Abnormal Noise From Timing Chain Area on Infiniti QX56

Problem Description and Possible Solution

An abnormal noise may develop from the timing chain area, Our technicians tell us it may be necessary to replace the variable valve timing camshaft shaft sprockets to correct this concern.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 75,796 (31,000–126,000)
4 model years affected: 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013
86 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 69 comments
Car makes whistling noise upon start-up, which goes away after about 10 minutes. Finally, the car stalled and needed to be towed in to the dealer on a flat bed truck. Originally, the dealer said it needed a new engine, but after further review they blamed it on a faulty timing chain.....with a repair quote of between $4000 - 5000. This car is only 2 years old!!! I smell a recall. Too many people with the SAME EXACT PROBLEM!


**UPDATE**: Just unloaded the beast after getting the repairs done. I felt like I was playing hot potato and needed to get rid of this vehicle before something else happened, knowing that they do not stand by their vehicle and try to blame the buyer for their mistakes, in effect, soaking their pocketbooks (that's a wallet for all you youngins', lol) in the process. Also, just an FYI for everybody else who is told their car is an anomaly and they've never heard on anybody else having this issue....I believe that they are flat out lying. Many dealerships have told me that this is a common repair. I was told that the issue is that the timing chains made for the car were too small and become fragile and break over time (those 6 years old Japanese kids sure don't make them like they used to). I'm pretty sure that they decided to rename the QX56 and replace (ie. "rename") it with the name QX80 was because they knew in time that they were going to have an expensive recall on their hands and assumed that it would tarnish the reputation of that particular model.
78,000 Miles QX56 With Whining Noise At Startup

Check engine light comes on intermittently. Codes thrown point to timing chain. Took QX56 to dealer and they immediately diagnosed the problem from the sound they heard. The dealer mechanics of Kings Infiniti already knew what the problem was before checking the check engine light codes. New timing chain is needed, sprockets aren't needed but highly suggested because they would be exposed and cost just as much to repair later if they go bad in the future. Total estimated cost is $5,000.
Has anyone had any success getting this covered under an extended warranty? If so, what company covered it? I'm looking into getting an extended warranty although I've had them in the past and the warranty paperwork has never been good for more than just desk fodder. Any suggestions are welcomed.
I have been having the issue for a while, (very noisy at start up) then it would smooth out after about 10 minutes. I thought it was the cooling fan or something else. I got in yesterday morning and no Power, irregular idle, then it smoothed out. Took it directly to the dealer, thought maybe bad gas. Called me today 100% sure its the timing chain....a known issue with this vehicle. $4000 repair. We maintain the vehicle, and actually had even tried to extend the warranty, but they were no very good at following up on that? Anyway I have called the consumer affairs folks for some help and hope they do the right thing...at least from my perspective. This is by far the most expensive vehicle I have ever purchased by 2x and certainly would not have expected this type of an issues at such low mileage. I have 300K on my 2002 suburban and never had a repair over 1500...my 4th child is still driving it!
Loud noise coming from the front end of my 2011 QX56. Report from dealer is issue with timing chain.
Solution. . . Replace engine at a cost of 16k. I don't understand how the Infiniti
people can sell a SUV for what this one cost and have the engine go out at 105,000 miles.
Crazy!! Told me they could give me a good deal on a trade-In. Yeah, Right!!

