Abnormal Noise From Front of Engine on Nissan Frontier

Problem Description and Possible Solution

A whining or buzzing type noise may develop from the timing chain area caused by excess slack in the secondary timing chains. Nissan has issued a service bulletin (NTB09-128) regarding this issue. Replacement of both secondary timing chains and their tensioner shoes will be necessary to repair this concern. As part of this repair, the engine oil and filter should also be replaced.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 93,793 (3,000–225,000)
Engines affected: 2.4L 4 Cylinder, 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 3.3L V6, 4.0L V6, V6
16 model years affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, more2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
100 people reported this problem
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Viewing 1 - 20 of 62 comments
Whining/rattling sound from the engine on start up and while in idle. Noise is not present while driving.
I also have the whining noise in the front of the engine. It does not occur when I initially start up the engine when its cold. After about 5-10 minutes the noise begins and gets louder and louder. I took it into 104th Nissan and they said it was the alternator. The cost to repair??? 605.00. I purchased a alternator and did it myself at a cost of 158.00. The very irritating noise is still there so 158 down the drain. I like many will never buy another Nissan vehicle. They do not stand behind their products. I have also changed the serpentine belt, the idler pulley and the other one. 52000 miles.....We all need to get together and file a class action lawsuit against them
Rattling, thrashing noise from front of engine, mostly at idle but got progressively worse. Replaced all cam chains and guides.
I first started noticing this whining/whirling noise at about 60,000 miles. It seems to have got worse over time. I recently visited a local Nissan dealer and they told me there was a service bulletin put out stating the problem is probably caused by a secondary timing chain/s. The dealer quoted me a cost of over a thousand dollars! From what I understand they are not over willing to help out those in need, we'll see. I'm going to try and get them to fix it, if not I will take other action. I'll be a horses ***, if I'm going to pay for another bad design flaw on Nissan's part, NO WAY NO HOW. It's time they started taking responsibility for their lack of quality in todays vehicles. I'm so disappointed in Nissan, almost to the point of disgusted. I don't think I will ever buy another Nissan product ever. What ever happened to this company!
Somewhat high-pitched whine from engine - also - distinct knocking during acceleration when cold
it only happen when the engine is hot,just a little whinning sound fronm the front and it will go away when i rev it.
I have a 2009 Frontier 4.0 v6 the service department told me first year that I have to look out for the timing chain I've always had the oil changed every 4000 miles and recently,in the last year I started hearing a winning noise from the front of the motor
I had dealership replace all the parts timing chain and guides tensioners and belts and water pump this cost me $1500
I think this should have been covered under the drivetrain warranty that's why bought a truck that had a timing chain not a timing belt
not fixed out of a low warranty , 1500.00 bucks to fix, not buying another Nissan
Timing chain fail.
weird noise on front of engine???/
I have a 2012 4.0, the noise is Very likely the timing chain wear guides and chains that Nissan swears have been fixed in production prior to 2012. I have spoken in person to at least one owner of a 2013, 2014 and 2015 4.0
Frontier that currently have the timing chain guide problem. I to have the problem on my truck. Since this defect is not a "Safety problem" Nissan is not required nor motivated to issue a recall. The more serious associated issue is the aluminum flakes that get dispersed in the oil, that damage bearing journals, oil pump and start wearing everything else in the motor. Next oil change look at your oil in the bright sunlight, if you see reflective flakes and glitter in the oil, you most likely have the problem in your motor. The flecks will be non-Ferris, (not attracted to a magnet). Have the oil tested by Blackstone, that will tell you exactly what is going on and required to even begin to have a discussion with Nissan or a Nisan dealer. I have 50K miles on my motor now, in speaking with Nissan it is clear Nissan has no intention of addressing this problem for my truck even with full documentation of oil change history and oil tests from new.

You may also notice a knock in the motor at light acceleration around 2K rpm in cold weather, temps below 50 degrees that is louder the colder the outside temp. The knock can dissipate when the engine gets to full heat soak, not water temp.

