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Old 03-28-2012, 10:24 AM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Timing Chain Tensioners or Not?

I read the posts about the timing chain tensioner noise, and listened to the YouTube videos of the sound. Now I need an opinion.

I have a similar sound on my ’05 Maxima (75K miles) that just started last week.

It sounds kind of like the chain tensioner noise, but the symptoms are not quite the same, as follows:

1. The noise does NOT start as soon as I start the cold engine. It doesn’t start until I’ve driven the car about a mile down the road. Then it starts. Once engine warms up, it’s gone.

2. The noise does NOT get louder when the engine is revved. It gets quieter when the engine is revved! Strange!

So… is it the cam chain tensioners or not?

If not, I was thinking perhaps valve lifter noise, but that should start immediately on starting the cold engine, and it doesn’t.

Another thought is a fuel injector going bad. I think that a bad injector will make the same kind of ticking noise that a bad valve lifter makes, correct?

* Also, MY BAD... I just checked the oil level and it was just barely touching the "L" mark on the dip stick. So I guess I'm about a quart low, but no oil pressure warning light. Could a quart low on oil be causing all of this???

Any ideas are welcome. Thanks!

Last edited by 05SmokeSE; 03-28-2012 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioners or Not?

Originally Posted by 05SmokeSE View Post
I read the posts about the timing chain tensioner noise, and listened to the YouTube videos of the sound. Now I need an opinion.

I have a similar sound on my í05 Maxima (75K miles) that just started last week.

It sounds kind of like the chain tensioner noise, but the symptoms are not quite the same, as follows:

1. The noise does NOT start as soon as I start the cold engine. It doesnít start until Iíve driven the car about a mile down the road. Then it starts. Once engine warms up, itís gone.

2. The noise does NOT get louder when the engine is revved. It gets quieter when the engine is revved! Strange!

SoÖ is it the cam chain tensioners or not?

If not, I was thinking perhaps valve lifter noise, but that should start immediately on starting the cold engine, and it doesnít.

Another thought is a fuel injector going bad. I think that a bad injector will make the same kind of ticking noise that a bad valve lifter makes, correct?

* Also, MY BAD... I just checked the oil level and it was just barely touching the "L" mark on the dip stick. So I guess I'm about a quart low, but no oil pressure warning light. Could a quart low on oil be causing all of this???

Any ideas are welcome. Thanks!
i had a similar problem . Instead i got a whining noise coming from the engine after a mile of driving and it was"nt rpm sensitive and it turned out to be the oil filter was clogged . If your oil is low your should add some oil regardless .
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioners or Not?

Originally Posted by 05SmokeSE View Post
I read the posts about the timing chain tensioner noise, and listened to the YouTube videos of the sound. Now I need an opinion.

I have a similar sound on my ’05 Maxima (75K miles) that just started last week.

It sounds kind of like the chain tensioner noise, but the symptoms are not quite the same, as follows:

1. The noise does NOT start as soon as I start the cold engine. It doesn’t start until I’ve driven the car about a mile down the road. Then it starts. Once engine warms up, it’s gone.

2. The noise does NOT get louder when the engine is revved. It gets quieter when the engine is revved! Strange!

So… is it the cam chain tensioners or not?

If not, I was thinking perhaps valve lifter noise, but that should start immediately on starting the cold engine, and it doesn’t.

Another thought is a fuel injector going bad. I think that a bad injector will make the same kind of ticking noise that a bad valve lifter makes, correct?

* Also, MY BAD... I just checked the oil level and it was just barely touching the "L" mark on the dip stick. So I guess I'm about a quart low, but no oil pressure warning light. Could a quart low on oil be causing all of this???

Any ideas are welcome. Thanks!
Think about it this way, the timing slack tensioners are hydraulic..meaning its crucial that they get OIL PRESSURE. From what you wrote above...your problem is ok at startup oil is thick and therefore you have plenty of pressure. Engine warms up, you oil thins out because you are low on oil and it gets extremely hot....you get a noise, rev it... Pressure goes up...noise goes away...check your oil level regularly and change oil frequently with quality 5W30 to keep those tensioners happy...

To answer your question about an injector, you will not hear an injector making noise unless you use a sthethoscope....and if your injector is a problem you will get a "dry" misfire, which most likely would result in your engine running rough as well as a flashing CEL. This is a different symptom i believe then what you are describing.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:59 AM   Thread Starter #4
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioners or Not?

Well... the noise is gone!

I topped off my crankcase with just shy of one quart of oil to the MAX mark, and the noise completely stopped.

I'm glad about that, but I'm now wondering if there is an impending service bill for over $1,000 to replace my timing chain tensioner and guides in my future?

I mean Jeez, just barely a quart low, not off the stick, no oil pressure warning light, and I still get the timing chain noise! That just doesn't seem right to me. I've been working on engines most of my life and I've never seen a symptom like this in any other engine before. If the oil pressure was good (no warning light) that just shouldn't happen. Seems like a defective oil distribution system design to me.

Anyone else had the timing chain noise result just from being a bit low on oil?
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioners or Not?

Originally Posted by Danski6MT View Post
Think about it this way, the timing slack tensioners are hydraulic..meaning its crucial that they get OIL PRESSURE. From what you wrote above...your problem is ok at startup oil is thick and therefore you have plenty of pressure. Engine warms up, you oil thins out because you are low on oil and it gets extremely hot....you get a noise, rev it... Pressure goes up...noise goes away...check your oil level regularly and change oil frequently with quality 5W30 to keep those tensioners happy...

To answer your question about an injector, you will not hear an injector making noise unless you use a sthethoscope....and if your injector is a problem you will get a "dry" misfire, which most likely would result in your engine running rough as well as a flashing CEL. This is a different symptom i believe then what you are describing.

sums up pretty much what I was going to type ..
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