive lubrication from engine oil and can last a long time, while timing belts are located outside of the engine and tend to dry out and crack. Within the last few years, however, more vehicle manufacturers have integrated timing chains back into some vehicles with vast improvements such as a reduction in noise and vibrations, different then a timing belt not all water pumps are driven by the timing chain. Check your owner’s manual to determine what kind of timing operation your vehicle utilizes as they may vary from year to year and by an auto manufacturer.