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Old 01-01-2011, 10:06 PM   #1
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rattling sound when start up cold

when i start my car cold or if my car hasn't been on for a couple of hours it makes a rattling sound. the sound goes away after my car warms up. i dont think its anything serious but its annoying. i'm thinking my exhaust is loose or something and after it warms up the metal expands making the sound go away. just a theory though. any ideas?
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:27 AM   #2
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/edwin.j.pacheco @edwinjpacheco Edwin J Pacheco
Another source of the rattling sound is timing chain related. A few seconds of rattling noise is normal on the VQs, but more time than that means the main timing chain tensioner or slack guide have a problem.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:20 PM   #3
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I woudn't say that few seconds or rattle upon startup is "normal" though. Any unusual background noise is abnormal, let's get real. "Acceptable" would be a better word I guess.
To OP- that rattle that you get is most likely due to worn timing chain guide(s). Chain and guide are going metal to metal once lining is gone. At some point in 2004 Nissan redesigned the part, the lining on top of the guide, to be specific. So some people get the symptom, some do not.
Timing chain guides are quite extensive repair, but doable, if you feel inclined and desperate spending hours on your car repair and got spare transportation for a day or two.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximusMMIV View Post
when i start my car cold or if my car hasn't been on for a couple of hours it makes a rattling sound. the sound goes away after my car warms up. i dont think its anything serious but its annoying. i'm thinking my exhaust is loose or something and after it warms up the metal expands making the sound go away. just a theory though. any ideas?
My maxima had the same problem. It would rattle (more a ticking noise actually) on a cold start up or after sitting for about 15 minutes. The noise would be gone after the engine had warmed up. I did lot of reading here and online and ended up changing the following

1) main timing chain (there was significant slack in this one)
2) main tensioner (wasnt too bad but didnt want to take chances)
3) two secondary chains (these were good on inspection but replaced them anyway)
4) two secondary tensioners (badly worn and had to be replaced)

I didnt change the water pump.

The car now runs great except it has other issues () but the ticking noise is completely gone. It also fixed the oil leak as well.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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I have this same ticking noise at startup and yes, it is annoying. What would be the effects of still using the car without replacing these parts? Will it cause any further damage?
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:57 AM   #6
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I have this same ticking noise at startup and yes, it is annoying. What would be the effects of still using the car without replacing these parts? Will it cause any further damage?
let's see - the tensioners can wear prematurely and loosen the timing chain which in turn could throw your timing off -meaning when the valves open and close inside the engine could be off quite a bit. That in turn could result in pistons hitting the values potentially causing major damage. In which case you are better off replacing the entire engine. As to how long you can survive without potential damage to the valves, I am not sure - I guess depends on how bad the wear is on the tensioners.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osisray View Post
My maxima had the same problem. It would rattle (more a ticking noise actually) on a cold start up or after sitting for about 15 minutes. The noise would be gone after the engine had warmed up. I did lot of reading here and online and ended up changing the following

1) main timing chain (there was significant slack in this one)
2) main tensioner (wasnt too bad but didnt want to take chances)
3) two secondary chains (these were good on inspection but replaced them anyway)
4) two secondary tensioners (badly worn and had to be replaced)

I didnt change the water pump.

The car now runs great except it has other issues () but the ticking noise is completely gone. It also fixed the oil leak as well.
that actually helps alot, i think that could be the problem judging that it sounds like we both have the same symtoms. ill have it checked out when i get the chance
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:22 PM   #8
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does anyone know where i can buy a timing chain kit from?
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:35 PM   #9
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sounds like a broken exhaust bracket...which is fairly common on our cars.

If it was a timing chain/tensioner issue, the sound would be more of a whine, instead of rattle. I made a thread about this when I was experiencing the problem.

check this out: http://forums.maxima.org/6th-generat...ine-noise.html
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:06 PM   #10
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i have a metal sound for about 10 sec after a cold start. doesnt sound like a belt squeal, but more of a bad bearing sound. any ideas?
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:06 PM   #11
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MY 02 Max takes 6 seconds to start, I've been to every mechanic! Not crank, or shaft, or coolant, sensor! changed every sensor and even the fuel pump, and still a 6 second start. I even tried a different computer! Still a 6 sec start, no matter the weather, or condition! Every time! HELP.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:11 AM   #12
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I've been meaning to start a thread about this issue. Thanks for doing it before me. I have this problem with my car too and its so annoying. The rattling gets faster when you accelerate lightly. It only lasts for about a minute before the car warms up a bit and then goes away completely and the engine sounds lovely. Its definitely a rattling and not whining noise. Please help us!uses
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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Just had my first incidence of this rattling upon cold start, but in my instance it sounded more like a banging or knocking sound, and it lasted for about 5 seconds, and increased in speed as I gave the engine a little gas.

