Engine Noise Due to Worn Timing Chain on Mazda CX-7

Problem Description and Possible Solution

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.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 81,880 (23,420–174,000)
Engine affected: 3.0L V6
3 model years affected: 2007, 2008, 2009
127 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 82 comments
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
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!!!
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?
heard tcking noing coming from the engine....took it to mazda and had the timing chain replace....weel later i hear the same noise...
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.
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.
i just bought a 2007 cx 7. My wife loves it. We have only had it for 3 days and we are hearing that same noise that sounds like a diesel. Im guessing its a timming belt according to all the posts. Im bringing it in tomorrow. I also paid for a 36,000 36 month warrenty on the drive chain. I will post the outcome later.
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.
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.
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.
I purchased my 2008 Mazda CX7 in January 2009 from a Mazda Dealer. It had 5,000 miles on it. After having the car 7 mos or so I noticed the ticking sound in the engine. Brought it to the dealer, I was told there was nothing wrong. This sound has always been there, brought it back for same reason and for complaint of A/C not nearly working as efficient as it should. Anyone who got in the car would comment on the A/C. No, Ma'am Im sorry the A/C is fine, its just working too hard because of the summer heat we are having. Really?? And ticking still.... everything is ok. Now 2013...the car sounds just like all of yours...A DIESEL ENGINE RUNNING!! HORRIBLE! In for service today...thank you all for all the info and feedback. OBVIOUSLY, Mazda has had many issues with this. Let's stick together! will keep your abreast.

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!!!!
I to had problems with the noise from the engine and Mazda said it was normal. While I was driving the other day down the road the car stalled and I could not start it again. The mechanic called me yesterday to notify me that the timing chain broke and that I would need a new engine which is about $7,000.00 to replace with a used engine. I think Mazda should step up and help everyone that bought the 2007-08
CX-7 because it seems they were aware of this problem all along. I have bought Mazda vechicles for over 25 years and they have been good to me but for this one problem I will probably never buy another Mazda only because they are turning their heads in helping me.
Rattling Noise from Engine Suspect Timing Chain Tensioner Malfunction, Mazda didn't provide a price to replace needs further investigation, open your wallet and we will let you know. The car also requires another $1,500 to repair various things, oil leak in transfer case, oxygen sensor transmission flush. This car is a lemon to have all these faults appear at 70,000 dont but CX7
It has made a noise, but I am not sure if it is this problem. I am considering replacing the timing chain though to be safe.
Timing chain brook and now they say I need a new engine. Nothing the dealership can do they said they know about the problem and I can call Mazda customer service if I like.
i had so many porblems between turbo, oil leaks, and timing chain. I complain about knocking noise for a year and half. Dealership contuined to tell me it was a normal sound. Until finally i had someone else look at it and they told me it was timing hcain . netherless to say there was a warrety extension on the timing chain but im out of that warrenty extension so they wont replace it.