Back on the chain gang
It seems the timing chains fitted to Nissan Navaras and Pathfinders with YD25 turbo diesel engines are weak and can stretch and break, with the valves hitting the pistons. The result is usually a replacement engine costing $7000-$12,000. Two friends of mine have had this happen and I know of many more. I have phoned Nissan and have been told that it does occur, but it depends on whom you talk to at Nissan as to how bad it is. The thing is that my Navara has less than 12 months’ warranty left and if it blows after that I won’t have a leg to stand on. I have done only 32,000km but my friend’s Navara had only 28,000km on it when the chain broke and totally destroyed the engine. Chains should last the life of the car, don’t you think?
Rod Hinkley, email You’re right, a cam timing chain should last the life of the engine. They shouldn’t be breaking, particularly at such low kays as happened to your friends. We have had other reports of failures in the Navara. We await Nissan’s response. KNOCK NO JOKE My 2011 Mazda3 suddenly developed an intermittent knocking sound, which seems to come from the nearside rear, no matter what the speed or the road surface. It’s driving me crazy but the dealership can’t seem to find the cause.
Leanne, email First check for anything that might have come loose under the car and be knocking against another component. If there’s nothing you can see then have the shock absorbers and the mountings checked. ISOLATION WARD If my 2003 BA Ford Fairmont Ghia is left unused for about five days, the battery goes flat. I have disconnected the electric brake controller, checked for a drain from the alternator, also the glovebox and boot lights. My auto electrician has checked it over and also replaced the battery, all to no avail. Do you have any ideas?
Graham, email The battery is being drained, so you need to trace the cause to be able to fix it. You have done the most obvious checks without finding it, but keep looking. If ultimately you can’t find it, you could install an isolator switch to the battery, which effectively disconnects it. RESET AND MATCH My 2009 VE Commodore Omega drops into lock-up top gear very early, sometimes about 60-70 km/h under light throttle on a flat road, causing an annoying vibration as if the drivetrain is under too much load. Switching into Sport mode gives an improvement
Chain gang: There is a query over the timing chain in turbo diesel Pathfinders and Navaras