The timing chain tensioner
may bleed off oil pressure after the engine is shut down. This can cause a rattling noise when the engine is started cold and a revised timing chain tensioner and guide are available to correct this issue.
Average mileage: 125,675 (80,000–240,000)
Engines affected: 3.0L V6 DOHC, 3.0L V6 SOHC
12 model years affected: 1994
, more1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007
21 people reported this problem
I bought this maxima real cheap through a friend of a friend. Went for about a10 mile drive and the oil light started flashing and heard the timing chain slapping loudly.i drove it home, took the front valve cover off and i couldn't believe what i saw.there was so much sludge in there!!! Unbelievable the car still runs good as out does. gonnaclean it out best i can,drop the oil pan and clean the screen,replace the tensioners and guides,and hope for the best!!
I have been hearing the timing chain noise for some time, especially when the engine is cold. Once the engine warms up for about 20-30- minutes the noise goes away. In spite of this, The car drives fine, but once in a while after driving for about 20 miles the engine starts hick-ups and one time the engine RPM dropped way below idle and stalled. I re-started it and drove OK after that. I have no check engine light, no codes whatsoever, my temperature is absolutely spot on, but I cannot figure out 1) the timing chain noise (or valves noise from what sounds like coming from the back set of valves, close to the firewall), and 2) why the intermittent hick-ups. I have taken it to my mechanic who I trust completely and he checked everything he could: Cat converters, muffler (for obstructions at temperature), fuel pump pressure, etc.. and could not find a reliable solution to this problem. We have been racking our brains for about a month and cannot figure this one out. My mechanic is not one to throw parts at the car, hoping one of them will fix the problem. And i certainly don't want to start replacing parts either, unless I have confidence we identified the root cause. Between him and I we are fast approaching a decision on replacing the timing chain kit (chain, guides, tensioner, etc). Do you guys have any suggestions? thanks.