A big thing we’ve seen a lot of over the past year or so, has been timing chain problems on the Chevy Traverse, Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave. All of these SUV’s have the 3.6 liter V6 engine with dual overhead cams. What is happening on these vehicles is that the timing chains are stretching which leads to correlation errors with the cam sensors and actuators.
Usually we see this only on 2007-2009 model year vehicles. After 2010, General Motors has seemed to correct the problem with updated chains and ECM calibrations.
This was first thought to be caused by lack of oil changes, and there was a recall to update the vehicle’s computer to shorten the oil life monitor. This was supposed to get customers in sooner to change their oil, thus hopefully eliminating sludge build up, heat, and excess wear and tear that leads to the chains actually stretching some.
On the older models, this didn’t seem to matter. They would still be coming in with the check engine light on and usually running rough. There would most times be trouble codes for cam sensor/actuator correlation, usually on bank 1. Something like a p0017 and a P0008 would definitely mean the engine has stretched chains. Now, this is no small job!! The entire engine and transmission has to come out on a lift table. This requires much work, just even disconnecting all the wiring harnesses and sensors. The air conditioning system has to be recovered and lines removed from the compressor. The trans cooler lines and power steering cooler lines have to be disconnected. The shift linkage, complete engine harness, upper and lower radiator hoses, and fuse box just all come out just to name a few.
Then, once the engine is out and accessible, the real work begins! After removal of the valve covers, intake manifold, power steering pump, belt, tensioner, water pump pulley, alternator and crank pulley, the aluminum front cover can come off. There are quite a few bolts that hold it on and they all have a small rubber seal that goes on each bolt. Now, finally, you can access the actual timing chains where the problem lies.
Once you can get your hands on the chains, you can easily feel the excessive play in the chain from being too far stretched out. This leads to the timing being off, setting the check engine light on, and usually a rough idle. There are three different chains that will require replacement with the updated parts. There is also some special tools needed, such as camshaft holding tools, etc, that are needed to do this job.
The chains, guides, hydraulic tensioners can all be taken off and the chains removed. Now the engine can be placed at top dead center and the holding fixtures installed on the cams once the timing marks are lined up on the crank gear and oil pump cover. The left chain goes in first, following the timing procedure, then the primary chain, then finally the right side cam chain. Once all the chains have been installed, and their guides and tensioners, the process of putting it all back together can begin. Let’s just say this is NOT a job for the backyard mechanic. It will take even the most experienced technicians the better part of a whole day to do this job, sometimes longer.
Luckily for most customers, the powertrain warranty covers this repair up to 100,000 miles. Otherwise it would be very expensive to repair. So, if you’re having these symptoms, don’t wait another minute to go in to your dealership and get this checked out!
Below are two pictures so you can see just how involved this job is. The first pic is of the entire engine/trans assembly out of the Traverse and ready to disassemble. The second pic is a close up of the three timing chains that will be replaced. You can see there are quite a few sprockets, and things to go around!
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349 Comments on "Chevrolet Traverse And GMC Timing Chains Replacement"
2011 acadia po331 knock sensor code, changed knock sensor 3 times light keeps comming back with ks code, could this be a false code ? i read alot about timming issues,Runs great BTW
Will a 3.6 out of a 08 acadia work in my 2009 chwvy traverse
I’m having this same problem now. CEL, error codes, all of it. Was there any proper resolution from GM?
The timing chain broke and caused the engine to lockup on my 2011 Chevy traverse I want it fixed
Hi I have had my 2011 traverse for three years. I am just finding out that it has a bad problem with timing change. I have spent up to $3,000 dollars or more trying to rectify the problem is their any way to find out about a current recall do to so many people having problems with this complicated issue. Money does not grow on trees and the chevy traverse’s are rotten. Why aren’t they being recalled due to so many people experiencing the same problem.
Need to show how to place timing chain in right place on 2009chevrolet traverse
I replaced my timing chains with the full kit and 3 sprockets. I also replaced the right VVT Intake sprocket that was bad. I got all the chains lined up and tight. To test to make sure everything stayed in time I rotated the camshaft by hand clockwise. I did this really slow and the chains stayed tight. By the time I got back to dead center all three chains had jumped over 2-3 teeth. Is that normal for a VVT engine to do if your rotating the camshaft by hand? I had to take the chains off and start over. They are all perfectly set again and tight. I didn’t rotate it by hand again. Any advice would be appreciated before I put this thing back together.
