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Old 12-20-2017, 02:05 PM   #1
Gretchen
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2006 ION-2 Sedan
Default Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Hi everyone!

New member here.

I'm hoping someone here can advise me:

I purchased my Ion 2 Sedan new in 2006 and took IMMACULATE care of it from Day 1. My to my chagrin, the timing chain suddenly broke while I was driving home on the freeway one night last week and completely destroyed the engine by the time I arrived.

There was NO noise or anything to indicate there was a serious problem at the time or I would have pulled over immediately. The only thing that seemed "off" was it didn't feel as though it had as much get-up-and-go as usual and a check-engine light appeared on the dash which (according to my mechanic) was totally unrelated to the timing chain issue.

My question is this: even though the car is 12 years old, do I have any recourse through GM?

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Old 12-20-2017, 02:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
do I have any recourse through GM?
i don't think so. they owe you nothing after warranty expires.

on the other hand, good mechanic should have advised you that there was a TSB on that defective chain tensioner and it should have been replaced (part cost $40).

...
fixed/replaced so far: side mirror, window trims x4, trunk floor, radiator bushing, alternator, starter, LCA x2, sway bar bushings x2, end links x2, timing chain tensioner, O2 sensor.

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Old 12-20-2017, 02:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Hi jacek_p,

Thanks for your reply. Wow...I've been with the same mechanic for YEARS and he's never let me down before. This really stinks.

The worst part is, I sank $2,600 into this car not two months ago having the transmission rebuilt. Since it still seemed to be running great, I also went ahead invested another $800 having the paint touched up and the inside & outside detailed. It looks almost as clean as the day I bought it and now it's of no use to me.

I'm now driving a new Fiat (I got a GREAT year-end deal on a floor model for zero down) and am looking at having the Saturn towed away. What a mess!

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Old 12-20-2017, 02:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

I'm not finding a TSB or a recall on the timing chain for the 2006 ION. It seems like they only addressed it with previous models up to and including 2005.

Last edited by Gretchen; 12-20-2017 at 02:57 PM..

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Old 12-20-2017, 03:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Since your car and mine share the same engine I'm curious to know: what mileage interval did you follow for your oil changes?

...
284,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 12-20-2017, 05:50 PM   #6
Gretchen
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Hi pierrot,

I'd have to look up my service records at home to tell you exactly, but I followed my mechanics recommendations to the letter. I would say, on average, about twice a year.

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Old 12-21-2017, 01:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
......I followed my mechanics recommendations to the letter. I would say, on average, about twice a year.
Thank you for the reply. For the sake of discussion, I'll assume the average on the oil changes was twice per year. The car is eleven years old with 115K miles, so the average interval between oil changes would be somewhat over 5,200 miles. (It's unlikely that you would've had only one oil change in a given year.)

Do you have a Saturn Factory Maintenance schedule inside of your owner's handbook? The oil change intervals are shown there along with related footnotes. Would you please tell us how it reads? The interval will vary - usually shortened - depending on the factors related to your driving conditions: esp. day time temps, highway and/or street driving.

...
284,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 12-21-2017, 01:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacek_p View Post
i don't think so. they owe you nothing after warranty expires.

on the other hand, good mechanic should have advised you that there was a TSB on that defective chain tensioner and it should have been replaced (part cost $40).
How could said good mechanic provide said advice if they were not aware of the problem? The OP stated their vehicle didn't exhibit any symptoms. I don't know any mechanic that proactively looks for TSBs for their customers' vehicles without an issue that would warrant it. Most don't even check for recalls unless they work at a dealership.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
Hi jacek_p,

Thanks for your reply. Wow...I've been with the same mechanic for YEARS and he's never let me down before. This really stinks.

The worst part is, I sank $2,600 into this car not two months ago having the transmission rebuilt. Since it still seemed to be running great, I also went ahead invested another $800 having the paint touched up and the inside & outside detailed. It looks almost as clean as the day I bought it and now it's of no use to me.

I'm now driving a new Fiat (I got a GREAT year-end deal on a floor model for zero down) and am looking at having the Saturn towed away. What a mess!
Why was the transmission rebuilt? That seems like a premature failure for the 4T45E [automatic] transmission. They usually last far longer than that - even with no fluid changes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
Thank you for the reply. For the sake of discussion, I'll assume the average on the oil changes was twice per year. The car is eleven years old with 115K miles, so the average interval between oil changes would be somewhat over 5,200 miles. (It's unlikely that you would've had only one oil change in a given year.)

