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2006 Equinox Timing Chain Repairs and Costs

Hello, Tom and Ray!

I read your column in the paper every week and you guys are great! This is my first time writing to you. I will soon be the proud owner of a 2006 Chevy Equinox, thanks to a co-worker selling at an awesome price and my wonderful mom taking out the loan. So far, the current owner has never had any trouble with her belts or the timing chain. Which is great, but I want to be prepared in the event that this should become an issue. My last two vehicles needed the timing belt replaced not long after I had acquired them (but these were pretty old and the cars were free). On my '97 Dodge Intrepid, the repair was over $500 mainly due to labor. On my '92 Plymouth Acclaim, it wasn’t quite so much. Can you give me an idea what this repair would cost on the '06 Equinox? Thanks!

Regina, Tonawanda, NY

I cannot open the Gates books without downloading Google Chrome, and I refuse to do that. Chrome is a highly risky download.

Anybody here know if this is a belt or a chain?

I’m pretty sure than an Equinox came only with either a 3.4L or 3.6L V6, both of which are chain driven. So bookworm0812, if you keep up with all of the maintenance in this vehicle then you should never have to do anything at all with the timing system.

Note, by the way, that if you have a car with a timing belt, getting it serviced is not (or SHOULD NOT) be a “repair”. It is maintenance. Some might call it semantics, but I think it’s an important distinction. You “repair” things when they break. But maintenance is about trying to make sure things don’t break. A lot of people ignore maintenance until something is wrong and then they need repairs. It’s pretty much always way more expensive that way. So open up the owner’s manual on the Equinox, find the service schedule, and make sure you follow it. You probably won’t find a word about the timing system. It is maintained by regular oil changes according to the schedule (in this case probably the oil life monitor that tells you when to change the oil).

What you want to pay special attention to is the cooling system and watch for any signs of coolant loss or leaks. Those engines are notorious for leaking lower intake manifold gaskets. Those can cause real damage to the engine if left unchecked. Unfortunately, other than not neglecting the coolant system, there’s no “maintenance” that can prevent the eventual need for that “repair”

P.S. You haven’t written to Tom & Ray. You’ve just posted to an internet discussion board full of random rabble such as the same mountainbike ;-).

I’m flattered. {:slight_smile:

Your car has a timing chain, not a belt. Failure of chains on these engines is quite rare. I wouldn’t even think about it.

If this has the LY7 V6 . . . this engine did have some teething problems. There were some instances of accelerated timing chain wear and high oil consumption

While not likely, it could happen

More info please. Which motor is in suv, and how many miles? Why is owner so eager to sell at great price?

Owner wants to upgrade to a larger vehicle. She’s getting her recently decease grandpa’s trail blazer.

Thanks for your comments, guys! Really appreciate it. Cigroller, at least with my Intrepid, the timing belt did “break.” It had gotten completely shredded, although this was the result of something that broke off of another part in the car, leaving jagged edges and the belt went right up against it. Like a cheese grater, it shredded up the belt. Can’t remember exactly what the problem was with the one in the Acclaim, other than the fact that the car was 17 years old when I acquired it.

Which motor and how many miles? Or don’t you care?

According to Gates, 5)3only engine available was the 3.4L V6 and it uses a timing chain. Mileage should be irrelevant.

I just did a quick search, and this engine seems to be an old school 60 degree OHV GM V6

I object. TSM is not “random rabble”. What’s wrong with Chrome though anyway? I like it.

As a side note, I would change the oil when the oil life monitor reads about 40-50%, not when it reads 0. These oil life monitors are SUPPOSED to be pretty good, but GM just recently reprogrammed a bunch of them because people were getting accelerated engine wear going by the OLM for their oil changes.

@oblivion, please cite a source for the OLM reprogramming you mentioned.

GM has had some premature timing gear wear on the 3.6 engines. At first it seemed that the oil change interval was to blame, but since the timing gear problem was unique to this engine they have issued a revised gear made of better material.

Other than that, my opinion is that using the appropriate oil, a quality filter, and the OLM will not cause any problems.

That problem was on the 3.6 LY7 high feature dohc V6

I’m not sure that problem existed on OP’s 3.4 ohv V6, a much older design