They will not line up again….they might but who knows how many revolutions might have to be made and i hate doing the math…if you got the initial line up right and have no problem when turning the engine then yur good…belueve me if its wrong youll know it
The timing chain causing catastrophic engine failure at 87,000 Miles is which made me purchase a Toyota. I have had my Toyota for 15 months approaching 100,000 miles no issues! Never buy a GMC again.
i know by now your all done and moved on but hydraulic oil pressure is everything for these engines. lifters , actuators ect.. not just lubrication . i believe that these engines have to many moving parts. long story short i have been working freinds traverse 160000 miles on engine 2012 . p0017 correlation code . we did full tune up including intake gaskets ,upper and lower, and cam sensor ther is four total on this engine ! as of so far the light cam back on and we decided to do oil change ! no to get to my point seafoam. ill say it again seafoam ! it cleans sludge as well as removes water any water in an engine will destroy the ability of oil to hydraulicly compress! seafoam saved the day .
You are 100% correct. Same damned thing exactly happened with this 09 Traverse. Piece of sh&t engine. Same symptoms. Traction control light came on and off. loss of power, missing, shuddering, etc. Worst built engine in decades. These GM so called engineers need to be fired or hanged. Too many computer chips. Too much useless technology incorporated into these new vehicles. People cannot even change a headlight bulb without tearing something down. All this is to insure that the buyer has to take it back to the dealership to fix and then pay them an arm and leg to fix their pathetic excuse for a vehicle. this 09 traverse threw one or more of the three timing chains last Friday on the parkway and I had to call a rollback to get it home. Engine is totally shot. still paying on a useless piece of s&it car that is dead in the water. we need to file a class action lawsuit against GM (Government Motors} as I now named them after the bailout.
2010 Traverse with codes PO305, P0009, & P0008. It runs smooth and I don’t notice any symptoms. Advice, please?
My 2010 GMC Acadia had to of the same codes. I didn’t really notice it running rough either. I took it in to have it looked at and I had to replace all the actuators and timing chains. Now I have to take it back to have the oil pump replaced too… Good luck
Problem was resolved after 2009? Are you kidding me? Google it and read all the timing chain problems on the Chevy traverse. I have a 2011 with 80,000 miles and it’s the SECOND time I am replacing The timing chain! At $3000 a pop I just cannot afford this. Guess I have to junk my traverse which I have kept in perfect condition. And never buy a Chevy again !
The Chevy brand is not the problem, it’s that model and GMC, Buick also has the same mess. My kid has the 2009 with issues and it drives me crazy every time I got to work on it and I’m an auto mechanic by trade. I warned her when she got it, get rid of it. Here it is 2022 hanging on to it and now she broke down on highway had it towed and alternator went out. Everyone I come across that has one I tell them the same thing, GET RID OF IT!
I’m dealing with the same issue on my timing chain on my chevy traverse but it’s was making noise so I take is to dealership they have to have someone come out and put a computer to it and then I get we can’t do anything so I’m like so what wait til the timing goes then it get fixed I get yup so I go somewhere else and same answer well guess what it went and now I have no warranty it expired so now I have to pay out of pocket it like they don’t care I bought a car from a dealership and told them I want something that reliable I got kids and work I don’t want to be stuck somewhere well guess what now I’m out of a car til mine gets fixed but I have to have money to do which I’m coming up with so yes something needs to get done NOT HAPPY
2010 GMC Acadia with approximately 98,000 miles had to replace the timing chains, cost around $2500. Wrote a letter to GM and they have turned their back on me. GM extended the warranty on model years 2007-2009 to 10 years and 120,000 miles, they claim the issue was fixed with 2010 models which is bs as we all know. Filed a complaint with the NHTSA after GM refused to cover this. You may want to file a complaint as well. NHTSA 1-888-327-4236 have your VIN handy, the mileage of your vehicle and date when it happened.
I just had my 2010 Chevy Traverse, 75,000 miles, looked at and it needs new timing chans…….just under $3,000. Never missed a oil change. Front wheel bearings at 55,000 miles…… Time to look at Ford or Chrysler. Better yet, buy something from the 60s and drive it another 50 years……
Hi, my name is Vladimir Netto, i drive a 2010 Traverse LTZ, live in Red Oak, TX.!
I just want anyone that have an issue with a timing chain on this vehicle, or Buick Enclave, Chevy Acadia and so on, to call Chevy at 1-800-222-1020, and most importantly, call NHTSA- National Highway Transport Safety Association at 1-888-327-4236, and make a Safety complaint! IT IS A SAFETY ISSUE! Chevy won’t do anything, any recall if the NHTSA investigate and determine that is a safety issue, and tell GM to make such recalls! It’s is a defect! My Traverse it’s barely been driven, well maintained, all recalls done to it, no accidents, no abuse what so ever! Now I got over US $2,200.00 of timing chain repair/change, just because a defect! NOT FAIR CHEVY! Everyone that have had, or have this issue, DO SOMETHING, PLEASE! And if you own one of this vehicle, with this type of engine, BEWARE! Most likely, you’re gonna end-up like me!
Dealing with this problem now with our 2012 Acadia. This was the first GM I’ve ever bought and will for sure my last. Going back to Ford
I’m having the same problem with my 2011 Acadia. I agree it will be my last GMC I’ll go back to Toyota. Had 497000 miles on last Toyota and no where near these problems
Fords got motor problems. 5.4 ford Timing chain issues big time.
Just purchased a used 2010 Acadia 12 days ago (2/12/2019) and same problem popped up with only 53,360 miles!!
I have a 2011 traverse ls I already had the timing belt changed out twice and the light is back on with the p0008 code. what the fuck and they say there isn’t any cause for a recall
traverse don’t have timing belt.
I own a 2009 chevrolet traverse and I am also a victim of the timing chain problem. Chevy knew initially that it was a problem with the engineering and tried to cover it up with ecm recalibrations. I was quoted $4,100 if they dont find anything else wrong. I’m up for a class action law suit. I have owned many chevrolet vehicles but I’m done after this one if I don’t get a resolution to this problem.
Agreed CA Lawsuit may help…my 2010 Acadia with 53,366 miles has the same problem!! Lovely! $3300 repair from GMC.
How do i sign up for tge class action lawsuit?
i have a 2010 Chevy traverse as well. At 88.000 miles on it, it’s asking for the chain replace, it is ridiculous, i called GMC and they said it is not under any guarantee any more.. any law suit for the GMC i can be part of it too.
I have a 2011 Acadia with the same junk engine. At 126,000 miles it died and was towed to the dealer where it sits. Right before that it threw codes on the timing chain. Told it needs a new engine. From other comments, replacing the engine with the same lemon engine will get me another 30-60k miles before it the timing chain goes out again. No amount of paperwork seems to guarantee warranty replacement either. So I am wondering if it is worth trying to put a different engine in or buying a different used vehicle. Anyone know about different engine that would fit.? I had a 2001 Chevy Tahoe with 350k miles on it before the Acadia that was 10 years older that I should have just kept.
You need to call NHTSA and make a complaint! It’s is a safety issue! They won’t recall, unless NHTSA say so! Make your voice heard! Their phone number is 1(888)327-4236! Also, call GM, at 1(800)222-1020!
Hopefully you have found your answer by now. If not you need to seriously stay away from Americano cars if you can.Its just not worth the poor fuel economy or expensive mechanical repair unless you have a steady income and money saved up. The best thing to do is find a reliable honda or toyota and you will be a happy camper for a long while. Good luck .
I just replaced the timing chains, gears, cam phazers, tensioners and guides on a 2009 Acadia 3.6 with the engine in the car. It took me 8 hours from start to finish.
Done two myself in vehicle in about 8 hours don’t pull motor.
Yeah I’m gonna call bs on this one
do you want to do another? I need one in a 2010 traverse
Hi Deano, just wondering if there is any information on the way you did the timing chain replacement. Just had mine go at 121,008 , GM says they will not help and dealership wants $4700
I have a 2010 GMC Acadia and potentially have to change my timing chain due to some codes that are coming up, P0008 and P0017. Does anybody know how I could get GM to pay for the job, or at least part of it?? Has anybody got some money out of GM for this problem?? Please email me. Thank you in advance!!
Impossible for them to help you because it will bankrupt them !! Best thing to do to miniize your cost of repairing this problem is to go on ebay and buy a good quality timing chain kit and then go to the dealer and buy the 4 cam phazers becuase you can get them on Ebay. After that look for a mechanic that will not rip you off on doing the labor. There are videos on youtube that show you step by step what needs to be done. good luck !
David, I have a 2009 Outlook and thee is a special coverage warranty on the timing chains. Not sure if it will apply to your car (it should because it effects many GM’s) but it’s #11340 and covers the replacement costs up to 120,000 miles. When we brought it in the dealer had no clue about it. We called GM directly to get the info.
Our 2010 Traverse quit working. $4000 bill later, for the dealership to say, the work they did wasn’t actually the problem. It’s the timing chains! Was told it’ll be about another $5000 to fix. Can’t afford that!! Stuck with a vehicle that won’t run, and a $4000 bill for nothing, since the dealership says it’s not their fault. I’m just sick. I’d be interested in joining a lawsuit as well.
2011 Acadia in the shop right now getting it’s timing chain replaced. The dealer service CSR says “no” this is not usually something that happens to Acadias. All I have been seeing is the Special Adjustments to prior model years. Why would they say no this doesnt happen to Acadias? Don’t they know we’re going to research a $3,000+ repair? Well, I have no choice but to get it fixed, but has anyone else with 2011+ Acadia had this same issue? I see several above… Who knows the secret words to say to GM to get them to at least cover it partially?
I have a 2011 traverse with same issue. I’ve called GM numerous times and told that although there was a maintenance plan in place for this issue across all vehicle lines that my VIN series should have had the issue dealt with during intial build and is not covered. I was quoted 3500+ from multiple repair shops.(some even called GM to see if they would fix and were denied).
I have the same issue with a 2008 GMC Acadia that I’ve owned the entire time but am only at 120,000 miles.
I own a 2010 with a blown motor due to the timing chain issue. Very interested in doing whatever I can to help start a class action lawsuit also.
2013 traverse seized engine at 60k. Unbelievable. Class action as I am not alone
We have had the timing belt issues fixed twice on our 2011 Acadia, and I have a feeling it’s starting to go again. Not happy!! I wish we had never bought this vehicle.
I have a 2012 that this just happened unsure what to do about this issue as I can not afford the repair at all right now and in need of a vehicle. Is there anyone that had researched for gmc to cover it? I’ve 116000 miles go figure Anyone that can help me out on this?
I think it’s covered up to 120,000 miles, jump on it now.
My daughter has 2011! Timing chain has been replaced 3 times and it just went again!!!!! Gmc paid for the first three. Im calling Gmc headquarters tomorrow. What a lemon.
I called GM and wasnt given amy help. 2010 Traverse with a blown engine due to timing chain.
I just did timing chains guides tentioners sprockets on 2010 traverse on my house because when you first start on cold rattle for 2 o 3 seconds bought everything from dealer finished and it does the same noise ,
I’m dealing with the same start up problem on my 09 traverse. Did you ever figure out what the problem is? I also recently did my chains
Same with my 2011 at 95,000 miles
Can be done in the car.
just did it
Yes, in a car, but not in a truck.
2009 Chevy traverse?
They are over engineering this engine we we’re suckerd into buying a saturn vue with this 3.6 engine witch developed a oil leak problem trying to fix it myself in vehicle berry tight space now down to the timing chain problem
me too had all these code mention, change the injectors and the problem is solved for 1 year
I’d like to be a part of one if do I am going through all that you are …
Yep, same here. We have owned a lot of cars over the years and this GMC Acadia has been the biggest lemon by far. None of the problems we have had with any car has ever even came close to this car. The leaking alone has damaged so much, plus the transmission, and now the timing chains.
I have a 2012 chevy traverse that just had the timing chain work done . It wasn’t from lack of maintanance either. not two weeks later after the fix the entire engine seized up locking down key was locked in the ignition etc. My mechanic said the engine is no good. and there was so much sludge it is next to impossible to find the one single problem that caused this. bad oil pump perhaps hard to know , Now I am having to replace the entire eingine!
I have a 2012 traverse I have had Wal-mart change my oil every since I had my car now my codes are coming up p0011-00 and p0014-00 we need a lawyer to soon for a camshaft to go out only 86000 miles on my car
So do we have a class action suit yet?? How many hard working millions are going to continue to be flipping the bill before GM is held responsible? If not for being so upside down going into a Ford or Foreign builder, Im stuck with this piece of shit over a known flaw? So much for protecting the consumer from being raped.
I want to join this class action suit where do I join
I also want to know if there is and if so how do I get in?