Timing Chain

engines
suzuki
vitara

#1

I have a 2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara, with 99,000 miles. I noticed a distinct ticking on the front, passenger side of the engine. I took it to a mechanic who said it was the timing chain. I took it the dealer, as it was still under warranty, and they replaced the timing chain. 8 days later, I notice a ticking on both the passenger side and driver’s side. This time they replaced the tensioner. A day later I’m noticing a distinct ticking in the front center part of the engine. The dealer tells me this is normal, and will go away when the car warms up. Well, I had driven it 45 minutes and it didn’t go away. I have a trip planned out of state next week, and am terrified to drive this vehicle as I’m afraid the engine’s going to go.


#2

What kind of warranty is this on a 6 year old vehicle with 99k miles? An extended warranty of some sort?

What I have an issue with here is this. Replacing the chain is a major operation on this vehicle and why in the world would they replace the chain only and all of the tensioners, etc. at the same time? This makes absolutely no sense to me and I would not trust anyone who works like this.

Just a thought here but if the warranty here is an extended one could it be possible that nothing at all has been replaced and you’re simply being brushed off with a line of BS? Maybe you should have someone examine the front of the engine very closely in an effort to determine if it has even been apart.


#3

Thank you. Yes, my next step is to take it to another mechanic. The warranty is the original powertrain warranty, 7 year, 100,000 miles. I had thought, when I took it back the second time, that yes, they should have checked all of the related items. The last call from the dealership they reiterated nothing was wrong with the car and that if anything did happen, they had documented everything. That does not ease my fears.


#4

While I don’t know for sure what the dealer has or has not done here, I’m leaning towards a bit of a distrust issue.
No reputable mechanic or shop should piecemeal a timing chain repair on any car and especially on one that is a major job to perform.

It’s under warranty and if they performed a legitimate warranty repair then every bit of it should be paid for even if everything in there is replaced.
Also, if this was done as a warranty repair this means those old parts should be kept on hand until the next visit by the service rep and this is generally on a monthly basis. Wonder if they even have any old parts to produce?

The dealer should also know about this. Note the March '04 bulletin; TSO7R2
http://www.alldatadiy.com/TSB/58/02585024.html

Here’s a bit more on this.
http://bbs.zuwharrie.com/content?topic=45886.0

Just curious here. Normally a timing chain does not tick but it’s possible.
Are there any engine performance problems; Check Engine Light on, rough idle, any bucking, jerking, surging, etc.?

Without knowing for sure on this chain issue I would be a bit hesitant about a trip. I believe the engine on your vehicle is what is called an “inteference fit” and what this means in a nutshell is that if a problem develops in a chain tensioner which then leads to the chain breaking, jumping a tooth or two, or being thrown off then cylinder head damage will occur when the still moving pistons contact the now non-moving valves in the heads. This means a lot of money to repair at the least and a total catastrophic engine failure at worst; along with leaving you stranded.

Someone would really have to reassure me on this issue before I’d head out of town in it. Hope some of that helps anyway and keep us informed.