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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 22540
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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Mazda 6: Timing chain replacement?

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Hi. I have a 2003 Mazda 6 Luxury Sports Hatch, 2.3L 4 cyl manual - 158,000Km. In the past few months, I have noticed a rattle from the front (apparently RHS) of the engine, especially at low speed/acceleration. The car has been serviced regularly by the dealer since new. After a couple of very disappointing services, I have now moved to a private mechanic who can't pinpoint the problem but is certain it is internal in the engine. He has suggested timing chain and I see from several forums this is probably likely. My concern is whether I should get it replaced sooner rather than later. The mechanic suggested waiting to see how if it gets any worse. What is the likelihood of the chain breaking? And consequences? I haven't been game to ask the mechanic for a quote yet! How much should I expect to pay for replacement (parts & labour) in Australia? Appreciate any guidance you can offer.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!


If the noise is coming from the timing cover area at the front of the engine then I agree, it's likely coming from the timing chain. The timing chain has two guides and a hydraulic tensioner which presses on one of the guides to tension the chain. If the chain has stretched to the point where the tensioner can no longer keep it tight, a guide is damaged, or the tensioner has failed then it will cause the chain to slap the guide. This will cause almost a knock type noise at the front of the engine.


I would recommend having it replaced sooner rather than later. If the chain ends up breaking then you could do expensive internal engine damage.


Replacing the chain calls for right at 5 hours of labor and you'll have about $300 in parts; I would recommend replacing the guides and tensioner at the same time as the chain.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
hi thanks for that. I note your experience is primarily with Chrysler, Jeep & Dodge - Do you have experience with Mazdas? I guess I was hoping for some advice from Mazda specialist as I'm not comfortable going back to the dealer after my last couple of experiences.

I do work for a Chrysler dealer so naturally my experience is mostly with Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep products, but we work on all brands, and I have service information for all vehicles. Your question had been up for an extended time without a response so I wanted to try to help even though I do not work at a Mazda dealer.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thanks for that. I do appreciate your advice. I think I will be asking the mechanic for a quote - I need a dependable vehicle and while I have been thinking about replacing the Mazda for a while timing is quite right financially. It's alsoa great cat otherwise and I've had it since new.

Thanks again.

You're welcome and good luck with your car!
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