Not sure what to do. Seems like there should be other options.
My car was making a high pitched winding sound on start up and wouldn't stop. Now having to replace timing chain at a cost of $3000!! Bought it used only 9 months ago and have had to repair both catalytic converters, air sensory intake and now this...... very concerned with the quality of this car with all these issues......looking at trading it in over the next year or so...... first Infiniti I have ever purchased and love the ride, look of the car but not so much regarding mechanical end of it. Looking to see if others have had issues same or different than me.
My car started making a loud whining noise at start up but would go away after 5-10 minutes. I was out of town the next day when the car started sputtering like it was out of gas but my meter said I still had 1/4 tank left. I thought it was bad gas and put in some Heet to burn off the water which helped. It still makes the whining sound every time I start up the car for the day. After reading everyone's complaint, I'm going to get rid of this car. It's only 2 years old with barely 40k miles! For the money we paid, this should be a much better quality car! I am also going to file a complaint with the better business bureau or something. We need to all get together to file a class action suit. I'm not a sue-happy person but 75,000 people have had the same problem but they don't make it a recall. Ridiculous!!!
I noticed the same noise at start-up like everyone else. It sounded like a belt slipping but not a major issues. I took it in to the dealer for it's oil change at 75,000 miles and brought it up to the service writer. He said they would have to look into it and gave me loaner car. I went in the next day for him to explain it to me in person as it was either going to be a $4k repair or a $16k engine replacement. I called infiniti customer affairs and they said it's not covered as I am outside of warranty. They also said this is not a problem with these vehicles. It turned out to be a $4k trimming chain repair, the tensioner failed. A week later when I returned to pick up my QX56, there were two others that had come in on that day for the same issue. The dealer says it's a problem with these but Infiniti says it's not. Sounds like Infiniti has a major problem on their hands that they do not want to correct!
Hissing noise coming from the engine block very early in the morning or when the engine is very very cold. If allowed to warm up for about 10 minutes it drives just fine. Dealership says its a timing chain issue that needs to be replace. Total cost is about $4600.00. Never hear of that. Don't understand how that can happen in a relatively new car.
Just outside of warranty and it's a $3700 repair. I went to Infiniti in attempt for assistance on the repair and was denied as they said I was really far outside of warranty. 6k miles seems to be a little extreme for Infiniti. I'm not sure they believe in the product they are selling. It was a week to complete the repair. It seems to be an ongoing problem.
I have asked the dealership about the issue and they say they are not sure what is going on because it has never done it while I have had it in for an oil change. Fortunately the car is still under warranty. Now that the noise has come back and I have read all of these stories I've called the dealership to come pick it up. Hopefully the issue will be resolved.
Load whining noise only on start up for 10 minutes. Timing chain needing fixing for 4500 or full engine replacement for 15k. Are you serious? Everyone is having this same problem. Infinity better get this sorted. They are losing clients fast.
timing chains needs replacement. Quoted $5000 at Infinity of gwinett in georgia. The dealer is telling me that if the oil is not changed every 3700 miles this happens as if this is somehow my fault or that of the previous owner. Not only is nissan not owning up to an obvious design flaw but the are attempting to make a nice profit in the process. This is offensive!
Same here---$3800 repair. Out of warranty.
same-costs $3,500 to fix. ugh. Had my Toyota for 10 years with no trouble-have had this car for 2.
Needed to get new tensionors. It's an 11 hour labor job. Luckily under warranty or it would have been 4-5k repair.
Engine is whining at take off and then goes away after 10 minutes. I would NOT expect this from a luxury car with low miles. Bit disappointed.
needs timing chain assembly replaced
High squeal on starting engine, increasing as the engine increases speed and going away after 10-15 minutes. Diagnosed by service manager at dealership and estimated repair $4000.
had a whine that increased with engine rpm for the first 5 or so minutes then would go away. Took it to the dealer and they said it was an oil lubricator and timing chain problem $3.800 quote. How many of these problems does it take for any kind of recall to happen?
Seems to be same problem as others have listed. 200 Infiniti QX56 make a loud hissing/whistling sound when stared. This continues for a while and seems to go away after 10-20 minutes of driving. While this is going on, the car doesn't have as much power when you step on the gas. After the sound goes away, the car seems more normal. We think this noise may have been a cause for the yellow light to come on a while back. We took it to the dealer and they couldn't figure out why the light was on. We mentioned the sound, but at that time the sound was minimal, and since we had been driving the car...the sound was gone by the time we got to the dealer. Anyway, the person said it could just be condensation or something and the person simply plugged the handheld tool into the car and cleared the yellow light (the codes) that came on. A few months later, the problem got worse. We called the dealer and talked to the mechanic. He said, based on what we described on the phone, it sounded like a timing chain issue. He mentioned that it is very common on these models; especially the 2011-2013 models. At that time, we were still under the warranty mileage, but when we made it to the dealer, it was over the 70000 miles. The dealer said their hands were tied and wouldn't do the work under warranty and we would have to call Infiniti consumer affairs. We're working with Infiniti to ensure they stand behind their cars.