Valve noise

Messages
434
Location
Montgomery, NY
Just a quick question that someone who knows more than me can hopefully answer. My '04 Nissan Altima 2.5 has the noisiest valve train that I have ever heard especially in the cold weather. Is this due to it being VVT? I don't think it is a problem with my engine as a guy I work with complains of the same noise with his '04 Altima and I read on this forum of other members having the same complaint. Thanks for any answers.
 
Messages
1,043
Location
Central IN
I don't know anything about that engine, but what kind of oil are you using and in what viscocity? You might want to try a thicker oil possibly.
 

Frank D

Thread starter
Messages
434
Location
Montgomery, NY
I have GC 0w-30 with a NAPA gold filter in the crankcase now. I used M1 5W-30 last winter with Nissan filters. I'm really beginning to believe that no oil will quiet it down.
 
Messages
1,043
Location
Central IN
Wow, I was going to suggest GC. I don't know what to tell you. I mean, even the filter you're using is good. Sounds like it's just a noisy engine in general. Sorry I can't really help ya.
 
Messages
2,324
Location
Baltimore, MD
i have valvetrain noise in my neon. im going to use gc on my next fill instead of M1 5w30, if that doesnt work then a 0w/5w40 will go in. if that doesnt work then maybe some vsot with M1 5w30 or the gc. if that doesnt work then there is no cure. the 2.0l sohc engine in the neon is a noisy engine too. i use purolator filters.
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
I'm beginning to think that this is simply an unavoidable side-effect of the robust timing chains Nissan/Infiniti use in their engines. I love the performance of my VQ35-powered G35, but under the right conditions, it generates terrible timing chain rattle. There's a TSB out on earlier-build VQs that seems to ascribe the sound I have to the variable valve sprokets. The sound, however, is unmistakably a chain sound. It's hard to put into words, but I can say that if you hear this sound come from the engine, there's only one thing on earth that could make such a sound -- a semi-taut chain being dragged across a hard surface. I've experimented with a couple different oils and both the tall and short oil filter design. I get the sound only on start-ups, so I've looked at things that might impact oil flow and the amount of time it takes to get oil pressure up in the chain tensioner. I thought GC had helped, but at the beginning of my second winter with the car, it rattles with the GC. I just put in some Mobil Clean 5k (ARX rinse oil) and it seemed to quell the rattle, but that only lasted a few days, now the rattle is back. Grrrr. Who knows. . .
 

Frank D

Thread starter
Messages
434
Location
Montgomery, NY
If you think it is noisy in the Florida winter, you should hear it in the New York winter. This morning on a -4 degree day, it sounded like rod knock and that was after a good warm up. I can't imagine what it sounds like up in northern Canada. The service manager at the dealership where I bought the car said the noise is from the timing chain. Are the oil pumps weak in these motors? My son's Cougar with a 2.5 DOHC V-6 with timing chain doesn't make any noise like my Altima and his car has dino 5W-30 GTX in the engine.
 
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
I found some info doing some internet searching a while back. Can't vouch for the credibility of the info, but someone said that there are some small oil passages involved (chain tensioner is oil pressure driven) and they're relatively high in the engine, so there are multiple factors causing this. On the other hand, my dealer tech, just last week, insisted that as long as you're not gunning the engine immediately after start (I never do, of course) the briefly rattling chain will cause no harm. I get the rattle pretty consistently, and I've seen no indications of trouble in my UOAs, but that's far from conclusive. I'll keep digging and if I find any good info, I'll post it.
 
Messages
666
Location
Chicago
VQs might just have weak oil pumps. I've been watching how long it takes the #2 lifter in my '99 VQ30 to flow oil.... cold flow observations quite frankly, I'm shocked at how long the engine will run "dry" in cold weather. I've got gold GC in there now, and the flow times are even worse (~180sec to "full" flow @ 20F). but, the GC does seem to lessen my valve train noise - even though it's not flowing yet?? doesn't make sense to me. by comparison, my girlfriend's 99 accord 2.3L flows almost instantly,. even in the bitter cold there's only a few seconds delay.
 
