I'm hoping someone here can help me. My mechanic hasn't been able to
figure this one out. Its is long story but I'll try to be brief.
Basically, my 1998 Cavalier Z24 is making a loud noise. The noise
doesn't start right away after a cold start, but does start fairly
quickly after I start driving. The noise itself sounds like a chain
going around a gear/sprocket.
I recently had to replace my water pump (the second time I've had to
do this). Shortly after having the water pump replaced (a few days)
the car started sounding like a diesel. We took it in, and they
replaced the water pump yet again (apparently a factory dud).
After replacing it, they noticed that a different noise had started.
This noise sounds like a chain going around a gear/sprocket. I was
told it had something to do with a tensioner for the chain that is
used to drive the camshaft, that the tensioner was faulty and was
making the chain loose - thus the noise. They also said this was a
potential major problem is the chain were to get too loose and fly
off. They replaced the tensioner and chain, and we got the car back.
I have a 45minute highway drive home, and by the time I got the car
home the noise was back, loud as ever. Back to the garage I went.
They tried numerous things, like checking the engine oil pressure (I
guess the tensioner is hydraulic), etc. They just couldn't get the
noise to stop. They also lubed the power steering pump because they
noticed that the noise stops completely when the steering wheel is
turned slightly at a stop. It also went away when they gave it a bit
They claim that the car is fine mechanically, and that we will just
have to live with the noise (i.e. "It's an older car. Older cars
start to make noises after awhile."). They assured me that nothing
minor or major is wrong.
I'm not so sure. The noise seems to be getting louder. I'm reluctant
to take it back to the same shop, as they say they've tried everything
and have been in contact with GM and even they are stumped. But
taking it back there would be probono as it started after they
replaced the water pump.
I have also noted that same thing with the noise stopping after a bit
more throttle is used or when the steering wheel is turned slightly at
Has anyone else had this kind of problem with a cavalier? Would
anyone have any ideas about what is actually causing the noise?
Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!