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It sounds like there is more than one concern. The P0354 and the noise. Usually for the P0354 code I find the wiring to the #4 coil rubbing on the A/C evaporator line causing this code as well as a misfire on #4 cylinder. If the engine is making noise from the phasers then they are probably thinking the cost of the repair to fix the noise is not cost effective. Ask them if they found the #4 coil wire rubbing on the A/C evaporator line. I have also seen the locking connectors on the coil fail and cause the connector to push up off the coil, which will also cause this code.
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The phasers are the units on the ends of the camshafts that control variable valve timing.