Messages
13,293
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
FrankD & ekpolk, I have an 04 Altima 2.5 S that does the same thing in the colder weather. I too beleive that it's the timing chain rattling around prior to proper oil pressure. Im not talking about start up noise due to poor ADBV, Im refering to the noise when puting the car into gear and driving off. At any temp above 40 something F, there in no noise at all. This noise only occures after the car has been cold started and put into gear and driven for just a few minutes. After those few minutes, the noise is gone and it seems as though there is a different beast under the hood. I've tried several different brands/weights of oil and even some VSOT,(about 5oz), and thus far nothing seems to cure this. Different oils, along with a variety of oil filters. I like the Purolator PP beacuse everything else gives me start up noise due to lousy ADBV. Even the NISSAN oil filter make noise at start up. I haven't tried the Pure One(silicone ADBV) yet and don't think that I need to. I want better flow at start up not more restriction. Please keep us up to date on any further action taken and results. I'll do the same.
 

Frank D

Thread starter
Messages
434
Location
Montgomery, NY
Char Baby, I was just reading the Advance Auto add and see that they have GTX Start Up on sale. I might go there and get some 5w-30 and a Purolator PP but I have to agree with you that nothing will help. Last year the dealer service rep told me that the chain contracts in the cold causing the noise and when it warms up and loosens up a bit, it quiets down.
 
Messages
113
Location
appalachia
Many people confuse injector noise with valve noise on VW's. The VW injectors are quite noisey. I wonder if other makes cause their owner's to make the same mis-diagnosis?
 
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
quote:
Many people confuse injector noise with valve noise on VW's. The VW injectors are quite noisey. I wonder if other makes cause their owner's to make the same mis-diagnosis?
Slickfisher, good suggestion, but N/A in this case. The sound is not injector-like at all. These engines have complex timing chain mechanisms (if you have access, check out the new Car&Driver magazine; there's a cutaway of a VQ in a Nissan ad near the front cover). There's the big chain, loops down around its drive gear at the bottom of the engine and then up and around both banks' intake camshafts. Then each bank has a separate little chain that loops over to the side, driving the exhaust cam. And its kept in proper tension by an oil pressure actuated tensioner. All this aside, again, if you got a chance to hear this sound, you'd immediately say, "chain"! Totally subjectively, it's just a very "chain-y" sound. And it's not constant at all like steady tick of injectors.
 
Messages
1,420
Location
Sarasota, Florida
Valve and chain noises can be diminished several ways. If you go to a thicker oil then the inside of the engine will have a thicker layer of sound absorbing oil. If you go to a better lubricating oil then the generation of noise from the mechanical parts may be less. As an example, My Murcielago was delivered with 5W-40 Agip from the factory. There was a valve click. I changed to 0W-30 Mobil 1 and the valve click went away. The whole engine also became more quiet. I recently changed to 5W-20 Red Line and the whole engine is more quiet again. The engine is easy to bond with as you are sitting just in front of it separated by a piece of glass. You can stare at the engine if you wish. My neighbor sent his Murcielago to the dealership for an oil change. They put Castrol 20W-50 in his car and his engine noises went down some as well. aehaas
 
Messages
13,293
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Frank D, When the engine warms up, it's as though there is a different beast under the hood(smooth, quieter, powerful). And although I don't think that the Castrol Start Up will change the oil pressure/timing chain issue, let us know just how the Castrol Start Up performes otherwise.
 

Frank D

Thread starter
Messages
434
Location
Montgomery, NY
Sorry for taking so long to respond to using the GTX Start Up. Work was busy, had to cover a lot of extra shifts around the holidays due to people being on vacation. Finally changed the oil last Saturday 1/7. Put in the 5W-30 Start Up with a Puro 14610. The motor is still as noisey as ever when first started in the cold. It takes about 5 minutes for the noise to alleviate but the motor does seem to be a bit quieter at operating temp than with the GC. I did read a thread on a Nissan Forums BB that concerned a knocking noise from 2002 Altima QR25 motors and that there was a TSB that said the service procedure was to check the bolt that holds the CVTC unit to the camshaft for correct torque. I wonder if that applies to all QR25 motors regardless of year. I will have to talk to the service dept.
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by Char Baby: I haven't tried the Pure One(silicone ADBV) yet and don't think that I need to. I want better flow at start up not more restriction.
I doubt you'd suffer more restriction at startup. Your filter's in bypass mode at cold start. (can't get any better flow than that when the motor's cold [Wink] ) I also doubt a PureONE would lessen the noise, either, though you'd have better hot-flow filtration. Nothing to lose by trying one and deciding for yourself.
 
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