After that I drove it my usual hour drive to work and it ran fine.

I've had this 03 Maxima SE for almost 5 years now and never heard anything like this before.

Anyone heard this type of sound from their maxima before?
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:11 PM   #14
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i had a rattle thought it was my heatshield but instead it was my 02 sensor in my y-pipe, it had got loose i suppose from the exhaust shop and would rattle very very annoying
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:23 PM   #15
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Check your oil level. If your oil level is low you'll hear the rattling sound. If it's at the right level then your tensioners may nee to be replaced

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:11 PM   #16
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I have the same issue been that way since about 36k on the car . It will rattle a little then it goes away smh . I will fix it next year when I get a raceline y-pipe .
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:46 PM   #17
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Me too

I recently bought an 04 maxima not knowing about this timing chain thing when I looked car over it never made the soumd I started it three times too. Get it home and i hear a rattle like noise at startup for anywhere from a fraction of a sec up to a min. My questions are can a shade tree mech replace the chain and tenstioners or take it to nissan for from what I hear almost $2000... Also would like to hear from anyone with this problem who has decided to drive it how long will it last? I know its not good period but what would be considered really bad for this as far as noise or length of time it rattles? Thanks for any info or other ideas it might be. Its not the oil I am religous about oil being checked and changed.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:36 PM   #18
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They have to be replaced or you will damage the motor
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterma View Post
I recently bought an 04 maxima not knowing about this timing chain thing when I looked car over it never made the soumd I started it three times too. Get it home and i hear a rattle like noise at startup for anywhere from a fraction of a sec up to a min. My questions are can a shade tree mech replace the chain and tenstioners or take it to nissan for from what I hear almost $2000... Also would like to hear from anyone with this problem who has decided to drive it how long will it last? I know its not good period but what would be considered really bad for this as far as noise or length of time it rattles? Thanks for any info or other ideas it might be. Its not the oil I am religous about oil being checked and changed.
A shade tree mechanic can likely do the work for you, it will just take longer. Make sure that if you go that route, he knows about the 2 bolts that come up from the oil pan to the timing chain cover, otherwise, the cover is easily broken. When I replaced my motor (2002) with a 2007 engine, I had the secondary chain TSB replaced, but not the primary tensioner.

I drove it for about 15k miles, then started hearing that knocking or rattling sound. Being that the entire engine swap cost me around $1300 bucks all in, I took a chance and pushed it with the rattle. No joke, I put another 20K miles on the engine with that rattle. Heard a 'pop' in the timing case last week, and pulled the timing cover. Sure enough, the tensioner liner had broken at the tip, and the metal part of the main tensioner was in direct contact with the main timing chain, which had significant slack, due to the tensioner not contacting the guide in the proper location. I still have my old engine that had 290k+ miles on it when she was pulled. So I decided pull the timing cover on it and compare the tensioners. That main chain was still VERY tight. No play whatsoever. Then I looked at the nylon inserts on the tensioner and guides. I can assure you that they are made of different material. The guides from my old engine with almost 200K more miles on it were barely showing signs of wear. The ones from the new engine were pretty chewed up.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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Great!! did you do it on your own? about how much would it cost to get done by a mech

Quote:
Originally Posted by osisray View Post
My maxima had the same problem. It would rattle (more a ticking noise actually) on a cold start up or after sitting for about 15 minutes. The noise would be gone after the engine had warmed up. I did lot of reading here and online and ended up changing the following

1) main timing chain (there was significant slack in this one)
2) main tensioner (wasnt too bad but didnt want to take chances)
3) two secondary chains (these were good on inspection but replaced them anyway)
4) two secondary tensioners (badly worn and had to be replaced)

I didnt change the water pump.

The car now runs great except it has other issues () but the ticking noise is completely gone. It also fixed the oil leak as well.



Great!! did you do it on your own? about how much would it cost to get done by a mechanic
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:26 PM   #21
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I've been meaning to start a thread about this too. Mine is a very rapid tick and it idles at a little over 1k rpms upon cold start. After the car warms up about 10 minutes later its gone and I don't hear it again until the next cold start.

Last edited by Crispy_757; 02-11-2013 at 11:34 PM..
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #22
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My o4 Maxima, 6spd auto, with 157k, just started to make the ticking noise and my mechanic said it might be the timing chain tensoiner. Looks like we will be getting that replaced, the sooner the better. It cost me $800 about 30k ago to have first gear fixed by a great tranny place. But these fixes are much better then a new car payment.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:48 PM
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