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Timing Chain 1999 Infiniti I30/ Nissan Maxima

Do I have to change the timing chain? I've gotten conflicting reports. Some say the chain will last "forever" others say I'm on borrowed time. My car has 160k miles on it. Thanks so much for your help.


  • edited January 2011
    Timing chains normally last the life of the engine, and do not need to be replaced.

    There are instances when a timing chain goes bad, but they are rare. Very rare in your case. If the chain were going bad you'd hear it. You don't report any problems, just a recommendation to change the chain based on age/mileage.

    As I said last night, check the maintenance section of the owner's manual. If there is a replacement interval for the chain it will be listed. It's not listed because there isn't one.

    The 3.0 Nissan V6 has a reputation as an extremely reliable engine.

  • edited January 2011
    You usually don't replace a timing chain until there is a problem. The chain is running through an oil bath and gets well lubricated and lasts the life of the motor in most cases. A timing chain that is going bad often makes noise before it lets go completely.

    When a motor is torn down and rebuilt that is a good time to replace the timing chain while the motor is apart. Most motors with timing chains are non interference motors, meaning a broken chain doesn't damage the valves and pistons. I'm not sure if your particular motor is an interference motor or not.
  • edited January 2011
    Keep motoring on until it gets loud or snaps. Then decide. The likely case it will head to the junkyard as timing chains generally are very expensive to replace compared to timing belts which are considered a service item.
  • edited January 2011

    This is NOT an interference engine. So you shouldn't have to worry about it.
  • edited January 2011
    Thank you! I'm going to replace the valve cover gaskets, EGR valve and a knock sensor. The key to whether I keep the car or get a new one is whether or not I have to replace the timing chain because that pretty much puts the expense of repairs over the tipping point. If I do those 3, should I be OK?
  • edited January 2011
    Yes, you should be perfectly OK.

    I wouldn't waste any time worrying about the timing chain.
  • edited January 2011
    A million thanks to all of the Car Talk posters who have generously given their time and expertise to answer my questions. The result is that I decided to NOT buy a new car and instead to keep my beloved Infiniti I30. I found a terrific mechanic on the Car Talk web site and got a quote to fix the valve cover gaskets, EGR valve, and knock sensor for $900. Not only that, he said he'll reduce the cost of the EGR valve part ($192) if he can just clean it instead of changing it (talk about an honest mechanic). This is going to save me $650 (or $850 without the part) compared to the dealership repair shop. A bargain in comparison to buying a new car. Thank you all once again.
  • edited January 2011
    When you find out that his fellow's work is quality, then make sure you stick with him. Eliminates a lot of headaches down the line.
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