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My daughters Rav4 2003 AWD 4cyl. drove it home for spring…

My daughters Rav4 2003...

My daughters Rav4 2003 AWD 4cyl. drove it home for spring break sounds like a diesel. Knocking so hard. Checked oil and then did an oil change for good measure even though not due yet. 131,000 miles. Threw an engine code P1349 Variable Valve Timing System Malfunction bank 1.

Mechanic's Assistant: Where exactly do you think the noise is coming from? And how long has this been going on?

My son works at OReillys so I did the cheapest route and bought a new VVT solenoid and installed. No change. The noise started earlier last week maybe Tuesday she said. It is definitely in the "head area" toward the serpentine belt.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your RAV4 yourself? What have you tried so far?

Yes DIY if I can. Old college car..don't want to dump a ton in if I can avoid. pretty handy and have tackled a lot in the past.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

I have not inspected the ECM yet. That was going to be my next step. Hoping the solenoid would do it...

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3/25/2018
john
john, The Car Guy
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 16,990
Experience: ase tech over 15 years in the field
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Does the noise increase in speed with RPM?

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
no it seems louder at idle and lesser extent as increased RPM while stationary in the driveway
there is some hesitation when driving it at times when put under power to accelerate though
Customer reply replied 25 days ago
when I removed the old solenoid it did not looked gummed up or a case of old or bad oil. Owned the car for the last 20,000 miles and have been good about maintenance...don't know the past history though...
Customer reply replied 25 days ago
I owned 3 diesels in my life. This sounds like the Jeep Liberty Diesel I owned...tractor engine rattle. Used to purr like a kitten and couldn't hear the engine from the drivers seat.

The rattle does not increase in speed with RPM? Can you post a audio clip?

john
john, The Car Guy
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 16,990
Experience: ase tech over 15 years in the field
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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
John,
I pulled the head off. got a good view down the timing chain tunnel. There has definitely been some timing chain "slapping" going on against the front shroud of the engine cover. noticeable wear marks from the chain sprockets rubbing against the casting. The timing chain between the two top gears is tight but the chain hanging below toward the bottom of the engine is very loose and I can get it to flap back and forth with my fingers squeezed in there and with a long screw driver it shakes all over. Obviously something now that I'm going to take to the garage, however do you have any thoughts on the cause/fix. I assume there must be some chain tensioner that is broken free??
thanks Steve

Failed guide. Or tensioner. Or a stretched chain...the right way is to change chain .Guides and tensioner

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
I just saw a video that maybe the tensioner can be replaced without removing the the front cowling? This would save a bundle of money. Anyway to diagnose a failed guide? I know the right way is to pull it all apart and rebuild, but I'm guessing that is $1,000 bill for a college student?

It will be 1000 easily

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
this would be an awfully stretched chain as much as I could move it. got to be tensioner or guide. Not sure this $2,500 vehicle is worth $1K in repair. can you get to the tensioner from underneath the car?

The tensioner is in the timing cover.. a 03 Rav with those Miles is worth fixing

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
OK good advice. The tensioner looks like a pretty beefy part not something prone to failure from the look of it.
Is this a "Toyota dealer" repair, or something a ASE certified local garage can handle? I don't have a Toyota dealer for about 90 miles and will need to tow this in.

Any decent repair shop should be capable

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
2nd last question - is it typical for tensioners to fail or more likely guides?
last question - should I reassemble the head, or take in as is to save some labor time at the garage?Thank you for your time.

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