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Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 20402
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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2005 Nissan Maxima: oil change..timing chain..the plastic guides..worn

Resolved Question:

I own a 2005 Nissan Maxima with 82k miles on it. After my recent oil change and insepection at my local Nissan dealership they recommended a change of the timing chain. They showed me the high pitch sound being caused by the plastic guides being worn out (so they say). I always thought this noise was the normal engine sound. I got a second opinion at another Nissan dealership and they said "I have heard a lot worse" and that I could drive for a while until it start rattling before replacing it.

The job is roughly $2000 and will really have trouble spending that kind of money on a car that is only worth about $8500.

I am looking for some advice on what to do. What is the worst that can happen?

P.S. The second opinion mechanic said in all the years he has never replaced a broken timing chain. He said they just get loose and start rattling and will eventually need replacement.

Please advise.

Thank You
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jay replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using

The 3.5 engines are great engines, but there is upper timing chain tensioner issues. The plastic used on the upper timing chain tensioner is what wears away so the chain ends up riding against the metal of the tensioner causing the whining noise. This job is a 8 hour job and parts are around 300 bucks. 2000 seems a little high for this job. It is a all day job, but lets say the hourly rate is 100 bucks, that would mean the repair should be around 1100 bucks. Failure to address the timing chain issue, can cause engine damage to occur. The timing chain will eventually break, or the tensioner will finally give way allowing the chain to jump. I would contact Nissan and see if they can work something out with you and try to help. You can contact them at 1-800-Nissan-1.

If you have any more questions on this, please feel free to ask. Thanks Jay!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.



Thank You very much for your quick reply. I have a few more questions. Are you recommending that I get this taken care of right away? One Nissan dealership quoted $2495 and the other was around $2000. When they look it up on there system it seems that the labor hours are showing more.


In addition, when you mention to call 800-Nissan-1 to see they can work something out what exactly do you mean? Is this something I can negotiate with Nissan to have them cover the cost?


Thanks Again

Expert:  Jay replied 7 years ago.
First off, there is a service bulletin on this. The labor times have been changed from the warranty manual and the job pays 4.5 hours labor warranty time on your car. So I would assume the dealer would do this job for around 8 to 10 hours. Here is the bulletin with the warranty times.


Calling Nissan, they may work something out with you where they pay 50% and you pay 50% or, they pay for parts and you pay for labor, or vise versa, or they may cover the whole repair. I would call them and see if they can offer some sort of assistance so you don't get stuck with the whole bill.

If you have any more questions on this, please feel free to ask. Thanks Jay!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

What exactly does a service bulletin mean? Does this help my cause with them offering assistance?


What would be a good way to phrase it when speaking with Nissan.



Expert:  Jay replied 7 years ago.
Since you now have a copy of the bulletin, this shows that Nissan is aware of this problem, so they may offer some help to you, so it can be repaired. Nissan has sent the dealer special tools so less work needs to be done to replace the tensioner guides. With that, so they cut down the warranty time. The labor time would normally be 5.8 hours, since they came out with this special tool, labor time is now 4.5 hours. That is warranty time. So with this information it can only help you to get the job done hopefully cheaper, or with help from Nissan.

If you have any more questions on this, please feel free to ask. Thanks Jay!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

So being that warranty time is 4.5 hours they should be willing to do the job for 8 hours you are saying?


In addition parts are $300?

Expert:  Jay replied 7 years ago.
That is what makes sense to me. Around 8 hours labor and around 300 in parts. Making that job around 1100 bucks parts and labor. That is around what our dealer will do the job for.

Thanks Jay!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Great. One last question. I am in Princeton, NJ. Where is your dealer?
Expert:  Jay replied 7 years ago.
I am located in northern NJ about 1 to 2 hours away from you. Lynnes Nissan. Please keep in mind that Personal contact is against our terms and services.

Thanks Jay!
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