Options are sell the truck and taking the financial hit. Keep driving it knowing the motor will get worse and need to be completely replaced not rebuilt. Nissan has been very clear that they will offer no action under warranty to address an aspect of the problem for my motor. Best case if Nissan took any action it would be to replace the outer timing chain and the lower gear and guides. They will not replace the upper cam gears that actuate the variable valve timing, they are just under $500 each! Needless to say I will not purchase a Nissan product next time. Nissan has burned me twice with defective internal engine parts on two vehicles and that is enough for me.

Get your oil tested to start the investigation. Do not listen to all the internet experts and speculate, it is a waste of time and offers not value. Deal in facts only, no emtion with Nissan, they do not care, it is all about the money / business, nothing personal. Get the oil test and deal in facts only. Good luck with your journey.
whining with increased engine rpm
Noise from front of engine was determined to be worn timing chain tensioner shoe. Replaced tensioner shoes and chains at a cost of $1,300. Requested old parts. Tensioner shoes are cheap micarta pieces that the chains slide on. Chain showed evidence of wear on sides.

I had to replace the radiator too due to a manufacturing defect. Out of warranty, so $600 for that.

I have never had a problem with a timing chain or radiator on any vehicle I have ever owned, and have driven several to and over 100,000 miles. This will be my last Nissan product
This is the second major issue I've had with this truck. I purchased it with 25K on and got an extended warranty as well. Before I had even put 5000 miles on it, the rear axle seal blew out due to a faulty pressure release valve (see a theme here?). If my warranty hadn't covered the repair, it would have run me $1500. This happened TWICE! Fix the valve? No. Nissan replaced the seal. Right after the extended warranty ran out, the timing chains started to whine. I've learned my lesson finally; this is my second and last Nissan.
Well initially there was a sound coming from the front end of engine so I took my truck to a mechanic to remedy it. They replaced the timing chains and tensioner, also the guide was replaced. The noise had since returned. I took it back and they supposedly had a bad tensioner so they replaced it. The sound remained when I start my truck. The sound changes in longevity and severity but only makes it for a few seconds upon starting the truck
Had a no start issue with a 2007 Nissan frontier 2.5 liter XE a/t a/c took to garage got it running and oil changed .Got back truck with oil light on steady , took truck back to garage and said it might be oil sending switch or oil pump .I then asked if I would make it home with it that way he said baby it so I did letting it cool down every few miles.Told it needs new engine
I also had the whirring noise. Not sure how long because I had become used to it the noise;and only when someone else told me that my truck never made that noise before; took it in. Same issue described; and they knew exactly what it was at Nissan when they heard it. The defective chain tensioners. Its going to cost me $1600!! Ouch!! Not acceptable to have a design defect and make the customers pay for it. I am the original owner and only have 54k on this vehicle. Whats going to happen at 100k? Its been a nice truck but these design flaws to fix are killing me! Its like owning a Harley Davidson which I also had to pay to fix their design flaws as well.
when starting the engine from cold there is a nocking noise sounds like the timeing chain.Only for a few seconds then goes ok. The engine to me overevs goes to 2200 on the revcounter and that's whats causing the problem the revs are set to high so by the time the oil gets up there the damage is done the dealer said this is normall on all frontiers. So what do you do live with it? A 2015 vehicle $29000 I think Nissan need to get there act together.When you call Nissan America to complain you don't get any satisfaction either you get a female clerk who just tells you to take it to the dealer. But nobody cares they just pass the buck nobody cares.
I am told that the timing chain guides are wearing down and thus allowing metal to metal contact. Repair shop recommended replacement of three timing chains, tensioners, guides, removal of the oil pain to clean out the residue and possibly replace the oil pump. Approximate cost = $3000!!
I have the same whinning noise when I start my truck .and it gets quiter but dosent go away as the truck warms up I.nissan needs to make this a recall .I will never buy anouther nissan .it is clearly a bad design by the enginiers and nissan should fix this problem at no cost .I dont recomend nissan s to anybody anymorr.