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Thread: Timing chain loose w/o any error lights? Dealership or Local Repair?

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    Question Timing chain loose w/o any error lights? Dealership or Local Repair?

    I have a 2018 Mirage SE - CVT, only 1 prior owner and it's at 72K miles. I got it in very good condition about a year ago now.

    There's been a loud rattling noise when I accelerate and at cycling intervals as it idles. My brother sourced it to the timing chain, which he said looked a lot looser than it should be- thus rattling back and forth along the gears. Sure enough, it sounded exactly like the louder version I've been hearing. So the timing chain either needs the tensioner adjusted, or the whole thing needs to be replaced... hopefully the cheaper option.

    But when I called the dealership about it- they were so dismissive! Saying stuff like "that cant be the issue- there's no codes (check engine lights?)" and that "older models" like mine "can basically run forever with weird noises like that". Uhm, no sir, weirdly loud noises and cars generally don't mix well.

    So now I'm super hesitant to go to the dealership about it, but even a Pep Boys by me "Won't touch it" because the valves are hydraulic (I guess that makes them really sensitive and hard to work with?).

    Is the dealership my only choice? I don't want to have to pay them for like 4 extra hours to dig around my car and "diagnose it" when I told them what the issue was... I made another appointment with a local repair shop who didn't say anything about not being able to fix it, but that one is 2 days after the dealership appointment...
    I don't know what to do... please help!



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    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faru View Post
    My brother sourced it to the timing chain, which he said looked a lot looser than it should be- thus rattling back and forth along the gears.
    How could anyone look at the timing chain in a Mirage to determine its tension? I think the only way you can see any part of it is by looking through the oil filler cap.

    Timing chain related failures are unusual in these cars. I can't remember anyone here who's had one...and we have plenty of people here with well over 100K miles on their car. Not saying it's impossible...but unlikely.


    Is the dealership my only choice?
    I don't want to have to pay them for like 4 extra hours to dig around my car and "diagnose it" when I told them what the issue was...
    Uhhh...if you call a shop and "tell them what the issue is", you are either going to get brushed off or you will pay for them to tear your car apart looking for the problem you told them to go after. I have a good dealer, so I would have no concern dropping my car off to them and paying for an hour to diagnose something. If you don't trust your dealer, take it to an independent shop.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 52.2 mpg (US) ... 22.2 km/L ... 4.5 L/100 km ... 62.6 mpg (Imp)


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    remember that even though you dont want a diagnostic and "know what the issue is" even you yourself don't seem to know if you want a chain, a tensioner, chain guide. Do you want all these parts replaced?


    Also the chain tensioner is hydraulic it uses oil pressure. if you are checking the chain tension while the engines off it will of course be at least a little looser as there won't be any oil pressure to tension the chain with.

    Im also with TopFuel on wanting to know how you/your brother concluded that the chain was loose?
    please consider checking out my Mirage related youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6c...IEViRFw/videos

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    Faru - I guess I can see this both ways. There was an instance in my past where I took (in this case it was my Dodge Ram, when it had warranty coverage) to a dealer. But before I did, I diagnosed that the lift pump (a fuel pump), would experience large instances in time where it would just NOT pump (and the truck would stall). I put a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel line just post lift pump and duct taped the gauge to my windshield, and I watched the pressure. This lift pump problem was / is a known issue.

    I knew up front the stealership was going to harass me about, "we have to diagnose, and that's $90, but that's refunded if it is a warranted repair." And, "we have to scan your codes and blah blah blah." But I also knew, the failed lift pump produced no codes, as well as there was an ECU flash they did automatically to unsuspecting customers, that I didn't want done ... because that flash dumbed down various gauges (long story).

    So before I went, I backed the OBD connector out of its mount and pushed it up behind the dash into a rat's nest of wiring. I left the gauge taped to the windshield (outside) take it to the dealer, roll into the service bay, "How can we help you sir?" I say, the lift pump has failed, please replace it.

    And off to the races they go with their crap. I said to the guy again, "the lift pump has failed, please replace it." And added context, "The failed lift pump can be verified by the gauge taped to the windshield." The service writer says, well, we have still have to check the codes and diagnose, it'll be $90 to diagnose at minimum, unless it's covered. I just said blankly again, "the lift pump has failed, please replace it." He repeated the, "we'll have to scan the codes."

    I held the keys out and said, "good luck with that." He looked perplexed and I left. A different service guy called me a couple hours later and said, your new lift pump is in and your truck is ready. I asked them how much, he said, no charge, it's covered under warranty.

