Porsche Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement

Is your Porsche engine noisy, engine running rough, and excessive timing chain slack because of a weak timing chain tensioner? Learn how to fix the problem by replacing the timing chain of your Porsche. The timing chain tensioners may weaken, causing a rattle for about five seconds upon startup.


  • Engine rattle noise at startup
  • Excessive timing chain slack
  • Check engine light on
  • Engine runs rough
  • Engine won’t stay running.


  • Record the timing marks before you start work.
  • Replace one tensioner at a time.
  • Verify timing marks before starting the engine.
  • After you replace each tensioner, crank the engine by hand two full revolutions before you start it.

What you will need

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getting ready to replace porsche timing chain tensioner
access porsche timing chain tensioner
turn porsche crankshaft by hand


In this guide, we will go over the instructions on changing Porsche left lower timing chain tensioner with the engine in the car.

Pictures in this guide are from a Porsche Cayenne with a V8 engine, but the procedure should also help you change the tensioners on other Porsche models.

  1. Park the Porsche on a level surface and allow the engine to cool down.
  2. Jack up the vehicle and remove the lower engine covers. On top of the engine, remove the plastic trims and, if needed, the intake air hose to access the front of the engine.
  3. Place a socket on the crankshaft pulley and rotate the crankshaft to bring it to TDC. Use the Porsche timing tool or an 8mm Allen wrench to lock the crank pulley to the block.
  4. Lock the crankshaft (and, when required, the camshafts) in position. Locking the crankshaft to prevent the timing chain from jumping when the tensioner is removed is crucial. Also, we recommend locking the camshaft as well. Remove the green cam seals on each cover to lock the camshaft.
  5. Locate the tensioners. Porsches have up to three tensioners. IMS chain tensioner and bank 4-6 tensioner can be replaced with the engine in the car. Bank 1-3 tensioner may require accessories to be removed to access it.porsche cayenne timing chain tensioner
  6. Use a 27mm socket and ratchet to break loose the tensioner. Note that the tensioner has lots of threads; therefore, removing it will take a lot of turning. Replace one tensioner at a time.porsche cayenne timing chain tensioner replacement
  7. Prime the new tensioner. Soak the new tensioner in engine oil; while it is soaked in oil, pump it a few times to prime it.
  8. Install the new tensioner.
  9. Replace the next tensioner.
  10. Don’t start the engine yet. Remove the locking pins. Turn the engine by hand for two full revolutions to ensure no interference.
  11. Next check, the timing marks are lining up correctly. This will allow you to make sure the timing didn’t jump.

Always replace one tensioner at a time. Check your work by turning the engine by hand for two full revolutions.

Sometimes, a rattle noise is present when the vehicle is parked for several weeks or months. This is normal unless you experience engine noise on startup when the vehicle is parked overnight. A professional Porsche mechanic recommends diagnosing your car to confirm the tensioners are the culprit.

Another common problem on Porsche vehicles is IMS bearing failing and is often misdiagnosed as a bad timing chain tensioner.

We hope you find the Porsche Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Porsche.


  • Rushit Hila • ASE Certified

    Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.

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