Do you have a Saturn Factory Maintenance schedule inside of your owner's handbook? The oil change intervals are shown there along with related footnotes. Would you please tell us how it reads? The interval will vary - usually shortened - depending on the factors related to your driving conditions: esp. day time temps, highway and/or street driving.
The owners manual for the Ion doesn't include a really detailed maintenance schedule. It just breaks the maintenance schedule into 25,000 mile intervals for big things like changing the spark plugs or changing the transaxle fluid.

Like most other GM vehicles since the early 2000s, the manual just says to have the oil changed when the Engine Oil Life System (EOLS) tells you to or once a year - whichever comes first. It specifically says to have the oil changed "as soon as possible within the next 600 miles" of the CHG OIL message appearing.

The algorithm used for EOLS in the Ions often yields oil change intervals of 6000 miles or more. Mileage and time are not factored into the algorithm. This is why they recommend at least one oil change per year regardless of the EOLS status. Personally, I would not go more than 5,000 miles between oil changes unless you are using synthetic oil and a good quality oil filter (read: the cheapest option at the quicklube place will not suffice).

...
2007 Ion 2 Quad Coupe 5-speed manual 177K miles
2007 Chevy Equinox LT 180K miles

Last edited by ruley73; 12-21-2017 at 01:54 PM..

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Old 12-21-2017, 04:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Recommended oil change by Saturn was by oil life monitor. Depending on driving habits probably would average somewhere in the 7500 mile range.

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Old 12-21-2017, 05:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Gretchen, while it's too late to ask, do you check your oil level in between oil changes? GM uses the 2.2L Ecotec engines in many models with few issues.

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Old 12-21-2017, 09:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Gretchen, while it's too late to ask, do you check your oil level in between oil changes? GM uses the 2.2L Ecotec engines in many models with few issues.
Yes, I do.

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Old 12-21-2017, 09:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

[QUOTE= Why was the transmission rebuilt? That seems like a premature failure for the 4T45E [automatic] transmission. They usually last far longer than that - even with no fluid changes.]

Thanks for your comments, ruley73. I donít recall exactly what was wearing out on with the transmission, but my mechanic STRONGLY recommended it. It didnít sound like something that could wait.

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Old 12-24-2017, 01:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Timing chains cna go out just like that with no warning at all, is what I've been told by a few mechanics. Im thinking mines is going to give out on me. Engine light has been on for years and mechanics can't seem to pinpoint what it is smh. Was told my water pump needs replaced and it needs a special tool for the job and involves removing the timing chain

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Old 12-24-2017, 02:11 AM   #14
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

If you're referring to an ECOTEC 2.2L, or 2.4L engine then,
Quote:
Originally Posted by that1man View Post
Timing chains cna go out just like that with no warning at all, is what I've been told by a few mechanics.
That is true. As an anecdotal fact, the timing chain components on my engine are the factory originals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by that1man View Post
Im thinking mines is going to give out on me. Engine light has been on for years and mechanics can't seem to pinpoint what it is smh.
Yes, maybe your timing chain will fail soon, or maybe it won't. It's your call if you wish to replace it at any time. The engine light is probably not associated with a timing chain concern. Have your mechanics ever told you what DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) were present when the system was checked with a scanner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by that1man View Post
......Was told my water pump needs replaced and it needs a special tool for the job
Correct: when removing the water pump a special tool is required for holding the water pump pulley and the balance shaft chain - which drives the water pump - in place. Tool item: OTC #6616. The caveat to this is that without the use of the tool then the balance shaft shaft gears and chain must be re-set and, as it were, re-timed. It may also require the removal of the timing chain to do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by that1man View Post
and involves removing the timing chain
Incorrect. Removal of the timing chain is absolutely not required to replace the water pump. It is a completely separate repair operation.

...
284,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 12-24-2017 at 02:22 AM..

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Old 12-31-2017, 12:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

You can't change your oil enough. I change every 2 months with full synthetic and additive

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Old 01-04-2018, 08:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ion 2 Broken Timing Chain at 115,000 miles

Knowing what I know now, my recommendation would be to replace the timing chain and all related components... plus the water pump at 100,000 mile intervals. I would also use 100% synthetic oil (Walmart brand is fine). I believe you could keep one of these engines running trouble-free for many years and probably over 300,000 miles. 90% of the people won't do this.
Chains were touted as being superior to belts, but in some cases, they are no more reliable than timing belts.

...
John.... 2006 Saturn Vue, 2.2, 186,000 miles Recently junked out - (threw a rod)

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