My post-deployment time- engine problems

I will be returning from a deployment in a week and I need to fix my car. I get a grinding sound after the car warms up and I’m at 2000 rpm (roughly) or less. My car also stalls when idling at stop. OBD calls out a bunch of EGR codes. So I had a friend look at the car and we took a look at the timing chain inside the engine and he said it needs to be tightened/replaced. So I’m thinking about replacing the timing chain and EGR vavle, O2 sensor (just in case) along with the CV joints (I can’t remember but I pretty sure its just a knocking noise when i turn sometimes) when I get back. I just want to be more certain that these may be the fixes. Oh yeah the car is a 2000 Altima.

You might want to check the source of the engine grinding noise. Use the Tom-n-Ray method of a short piece of hose to your ear, and move the other end around the engine to locate the source of the grinding noise. Check the accessories (alternator, P/S pump, etc) for bad bearings. Also check water pump for bad bearings. Could also be the timing chain tensioner.

If this grinding noise is not present at idle I would suspect that you may be hearing a heat shield rattle from the exhaust system. These are often interpreted as a grinding sound when in reality it’s actually more of a high pitched rattle that may come across as a buzzing sound. These are generally not that major a fix at all.

The knocking when turning does often point to the CV joints.

The stalling at idle generally points to a vacuum leak or an Idle Air Valve problem but an EGR that is sticking open can also cause stalling at idle.

If the timing chain is really worn out then that could be sign of other problems; very high miles on the car, low oil pressure, wear due to irregular oil changes, etc.

I’m quite certain the sound is coming from the timing chain being loose… it does grind during idle… it is a tad loose. As jesmed said, it may also be the tensioner, but we’ll know if that is a cause when we open the cover and start chainging the chain (luckily I factored in enough money to change that too just in case we need extra parts).

I will put the Idle Air Valve into consideration too… thanks

I am deployed right now too. Do not put a chain in an 11 year old Nissan, I assume it has high mileage and even after the chain it will always leak oil. CV axles aside, the chain repair will out weigh the value of the car plus all of your other issues. Check with USAA for purchase of a new or used vehicle, used as low as 2.9 and you pick or drag that Nissan in for trade.