Question about 2006 Saturn ION

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2006 Saturn Ion Engine light and engine noise (ticking)

Engine light came on while driving on the highway at 65mph. My 2006 ion has 70,000 miles on it. After the light came on I pulled over and checked the oil which was fine. When I restarted the engine I noticed a ticking that coincided with the engine RPM. I drove it home, ~20miles. I have not checked the error code yet but I was wondering if this was a timing belt issue or valve problem??? Is this a common complaint? Do Ions have non-interference engines? Please Help!

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  • jbrock285 Dec 26, 2008

    I hope it is that simple, but the car has 70,756 mi to be exact and the
    ticking started after the engine light came on. It is very apparent.
    The error code is P0326 which is... "knock sensor 1 CKT range/perf
    Bank1 or 1 sensor" and this is the only code that came up. The car runs
    fine except for the loud ticking.

  • jbrock285 Dec 26, 2008

    I was told by the Saturn Dealer that the Ion is an interference engine so I don't want the Timing Chain to break. I cleared the error and started the car. The ticking is still there although not as pronounced and the error did not show up but this is after only 5 min of running in the driveway. Any suggestion???

  • jbrock285 Jan 03, 2009

    If the oil pressure was too low then I would expect to see an error P0524. There was none. The only error was a knock sensor P0326. Also today I started the car and drove it ~8 miles. The engine did warm up completely. The temperature today was ~45deg F and there was no ticking and no engine error light came on. The other day I thought it might be a hydraulic valve lifter ( I'm not sure the saturn ion has these?) at least that is what the ticking sounds like. If the problem is with the valves why would it not tick all the time? The other Idea I had was maybe fuel mixture causing predetonation in one cylinder??? This problem could come and go. What about O2 sensors (Although I think this would affect all the cylinders) but a bad fuel injector for one cylinder might cause that cylinder to rattle. Although the sound is more of a ticking and at 1000RPM the ticking has a period of ~ 250 ticks/min about 1/4th. I think your suggestion about the oil pressure is good and I will check it out although why would this come and go?

  • jbrock285 Jan 03, 2009

    Read the above and keep in mind the only error is the knock sensor and the ticking noise starts after the knock sensor error light came on. This error was cleared the ticking stopped and ~2 days later this same error returned with the ticking. Again cleared and after 8 miles of driving today no error and no ticking. I will check the oil pressure but are there anymore ideas?

  • jbrock285 Jan 03, 2009

    I was told by the Saturn Dealer over the phone that there is no mileage interval for changing the timing chain. Also if this was a timing chain issue why would the problem come and go along with the ticking noise? For example today After 8-10 miles of regular driving (w/ top speeds of 50mph) stop and go. Tomorrow I will take a look at the oil pressure and look into timing chain issues. Amy more thoughts?

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Timing chains last the life of the engine in most cases. Timing belts do not. If you want to try and pinpoint the noise try using a long solid object (screwdriver?) put your ear up to one end and place the other end on various engine parts, paying particular attention to the valve cover.

The problem could be an exhaust leak too, that sometimes makes a ticking sound. Good luck with your search.

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

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The Knock Sensor circuit consists of two knock sensors connected in parallel and a single wire to the VCM-A. Each knock sensor has a resistance value of about 8,200 ohms. The VCM-A supplies a 5 volt reference signal to the sensors when, because of the sensor resistance, it is cut in half to about 2.5 volts.

When a knock occurs, a small AC voltage is generated by the knock sensors riding on top of the existing 2.5 volts. An AC voltage monitor in the VCM-A will detect this AC voltage and provide a signal to begin retarding spark until the knock diminishes.

    Turn ON the ignition.
    Disconnect both knock sensors.
    Using a digital volt meter, measure the voltage on each sensor connector to ground. You should read 5 volts.

Also make sure that your knock sensor wiring is routed away from the spark plug wires.

So check your sensors and let us know what you find.

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

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Take the wire off of the battery for an hour to reset the whole system

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

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The tapping is the slop in the lifter between the cam and the rocker. Only a few thou slop is required to make a noise.
While the ticking noise is annoying, it doesnt make economical sense to have the engine overhauled.
As long as the knock sensor does not come up with another error, you should be ok.
If the light comes on, have a compression test done to see which valve is bad, and your best bet is to get it done early before the cylinder needs to be re-bored.

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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If your car has that many miles I believe it is time to replace the timing chain anyway. You don't wanna take that chance. The ticking sound could be from a timing issue and that's the sound of the valves or lifters tapping because of the timing slightly being off. Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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I would have the oil pressure checked

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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