Car Problem Reports

Mazda CX-7 Engine Noise Due to Worn Timing Chain

Mazda CX-7 Problem
58 Reports
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Model Years Affected: 2007, 2008

Average Mileage: 71,679 mi (23,420 mi - 135,000 mi)


The engine may develop a ticking noise from the front of the engine due to a worn timing chain. Our technicians tell us that replacing the timing chain and related component will generally correct this issue.

  • jamie76, , 62,000 mi

    Hello all,

    I am posting to make users of this site aware of a site that I have created to assist current and previous owners of Mazda CX-7 vehicles with serious mechanical issues such as timing chain, VVT, engine sludge buildup, and turbo issues.

    Please visit here:

    Our Story:

    My wife and I purchased a new CX-7 in May of 2007 during it's initial launch. We wanted a crossover SUV and decided that CX-7 was our first choice. We purchased at Kings Mazda in Mason, OH and had a relatively average buying experience. I say average as our sales guy was cocky and very difficult to work with. We both drove it for the first 3 years and had no issues with vehicle. We took advantage of the free oil changes offered with our purchased and took excellent care of the vehicle.

    In May of 2010, I was driving the vehicle on a short trip around town. On the way home, the vehicle shut down on a major road with no warning and was towed to a local Mazda dealership, Jake Sweeney Mazda, for inspection. The next day, I was told the timing chain had skipped time and there was damage to the cylinder head (valves) and I "needed a new engine". Mazda provided me with an $8000 quote for a re-manufactured engine and labor.

    I immediately begin getting the corporate offices, Mazda North America, involved. Because I was 2000 miles over my power train warranty, I was denied any assistance from Mazda. I continued the fight through the Better Business Bureau and through the Attorney General's Office of my state which both turned out to be joke. Mazda refused to work with either and then simply left me by the wayside.

    Fast forward two years and countless letters and phone calls later - I was surprised to receive a letter from Mazda North American admitting to the VVT problem in relation to timing. I was excited and I fell within the requirements specified by the SSP. I immediately contacted Mazda again to discuss the option of having my vehicle repaired at their cost. I was told, based on my previous conversations with them, that their decision stood and they could not help me. It was extremely disappointing and led me to take further action by creating this site.

    Please join my fight and signup on the website. Our site is rapidly gaining popularity and has several hundred individuals signed up at the present date. We are close to reaching our goal to create a class-action suit against Mazda. Feel free to email me directly with questions or comments. I also welcome you to share your story with me.


    Jamie Hurley

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  • Visitor, , 69,000 mi

    Tried to trade my 2008 CX7 in on another vehicle on 3/2/12 and they won't take it because of the engine noise, which makes it sound like a diesel. They say it needs timing chains and etec. Took vehicle back to purchasing dealership since they validated the car was fine after I receive letter from Mazda acknowledging the problems with the timing chain and etc. They won't fix it because they say it's fine, but now no one will take the car on trade because of engine noise. This car has been impeccably maiantained for 4 years and after paying $400/mo for that long, I can't trade it off. Mazda should step up and recall these engines and have some integrity. I will never buy another Mazda again!!!

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  • Visitor, , 28,000 mi

    I took mine (2008 CX-7) in after owning it for a week. They quickly agreed that there is a loud knock and would replace the timimg chain. A few hours later they claimed it was done and ready for pickup...surprise the excact knock was still there. They told me it was normal?? That I should turn up my radio!! It only makes this noise when the car is warm and at idle. Anyone else have this problem?

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  • Visitor, , 87,250 mi

    If your engine is making a clicking diesel-like sound, it's the timing chain. Don't let them tell you anything else! If you don't get it replaced (approx. $1000+) you can ruin your entire engine. I cannot believe how many others have had this happen at lower miles than mine. Completely unacceptable.

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  • Visitor, , 53,000 mi

    Started hearing a clicking noise coming from my engine. When a co-worker asked me if my car was a disel I really took notice. I hate going to the dealership as I know they make their bonus off of how much they write. I went to two repair shops and they say they can't replace the timing chain because it requires special tools. So I went to the dealership and the guy tells me oh yea well it may not be so simple and just to let me know my engine might need to be replaced. Needless to say I walked! Hate how Mazda won't step up since this is a wide spread problem.

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  • Visitor, , 72,500 mi

    I had the check engine light come on and went to my dealer to have it diagnosed. They said it was the timing chain and since it was under warranty (The extended warranty I purchased) they could fix it. Shortly after replacing the chain, I had the CEL come on again and took it back to the dealership to have them check it. The code was reading that the timing chain actuator, timing chain was in retard. The dealership stated that this was a faulty code and there was nothing wrong and turned the light off. Shortly there after the CEL again popped back up and stated the same code, at which time the same dealership stated it was a faulty code again and that the computer needed to be reprogrammed for $47.00, but stated it was not a necessity. Now there is a VERY loud noise coming from my engine and the same dealership now says the timing chain needs to be replaced. It has been 22 months since they replaced the first one. I have complained that there was a problem all along and that they probably did not set the timing chain correctly and caused this problem. They will NOT help me with any of the cost stating there is nothing that they can do. Now I am paying $460.00 a month for a lawn ornament and paying for a rental and car pooling. Other mechanics say I should not have to replace the timing chain AGAIN, and that something is wrong.

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  • kurtb32, , 29,000 mi

    Same thing. Noticed a diesel like sound when at stop lights or traffic. Took it in and dealer says this is normal for this vehicle. Which means, we know it's an issue but are not going to replace the engine, so deal with it. I'm not sure what else we can do. Unfortunate for a $33,000 vehicle with under 30,000 miles.

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  • Visitor, , 27,000 mi

    I experienced timing chain knocking 3 days after I purchased my 2008 certified CX7. The dealer took in and said it would replace the chain due to the noise. When I picked it up...the noise was still there!! Then the dealer says that timing chain noise is normal for these cars??? I wonder if they ever replaced anything at all.

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  • Visitor,

    When I took my car into the dealer for the same problem, they said it was my fault! My husband changes my oil and since he didn't replace the filter that particular time and only the oil, it still had the Mazda filter and they didn't believe me that he changed the oil. So they said they couldn't fix it under warranty, and I left. A few years later I got the recall notice from Mazda and took it back to the same dealer, this time they could't fix it because I was over the miles in the recall letter (even though when I had originally taken it in I was within the miles and years of warranty and recall). So I've had my car for about 6 years and it still has the problem, very frustrating!!!!

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  • Visitor, , 33,000 mi

    heard tcking noing coming from the engine....took it to mazda and had the timing chain replace....weel later i hear the same noise...

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