Start up noise in engine of Nissan Frontier

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242
I have a 2017 Nissan Frontier with the 6 cyl engine, with 27000 miles on it. I bought it used with about 17000 on it. I think maybe it has always had this noise, but it has kinda started to annoy me lately. Anyway, it is a fast rattle sound that lasts one or at most 2 seconds when first starting the engine if the engine is not warm. Also much more noticeable and longer, as in up to 2 seconds after the truck has been sitting a few days, as opposed to using it every day. Probably why I notice it more now, because it used to get driven every day, but now with the Covid stuff neither me or my wife, as we are retired, are hardly driving, and it will sit a week or more at a time. I am thinking it has something to do with the cam chain, but this is the first vehicle I have had with cam chains, or at least I think so. SO, I guess my question is, should I just ignore it, or tell my dealer? My nearest dealer is 50 miles away. OH, by the way, I am using QS ultra 5/30 which has about 800 miles on it , and a Fram Ultra filter which has about 3000 miles on it. And it is clean and full.
 
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2,201
Location
WA
I think oil pressure needs to build up and if the car is cold and/or has been sitting for a while , it will be more noticeable.
 
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25,781
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
I have a 2017 Nissan Frontier with the 6 cyl engine, with 27000 miles on it. I bought it used with about 17000 on it. I think maybe it has always had this noise, but it has kinda started to annoy me lately. Anyway, it is a fast rattle sound that lasts one or at most 2 seconds when first starting the engine if the engine is not warm. Also much more noticeable and longer, as in up to 2 seconds after the truck has been sitting a few days, as opposed to using it every day. Probably why I notice it more now, because it used to get driven every day, but now with the Covid stuff neither me or my wife, as we are retired, are hardly driving, and it will sit a week or more at a time. I am thinking it has something to do with the cam chain, but this is the first vehicle I have had with cam chains, or at least I think so. SO, I guess my question is, should I just ignore it, or tell my dealer? My nearest dealer is 50 miles away. OH, by the way, I am using QS ultra 5/30 which has about 800 miles on it , and a Fram Ultra filter which has about 3000 miles on it. And it is clean and full.

As far as I can tell this engine does not use hydraulic lash adjusters. I suspect it takes a couple of seconds for oil pressure to reach the timing chain tensioners. Next OCI try an OE oil filter, it may make no difference at all but it is worth a try.
It seems to be a common complaint and harmless, I wouldn't make dealer trips unless it gets worse and the warranty is almost gone.
 
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5,712
Location
the canyons
Without hearing it it's difficult to say, but there have been issues with the Nissan VQ40 camchain drive system in the past. TSB's, lots of warranty repairs, etc.
 
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2,917
Location
Georgia/Retired
My 2017 Frontier with 2.5 liter engine had the viscous coupling on the cooling fan go bad at 65,000 miles. That thing would rattle like crazy. The bearing was bad and the fan could be moved fwd/aft about 1/2 inch. I replaced it ($75) and the rattle problem went away. It has made this noise since new so I never suspected anything was wrong until it got bad enough to pique my curiosity.
 
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74
Location
Los Gatos, CA
I posted this below in another thread - I've been seeing this issue come up with a lot of relatively new timing chain motors, and a significant amount of the time it is the oil pump o-ring. Hard to say without a video with detailed audio. If it is the o-ring the fix(es) are pretty easy and cheap to try.

I’ve seen people replace the tensioner with no resolution because it was a bad/stiff o-ring in the oil pump allowing air to be drawn into the oil before it's pumped into the engine, aerating the oil. Valvoline Maxlife (it is fine to use it it in newer cars) will soften it up, or use LiquiMoly Oil Saver or ATP-205 if you want quicker results or just changed your oil.

What also works is Archoil 9100 or LiquiMoly Ceratec. The nanoborate stays/plates on and lubricates well enough even with a defective oil pump o-ring during cold starts. Lasts 60k miles so it is cost effective.

Thread:
 

JTK

Messages
13,363
Location
Buffalo, NY
My FIL also has a 2017 Frontier. A crew cab, long bed 4x4 SV model with the 4.0L. It was an ex rental with 8K miles on it when he bought it in 2018. I have driven it a bunch and that 4.0L is a bit noisy on cold start with ticks/taps and exhaust noise for a little bit. He goes to the dealer every 3 months or 3750 miles, which ever comes first and I don't think he's got more than 15K miles on it at this point.
 
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2,201
Location
WA
if there are no mechanical issues, could an intelligent oil and/or one with ester help the situation?
 
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2,002
Location
South Central PA (Fulton Co)
I had a 2007 Frontier for a couple years and it did the same thing. Looking around the Frontier forums at the time it was pretty much considered normal. I used Mobil 1 5w30 at the time and various filters at the time.
 
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34
I have owned many Nissan Cars/Trucks/Vans all but one the engine was noisy on startup and operating in hot conditions. That being said has the engine cover or cladding been removed? That is there to dampen valve train noise. Also try a different oil filter. It the anti drain back valve is cheap it could allow dry starts as well.
 
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2,738
Location
pa
been running QS ultimate durability 10-30 in my 11 4.0 driven a few times weekly in Pa , always quiet. had 28 thou on it a few yrs at purchase almost 40 now, a great value for a 4WD + 6 spd manual, king cab!!
 
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Messages
66
Location
TX
Older Nissan and Infiniti's often developed a timing chain rattle that only happened at start up. The timing chain tensioner would leak down when the car was turned off.
 
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