Question about 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

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No warning lights, no compresion problems, no lack of power, just noise coming from top of timing chain cover like something is hiting the top of the cover, don't think it is a cam problem.

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The timing chain guides are worn out, they are a bear to replace. i would wait until the water pump goes out eventually and replace the chain pump and guides all at once.

not cheap but definitely a complete repair

Posted on Apr 12, 2009

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Can't tell for sure, there are a lot of different kinds of engine noises. For your year of Cavalier they are common for a knock noise coming from the front timing cover area. It is caused from the timing CHAIN rattling on the tensioner. It is generally caused by lack of oil changes and the oil gets very thick. There is a very small passage that allows oil to enter the timing chain case, and if its thick or dirty it doesn't. Best to have it diagnosed to what area or possible cause. It will also cause the engine to labor and not start immediately.

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A sure fire way to check the timing chain if you are concerned is to take off the valve cover (also a good time to replace the valve cover gasket). Then you can see the chain and feel and see if there is any slack in it.

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