Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How can you tell if the timing chain is causing a noise only when the car is cold? 2004 Nissan Maxima

asked by on

When the car is cold it makes noise until it warms up. Also when I change the oil it stops making the noise for about 1 1/2 months then it starts again

My car has 92500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello - more than likely, the noise you hear when the engine is cold is the camshaft timing actuators. These components utilize engine oil pressure to operate. The engine oil drains off overnight, and it takes a few seconds to refill and become cushioned by oil pressure. While this happens - all in a few seconds - there can be a light clatter from the timing components. This is also true of the timing chain tensioner, which uses engine oil pressure to keep everything tight and operating smoothly. If you are getting problem codes that set off the Check Engine light, or believe the noise has become excessive, I recommend an engine noise inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  • Home
  • Questions
  • How can you tell if the timing chain is causing a noise only when the car is cold? 2004 Nissan Maxima

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: HID headlight flickers

If your vehicle has HID headlights, they will also have a part that is connected to the bulb called a ballast. The ballast controls the temperature at which the HID bulb burns. If the ballast is malfunctioning, this can cause...

Q: I think something's wrong with my transmission.

This kind of reaction is often a sign of low transmission fluid or a faulty transmission control solenoid. Automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car's computer activates a transmission...

Q: Suspect immobilizer is keeping car from starting.

I would ask for help from a mechanic to perform some diagnostics on your car to see what is causing your car not to start. They will be able to determine if there is an immobilizer that is causing your...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.