So I’ve been hearing an seeing online some concerns with an engine noise/tick on startup with these things. “These things” are 2010+ GMC Terrains, specifically those with a 2.4L 4 cylinder engine.

Though not many people online know what the problem is, GM does.

Most of the newer (2003-2014) GM cars equipped with the 2.2 and 2.4L engines are experiencing or will experience this “tick” from the engine, usually on start up. I’ve heard about this with the Cavalier, Equinox, and Terrain specifically.

A loose timing chain. In the image above, it’s the chain link that runs the circumferance of the engine around all those gears. This keeps the crankshaft, oil pump, and camshafts all in sync…and I don’t mean these guys:

What usually happens, is a timing chain tensioner fails. The tensioner is designed to do exactly what it sounds like. Keep tension on the chain so it doesn’t flap around. The noise these customers are hearing, is the timing chain slapping around inside the timing cover.

The bad news? It’s a semi-extensive repair. The good news? GM’s Powertrain Warranty will TYPICALLY cover it, assuming you can prove you’ve done your scheduled maintenance (oil changes) on time, and it’s within the specified time/mileage parameters.

Depending on how old your vehicle is and how many miles on it, if this hasn’t been done already and the vehicle is outside GM’s Powertrain Warranty or if you’re not the original owner of it, you’ll end up having to pay for this repair unless you can do it yourself.

Now, if only you knew of a local garage with technicians and service advisors you could trust to handle said repair…