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Timing chain problem

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  • [Corsa D] Timing chain problem

    Hi all, new to the forum and was in need of some advice.

    Bought a 2008 Corsa life July last year.

    It's always been noisy but was told it was common with those type of cars. However, the past few weeks it's been increasingly noisy. I took it for a service and they said it looks like it needs a timing chain replacing.

    Having only had the car for 7 months, and only driven 1000 miles in it, is this something that would have been detectable by the garage who sold the car?

    I don't think a used car should be perfect but it should last more than 1000 miles before it goes pear shaped.

    Any advice would be appreciated

  • #2
    Hi Welcome to the forum.

    Sorry, I can only offer an opinion. I dont know how quickly a chain can deteriorate from when it ought to be detectable to definately 'knackered'. Much will depend on just how bad it was then and how bad it is now.

    But generally speaking I'd say that once a chain starts to get noisy it may get worse much more rapidly than you might expect. A well lubricated chain that is a good fit on its sprockets and kept nice and taut by the tensioner will be relatively quiet and give many thousands of miles service, as its running smoothly with little stress. But that doesnt mean a noisy one will continue to last a fair proportion of that mileage.

    Once things wear to the point its noisy the chain is no longer a good fit (or the tensioner is no longer keeping it taut) and is under much more stress. The chain is literally 'flailing ' around in there . Any slight slackness in the chain links are taken up with a sudden jerk, and the chain rollers may no longer perfectly match the sprockets and will slam into place, causing rapidly increasing and worsening wear and distortion. Little and often, like a hammer drill. Its what causes much of the extra noise.

    I suppose you could try complaining to the seller but I dont hold out much hope on a 12 year old car. If he offers to get the job done cheaply be wary. There are a lot of cheapo chain kits that dont last very long and they might skimp on changing sprockets and tensioner. This can happen even if you use your own garage, so make sure they will be doing a proper job with decent parts.

    You could try seeking advice from Trading Standards or citizens advice but they may be busy or short staffed for a while. Thats assuming you bought from a dealer. If it was privately its even more unlikely you will have any success. And you would probably need an engineers report to back up any claim. Sorry i cant be any more optimistic.


    • #3
      Thanks bugman. I've messaged the garage but had no response. I'll try the citizens advice as well, see what they suggest.

      Doubt I'll get any money back but having only done 1000 miles since purchase I think it's worth a try.


      • #4
        Best of Luck. Its always possible a previous owner, or even the seller, fitted a poor quality after market timing chain kits in the past . They might even have had it done especially for the sale, and the rapid deterioration is due to poor materials or workmanship .They might still be able to claim that back under guarantee elsewhere.

        Its always best to fit a genuine GM kit or one from a manufacturer with a good reputation. Restorer , on this site, has had good results from a British made brand called BGA .

        Its possible citizens advice or trading standards will have information and advice on their web site about consumer rights etc.. I dont know much about it as I've been fortunate enough not to need it. If sold by a Trader , or someone you suspect was a trader masquerading as a private seller to evade consumer rights laws and income tax etc ,trading standards may be able to help. And they may be anxious to protect their good reputation..

        A genuine private seller still has a legal obligation to inform you of any faults they knew about, or should have known about , at the time of sale. But difficult to prove. If you didnt realise at the time of sale , how can they be expected to? Especially if it was already noisy when they bought the car.

        But its very much Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) An honest seller might have a pang of conscience that things went wrong so quickly and voluntarily accept some liability/refund. . Personally i would also temper this depending on the circumstances. If I bought privately ,at a cheap price, from a genuine little old lady etc who shows honest concern I wouldnt feel comfortable claiming the full cost. If I had paid maybe a bit over the odds to a dealer , or some 'jack the lad' seller (maybe claiming to be selling on behalf of his granny) I'd try for the full cost (but probably wouldnt get anything ! ).

        Sorry, I done my usual ramblings that may not help you directly,but might help others.
        Last edited by Bugman; 28-03-2020, 11:34 AM.