The timing chain tensioner and guides are prone to wear and may develop an abnormal noise, requiring replacement.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Chevrolet Cavalier Timing Chain Tensioner/Guides May Wear and Cause Noise
Chevrolet Cavalier Problem
Engine Affected: 2.3L 4 Cylinder
Average Mileage: 146,500 mi (133,000 mi - 160,000 mi)
Visitor, 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier, 133,000 mi
Cavalier is 10 years old, so you figure some problems. Was running fine the day before, but the next morning was minus 8 degrees and it just wouldn't start. Heard a whirring noise coming from the starter, so replaced it along with the battery, which was the original. Starter turned engine at a snails pace, so I knew something else was wrong. Turned out to be the main timing chain tensioner. $1200 later, it's back to running like a top. At least I saved the money putting in the new starter, which was bad too at the same time.
Visitor, 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier, 160,000 mi
Knocking or ticking started randomly one day, the sound changes with the Rpm's and i have had a head mechanic listen to the engine and says it sounded like something with the timing chain and timing chain tensioner, upon looking up such complications it seems i am not alone in this shitty situation. I am outraged that there has been no announcement or recall of any kind on these models with the 2.2 ecotecs.