2005 grand am engine rattle

Hi all,
First off just let me state that my knowledge with cars is fairly limited

I own a 2005 grand am se, (v6) this engine rattle has been going on for a while now (6 months+) the rattle really hasn’t gotten any worse in that time, I uploaded a video to youtube as I’m kind of stumped as to what it could be, to me it almost sounds like something is lose…haha or maybe that’s just wishful thinking, it would definitely be great if it weren’t the engine itself making that noise, if I could get some of you knowledgeable folks to take a listen, and weigh in with your thought, it would be greatly appreciated

If any of you need more information from me than what I provided, please ask

Have you tried using a length of vacuum or garden hose as a stethoscope to isolate where exactly the noise is originating from?

How many miles on the engine?

Because that sounds like a stretched timing chain.


I have not tried listening with any devices to be honest, its worth a shot though. It’s hard to say for certain, my odometer says 143,000 Km. I purchased the car at 120,000 km. but the car is a rebuilt vehicle, I have no idea at what point it was rebuilt, or if it even the original engine. the Head gasket did blow on this vehicle shortly after purchase but was fixed (this could be totally irrelevant info, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to mention)

If you do quite a bit of hard accelerations, certainly could be the timing chain or it might also have a balance shaft chain. Could be the chain is fine, just a tensioner is kaput. Trying to isolate the source better would help in proving or disproving this theory. The timing cover is usually in the front of the engine, near the water pump.

Thanks George, I’ll look into this tomorrow morning (way to dark outside at the moment) and I will post my findings here!

Tester and George, I’m beginning to think you guys are right on the money with this one, I’ve spent the last little while researching symptoms of a stretched timing chain, and alot of it looks all too familiar.

I’ve noticed a fairly substantial decrease in power recently in my grand am. Also, when I’m going fairly fast I can’t really hear the rattle, but when I decelerate, the noise generally becomes more audible. A lot of the time (although not every time) I hear a very pronounced rattling sound when starting the vehicle (more so on a cold start)

Listening to engine noise over PC speakers is difficult for me due to hearing loss and Tinnitus but I tend to agree with Tester about it being timing chain noise.

If the chain is really failing that usually points to lack of regular oil changes or possibly diluted engine oil; generally due to engine coolant.

Halfway maintained, a timing chain should not be bad at 143 KMs. Do you know if the valve train on the cylinder head was sludged up during the head gasket job?

I’m afraid I don’t know, it wasn’t mentioned to me when the work was done, I don’t know if the valve train was clogged up or not