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95 Nissan Maxima CE timing chain noise

Greetings.



Recently (late Jan.'08)informed by my auto repair shop (a shop I’ve worked with for years/very reputable and competent), that my vehicle (which has 101,200 miles)is experiencing some noise from the timing chain, and that I may want to start looking for a new car. That’s my intention, as the local Nissan dealer has given me a quote of $1,500.00 to replace it.

Can anyone give me an idea as to how much more time I might have before the chain breaks? My shop said that is difficult to even roughly determine. Will the noise get progressively louder and last longer? I’d like to be able to commute to work, look for new car, at least get through the rest of the winter.



Thanks for your input.

You likely have quite a while yet. They tend to get real noisy before they need replacement and frankly 100,000 miles is rather early for one to go. It should go two or three times that, although I would not rule out an early failure.

Considering a 95 Maxima is is worth a lot more than $1,500 I would certainly consider the repair if it really needs it. I see no reason to get a new car just for that. If you want a new car, don’t look for an excuse, You don’t need one, if that is what you want and if you can afford it just do it.

An independent shop/mechanic would be much cheaper. They could determine how much the timing chain is worn by turning the crankshaft, and noting how much (in degrees) the crankshaft turns before the camshaft begins to turn. That could determine if the timing chain is excessively worn. If a shop/mechanic says, “Can’t / won’t do”, go to another shop/mechanic where the pasture smell is less.

It’s hard to say. What you’re actually hearing are the timing chain guides coming apart. These guides utilize a hard plastic material for the wear surfaces. When this plastic starts coming apart the chain loses tension. That’s when the chain can jump teeth either because the plastic chunks get between the chain and the crank gear. or the chain becomes so lose it jumps teeth.

Tester

Hello Joseph.

The full story on repairs is that I was also told the car has some other issues: struts going out (getting bearing noise when turning steering wheel), $850.00 repair quote. Faulty fuel injector (car has been rough idling, using more fuel), $450.00 quote.

Still, I may get another opinion.

Hello Joseph.

The full story on repairs is that I was also told the car has some other issues: struts going out (getting bearing noise when turning steering wheel), $850.00 repair quote. Faulty fuel injector (car has been rough idling, using more fuel), $450.00 quote.

Still, I may get another opinion.

There was a change in the design of the timing chain tensioner in these cars in about 1997. There’s a technical service bulletin about it.

I changed the water pump on my 1996 Maxima, and part of that job involves removing part of the chain tensioner. Changing a water pump on one of these cars is a pretty stiff challenge, and while I’m glad I did myself, I hope I never have to do it again.

I consider $850 to upgrade the chain tensioner on a Maxima to be completely reasonable. Personally, I’d jump at it.

Mine is the GLE model, 1996. Even with 147,000 miles on it, it’s worth around $4,000. For all the work they’re doing, I don’t think $1,500 is unreasonable. And since they’ll already have the timing cover off, it’s another 15 minutes to change the water pump. Definitely have them do that at the same time.

There was a problem with the 95-95 Maxima’s with noise. The fix was to replace the timing chain guide and tensioner. HOWEVER…As long as you’re in there you might as well replace it. Nissan fixed this problem in 97.

This engine IS a interference engine. If the chain breaks or slips it can/will destroy your engine. There is no way to tell how long the chain will last. If I was told there was a problem I’d be making an appointment that day or looking for a new car.

Also WHY go to the dealer. You have a good trusted mechanic…why not let them do it??? If the car is running good and the body is good…it’s far cheaper to keep the car then to buy a new one.

I would buy a timing belt add AutoZone and have a friend or some one you know who
works on cars. That dealer that’s going to charge you $500.00 is a ripp off.
The timing belt you can buy for $96.99 + tax at AutoZone. If a mechanic shop doe’s
the work he should only charge you at least $ 150.00 to $200.00 to put it on.