Interference engine is an engine designed to where if the timing belt or chain breaks, or even stretches too far, the pistons will come in contact with the valves usually causing severe damage. Ferrari’s are probably the most famous interference design because they need engine out service to replace timing belts every 20K miles. Obviously, not all engines are interference engines, but if they are, you need to replace the timing belt or chain when the manufacturer says to or you may come to regret letting that bit of service going..,
In comparison to non-interference engines, interference engines “breathe” better because the valves can open earlier, close later and open wider. Interference engines can also achieve higher compression ratios. These designs extract more power, use less fuel and generate fewer emissions.
...but the trade off is severe damage if you don’t keep the timing belt or chain replaced when required...
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