    I went back and walked up to the original service writer. He looked totally miffed, handed me my keys and service document and didn't say a word. Neither did I. I still wonder how long they spent trying to find that connector. When I got home, it took me about 30 minutes to find it myself, and I knew where I had pushed it! But got it and snapped it back in it's mount. There was no write up on the receipt about having scanned the codes or diagnosis. Just something like, "replaced failed lift pump."

    The point is, I was 100% certain I had identified the problem, and went prepared.

    You'll have to splain to us how your brother diagnosed this. I don't "know" the structure of the engine in the area of the timing belt, but I would imagine there's a cover. But from memory (of other cars), that cover is not a simple affair to remove.

    And lastly, regardless of what the problem is, timing chain or other, if you are not the original owner and thusly have no warranty coverage (which I think is the case), then my recommendation is to use a private mechanic. As every OEM dealership in the U.S. sucks be stanky crust-covered ass. They're either really nice to their customers, and do shi11y work, or they're a-holes and do shi11y work.

    Furthermore, I have had really good luck asking for recommendations for fair priced, quality autowork on facebutt. Stuck to the recommendations and do now have one particular shop that does really good work on the stuff that I don't want to do, and he does it at fair costs. Smart guy too, so glad I found the guy.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2020 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 42.4 mpg (US) ... 18.0 km/L ... 5.6 L/100 km ... 50.9 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Dirk Diggler's Avatar
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    "Won't touch it because the valves are hydralic"

    What does these mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Diggler View Post
    "Won't touch it because the valves are hydralic"

    What does these mean?
    I think they are referring to the fact that the chain tensioner is hydraulic as indicated by Foama's post here: https://mirageforum.com/forum/showth...l=1#post133915 But im not certain thats what they mean or why that would stop them from changing a chain? Maybe they dont want to diagnose it because determining oil pressure is low at the tensioner is impossibly hard to do? Thats my best guess.
    please consider checking out my Mirage related youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6c...IEViRFw/videos

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    Quote Originally Posted by mohammad View Post
    I think they are referring to the fact that the chain tensioner is hydraulic as indicated by Foama's post here: https://mirageforum.com/forum/showth...l=1#post133915 But im not certain thats what they mean or why that would stop them from changing a chain? Maybe they dont want to diagnose it because determining oil pressure is low at the tensioner is impossibly hard to do? Thats my best guess.
    Jeez and here I thought the very best feature of the 3A92 was its simplicity and ease of maintenanc lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Diggler View Post
    Jeez and here I thought the very best feature of the 3A92 was its simplicity and ease of maintenanc lol.
    According to this: https://mirageforum.com/forum/showth...ranty-Question I have a 10 year warranty. Sucks to be you America. Although i have zero service records for the vehicle. I am so happy to hear this I might just spend a few pennies upgrading the vehicle. Maybe get some swag rims and a sway bar now that i know that this rusty **** box will run for at least 3 more years.

    To be fair Dirk changing the timing chain isn't even on the maintenance schedule like it is with those timing belt civics. its quite possible this guy miss diagnosed his issue. If he was capable of removing the timing chain cover to inspect the chain he could certainly change it himself. Also if you look at the photo on the link i shared in the above post the tensioner does look like a very simple design.
    please consider checking out my Mirage related youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6c...IEViRFw/videos

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    Quote Originally Posted by mohammad View Post
    According to this: https://mirageforum.com/forum/showth...ranty-Question I have a 10 year warranty. Sucks to be you America. Although i have zero service records for the vehicle. I am so happy to hear this I might just spend a few pennies upgrading the vehicle. Maybe get some swag rims and a sway bar now that i know that this rusty **** box will run for at least 3 more years.

    To be fair Dirk changing the timing chain isn't even on the maintenance schedule like it is with those timing belt civics. its quite possible this guy miss diagnosed his issue. If he was capable of removing the timing chain cover to inspect the chain he could certainly change it himself. Also if you look at the photo on the link i shared in the above post the tensioner does look like a very simple design.
    And I believe you of course. My earlier statement was in regards to their being shops out there saying they won't work on our engines because it's too difficult. I've heard similar statements regarding the Mazda rotary engine.

    This wasn't at all what I expected.

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    Senior Member klroger's Avatar
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    I'm thinking a loose intake snorkel or exhaust hangers, but since I can't hear it from here, I'm probably wrong.. & what kind of a mechanic can't work on an engine that has hydraulic valves (ours don't. Ours are shim & bucket)??? They must be thinking the variable valve timing, but I'd keep them away regardless...


    I didn't know what to do, so I didn't do anything

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2018 Mirage GT 1.2 automatic: 37.9 mpg (US) ... 16.1 km/L ... 6.2 L/100 km ... 45.5 mpg (Imp)


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