Engine noise near left side of engine

Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 70,000 MILES
I think it is the timing chain. Could you please let me know the symptoms of a bad timing chain and how to change it. Step by step.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Saturday, November 8th, 2014 AT 2:06 PM

21 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
There really are no symptoms of a bad timing chain on those cars. Lets start with seeing if there is a bad timing chain before we worry about replacing it. The timing chain is on the passenger side of the engine when your facing the engine. Remove the valve cover and see if there is slack in the chain.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, November 8th, 2014 AT 9:35 PM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
So there is no signs? I am not sure if the noise is coming from under the valve cover or behind the power steering pump. The car is running rough on an idle. It seems to run ok at highway speed. Only thing the engine noise is there at an idle an highway speeds ( louder on gear changes). If I do take the valve cover off. How hard is it to put back on? Also, if the chain is loose can a novice mechanic (I have worked on my cars doing brake jobs, replacing starters, and one head gasket job) replace it or am I out of my league? I just do not want to replace a timing chain and still have a crappy running car. One last thing - can a bad alternator produce the problems I am taking about? The alternator is on the passenger side under the power steering pump and the sound may be coming from there.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 AT 5:46 PM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
Also, I did take it to a mechanic to make it run better. They replaced the spark plugs, wires and some kind of an electrical box. It ran slightly better but I think I was taken for a ride on the repair. It definitely was not the solution to the problem of the car running crappy.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 AT 5:51 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The valve cover is very easy to put back on only thing you have to do is put silicone back on. There are two t joints where the front cover meets the head. In both spots you must put a bead of silicone across them or you will have a oil leak. Sounds like the timing may have jumped or you have low compression on one of the cylinders. I would do a compression test let me know the results? As far as replacing the timing chain there not hard. If you have replaced a head gasket before you should be able to replace it.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 AT 6:42 PM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
So when I pull the valve cover what am I looking for in terms of the timing chain? How will I know if something is out of whack? Also, what equipment do I need to do a compression test?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 AT 7:01 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Forgot to mention that a bad alternator would make a very different noise.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 AT 8:27 PM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
Anything on what I should be looking for with the timing chain? How do I know it is out of whack? Also, what equipment would I need for the compression test?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 AT 7:25 AM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
Also, when I rev up the engine there is a clanking noise. I does sound like something baning into something else on the left side of the engine. So to take the engine head cover off do I just undo the to star bolts on top. Is there anything else to loosen?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 AT 12:16 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If you have a sl2 the valve cover has 10 mm bolt heads to remove the valve cover. The sl2 has two t 40 torx head bolts holding it on. So which do you have? Also to do a compression test you need a 5/8" spark plug socket with extension to remove all the spark plugs. Also a compression test you can rent for free at auto zone. As far as the timing chain your looking for looseness In the chain it should be nice and tight. Is the noise you have a clanking knocking noise?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 AT 8:43 PM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
It sounds like a clanking knocking noise. Especially when I rev the engine or when I drive it and I am accelerating. I guess it makes the chain swing under the cover and hit it or the chain guard. I will look for the model. Where can I find it out?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, November 15th, 2014 AT 9:15 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
It won't say the model on the car itself what color is the valve cover? Also do the spark plugs face straight up or do they angle facing towards the front of the car. Also is it four door sedan Wagon or coupe? Let me know the answer to these questions and I will tell you what model you have. Also if you could take a picture and post it that would help out. If you can only hear the noise when you snap the throttle open suddenly sounds like you could have a rod knock.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, November 16th, 2014 AT 7:17 AM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
The valve cover is silver with two black torx bolts (one on each side). The spark plugs angle towards the front of the car. The car is a four door sedan. The car came with the owners manual for a S-Series. As for the clanking noise, it is present all the time but much more noticeable when you throttle the engine. It is coming from the passenger side of the engine. When you drive the car it runs rough on an idle and smooths out when you are driving at highway speeds. The noise is noticeable on acceleration. Should I do something to test for the rod knock before pulling the valve cover. Also, if I pull the valve cover does it come off easily after I loosen the black torx bolts or do I have to pry it up carefully?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, November 17th, 2014 AT 11:51 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You have a sl1 single cam engine on that one to remove the valve cover you have to remove those two 10 mm nuts holding the map sensor on. Also the 8mm bolt holding the line to the valve cover. Then the two T-40 torx bolts must come out then I use the handle of a hammer to lightly tap the cover loose. As far as checking for a rod knock I start the engine let it idle then remove one spark plug wire from the plug far enough away so that plug doesn't get spark. Then snap the throttle open a couple of times to see if the noise changes or goes away. Then put the wire back on and move to the next one till I have done the same for all four cylinders. Try not to get shocked I have done this lots of times to find rod knocks. Let me know what you find.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, November 17th, 2014 AT 1:05 PM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
I disconnected each spark plug wire as you instructed and there was no change to the knocking noise when I throttled the engine. It seems that the noise is not really present at an idle but the engine runs a little rough. When I throttle the engine, like I said before, there is a knocking noise ( like someone is taking a small hammer and tapping on the passenger side of the engine). I did not pull the engine cover yet. Any other thoughts before I move to this step?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 AT 7:25 AM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
Also, what does a map sensor look like. You said there are two 10 mm bolts I need to remove on that part.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 AT 7:28 AM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
I took off the valve cover. As far as I can tell the timing chain looks tight. Looking at the valves- the valves on the passenger side look dark with some dark oil buildup ( not extreme). The valves on the drivers side look clean and have a gold look to them. Does his tell you anything?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 AT 11:30 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The different colors lighter golden brown and black are normal have seen it many times. It sounds like a rod knock but without being there to hear it I can't say for sure. Have you ever ran the engine low on oil?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 AT 12:43 PM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
It is my daughters car so I did catch it low sometimes. If it is rod knock is there anything that can be done to fix it? Also, is there any tricks to put back a valve cover. The gasket looks like it will be challenging to line up. Can I use silicone with the gasket to "glue it to the cover" and then put the cover back on. Lastly, if I use the silicone is there a special type I should use " high temperature" or something?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 5:17 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If you have a rod knock and the crankshaft isnt damaged then you could replace the connecting rod and rod bearing. But you have to remove the head to replace the rod. Also the original valve cover gasket is made out of silicone and siliconed to the cover. So is the gasket rubber? Also I have used felpro rubber gaskets and they dont use silicone to hold them in place. They just sit against the valve cover.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 9:26 PM
Tiny
SATURNRKS
  • MEMBER
It is rubber. I was going to use the silicone to just make it easier to keep it in place. So can I use silicone with the rubber gasket? Also, the rocker arm sounds like a big job. How can I tell which one to replace.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 AT 8:14 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides