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Old 10-11-2018, 09:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2008 suddenly makes a helatious racket when running

I looked at a used AWD SX4 2008 5 speed manual to buy. The 2nd owner said it suddenly got really loud when driving on the highway so he shut it off and wants me to buy it. For $400 I figured how can I go wrong.

It seems to be firing on all 4 as witnessed by putting my hand over the exhaust tailpipe. It won't idle but something seized up from sitting for a few weeks before the owner decided to sell. Serpentine belt does not move. Crankshaft pulley spins when it's running.

The car looks great inside and out, like new. 140,000 miles. Oil is very clean but owner may have changed it after the fact although he says no.

The noise is rotational/rythmic in nature. Increases cadence when the engine is revved. It seems like it is coming from under the cam cover at the end near the timing chain. It's extremely LOUD !!! Am I buying a car with a horrible rod knock ? Or is it something else ?

Looking at the service manual I notice there might be a variable cam timing sprocket in this car which could be coming apart I guess. Apparently the timing chains on these commonly fail if the wide-spread availability of timing chains/sprockets/guides/tensioner/oil pump kits for relatively cheap money, is any indication.

Anybody have a clue about what is making all the racket ?
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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additional info:
4 door hatchback. Has ac which was not blowing cold air previously. 16" stock wheels/tires. Rear disc brakes. USA Market car, I believe.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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serpentine belt won't move? then somethings siezed, possibly an idler or the water pump.
serp belt off, see whats locked up, could even be the A/C compressor pulley bearing.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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VVT is on J20B..2008 has J20A engine, no VVT.
There have ben several cases of failed idler/tensioner reported in this and other SX4 forums.
But make it clear: you mean the engine runs..and the serpentine belt is steady..??? THere are several cases of seized alternators reported here too.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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yes belt is held stationary. Engine is running. That's the least of my concerns though. Obviously something seized while the car sat unused for the past several weeks after it got towed back to the owner's house. Probably seized alternator bearing or ac compressor clutch. I've had that happen on other Suzukis I have owned in the past.

it got towed back because while driving on the highway it suddenly started to make a very loud noise. Not an open exhaust sound but a mechanical banging/rattling sound.

Definitely not like any rod knock I have ever heard. More like the timing chain is broken and slapping the underside of the cam cover but somehow still driving the camshafts. Seems to be running on all 4 too.

At this time, I am more worried about the horrible and VERY LOUD engine noise and less worried about the seized belt.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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correction. It has 17" factory stock wheels and tires
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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FIX THE KNOW ISSUES FIRST!

Get the stalled belt rolling, It is straining the engine and probably the root cause of noise..

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Old 10-13-2018, 12:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for your suggestion and I plan to remove the belt as soon as I get the car towed home. With the crankshaft pulley spinning and a stationary belt, I am convinced that it is not one of the driven pulleys/attachments that are causing the noise.

I am certain the noise is internal but I appreciate your trying to guide me with this. If I had never worked an a car before I would probably believe your sound advice, though.

As it is, I have over 4 decades of experience working on all types of cars including many Suzuki built cars. This is my first SX4 however and I always try to find out beforehand, as much as I can about any repair job I undertake.

When I get it here later this week, I'll report what I find. If you are right .. if the staionary belt is causing the crankshaft or crankshaft pulley to make the noise, then you will have taught me something and I will be very appreciative if not somewhat embarrassed.

Meanwhile if anyone who reads this thread has any other suggestions about what INTERNAL failure could account for all the racket, I'm all ears. Especially if that someone has taken the valve cover off at some point and/or the timing cover/oil pan and has actually done work on the camshaft timing components. and/or camshafts/lifters.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well I regret to have to say I will not be getting the SX4 after all. I had been looking at a 1998 Tracker previously and suddenly the seller came down in price enough to make it worth getting.

If anybody is looking for a 2008 SX4 that is in mint condition except for this loud engine noise - I believe a timing chain/guide kit would fix - let me know and I can send you the contact info.

it's in Southeastern MA and the seller agreed to a VERY low price for me. Cutting his asking price to less than half. He may do the same for you or better. Who knows. It definitely needs to be towed.
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