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Old 09-20-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
David 93 SL2m
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: North America
Posts: 3,594

2004 VUE 2.2L
2007 ION-3 Sedan
Dazed Changed 4-cylinder engine oil, now have ticking noise

After changing the oil and oil filter, my once quiet 2004 VUE's 4-cylinder Ecotec engine now has a very noticeable rattling sound, similar to a diesel engine or (gasp) a Saturn S-Series engine with a timing chain that is about to fail. The noise is heard when the engine is idling, and probably at most RPMs. It is definitely there when the engine is cold. I don't know if it is there when the engine is at normal operating temperatures because I am hesitant to drive it. I am pretty sure that the noise is coming from the engine as it sounds louder when idling with the hood raised. The oil level is fine. I unscrewed the oil filter canister cover and the oil filter was saturated with oil and not crushed or anything. The only thing unusual with this last oil change is when I rotated the wheels, the rear wheels were "rusted' in place and the only way I could loosen them was to tap the tires from underneath the vehicle with a rubber mallet. (Afterward I put a thick coat of anti-seize compound on the parts of the wheels that touch the brake rotors, brake drum housing, hub, etc.)

Has anybody experienced this before? If so, what was the cause and what was the solution?

Background: this is a 2004 VUE with the 4-cylinder Ecotec engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. The odometer is at 75,000 miles (about 120,700 km). Since buying the vehicle pre-owned already with 50,000 miles (about 80,500 km) on the odometer, I have been changing the oil every 5,000 miles (about 8,000 km) using Mobil-1 0W30 synthetic oil and Saturn OEM oil filters. Until this last oil change the engine has been quiet and very smooth. It hasn't burned any oil as far as I can tell. The exhaust system is original. It does not rattle when I grab the tailpipe and shake it around. The transmission is fine and is filled with Mobil-1 synthetic ATF. The wheels are original aluminum alloys.

Thanks in advance!

∙ 2004 VUE 124K
∙ 2007 ION3 112K
∙ 1993 SL2 212K
∙ 1993 SC2 140K
∙ 1996 SC2 157K
∙ 1996 SC2 126K
∙ 2001 SC2, 145K
∙ 2002 L200 20K
∙ 2002 SL1 129K


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