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I recently took my 2007 Xterra S 2FWD for an oil change at a local Nissan dealership, not because it's common practice but I was short on time and its location was close to my work. I normally would have the oil change done at my regular mechanic shop.

Anyway, after the oil change, the dealership had a list of things for me to fix...ofcourse. One of them was the secondary timing chain, which was a $1600 estimate. They told me I need to replace it because it's making noises at high RPMs. I have been trying to listen to the "noise" but I can't seem to hear it or know what I'm supposed to be listening for?

So I called around local mechanics and asked them about the Secondary timing chain that i need to take care of, according to the Nissan dealership, to look for the best price. To my surprise 3/4 reputable car shops told me that I should never ever have to replace the secondary timing chain. It's good for the life of the vehicle. They straight out told me that the dealership was just trying to take money from me.

Is this true? Should I be worried about this? Is this similar to the serpentine belt where if it breaks I'm completely screwed?

I am very novice. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! :|

My car spec:
  • 2007 Nissan XTerra S 2FWD
  • 115800 miles
 

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They are correct the chain should not need to be replaced and its not going to break . The problem is the plastic guides that keep the chain from making noise are bad they used some cheap plastic .The dealer is going to do a package chain and guides. You only need the guides.
 

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Its not a scam (this time)

Now I will always agree that dealerships will always try to screw you over. Its just their nature, sad but true. However in this case, its absolutely true. The secondary chain guides will wear away and the chains will run directly against the steel head of the tensioner. The whining in my truck was so bad I could hardly stand it. At that point you really should just replace the secondary chains too because you are going to wear those chains down with it rubbing like that. I did the job myself and it was a HUGE PITA. However my X is whisper quite now an I don't ever have to worry about the chains breaking. I did a full tutorial on my YT channel. Check it out and if you have any questions let me know. Ill help in any way that I can.

Also if it will help I can put a short video up of my truck before the job and after so you can hear the difference. Let me know.

 
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