Back on the chain gang

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

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

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