The TIM23 translocase mediates the deltaPsi- and ATP-dependent import of proteins into mitochondria. We identified Tim14 as a novel component of the TIM23 translocase. Tim14 is an integral protein of the inner membrane with a typical J-domain exposed to the matrix space. TIM14 genes are present in the genomes of virtually all eukaryotes. In yeast, Tim14 is essential for viability. Mitochondria from cells depleted of Tim14 are deficient in the import of proteins mediated by the TIM23 complex. In particular, import of proteins that require the action of mtHsp70 is affected. Tim14 interacts with Tim44 and mtHsp70 in an ATP-dependent manner. A mutation in the HPD motif of the J-domain of Tim14 is lethal. Thus, Tim14 is a constituent of the mitochondrial import motor. We propose a model in which Tim14 is required for the activation of mtHsp70 and enables this chaperone to act in a rapid and regulated manner in the Tim44-mediated trapping of unfolded preproteins entering the matrix.