2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier) - Maintenance Forum

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2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Thursday, November 11, 2004 8:34 AM
Although the GM information on the 2.2 Ecotec motor design suggests it was designed to be a quiet motor, I find that the valve train is noisy at low RPMs. My colleague here at work has a 2004 Saturn Ion with same motor and he finds this as well.

Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 1:01 PM
I have noticed the same thing with my new Sunfire ( with the 2.2 Ecotec), but I wouldn't say that it is the valve train that is noisy. To me, it sounds like piston slap and I can understand why with this type of engine. However, when the engine is up to operating temperature, the noise disappears.

Other than this minor annoyance when I start it up, I don't have any problems with this engine ( at least not yet!!). I like the design of the engine..it makes a lot of sense, especially getting rid of an external gog-toothed timing belt.

I have heard plenty of piston slap in motorcycle engines ( with aluminium alloy pistons) and that too went away when the engines were up to temperature. I guess it's just the nature of the beast and something that we have to live with although it's no big deal.

Does the noise go away when your engine is up to operating temp. or does it remain? If it remains, then it's probably not piston slap and could be a timing chain problem which would be heard at any temperature. But there is a timing chain tensioner in the engine that should prevent any noise from the timing chain.

Hope this helps....Lionel
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Friday, November 19, 2004 8:57 PM
Lionel Smith wrote:

II have heard plenty of piston slap in motorcycle engines ( with aluminium alloy pistons) and that too went away when the engines were up to temperature. I guess it's just the nature of the beast and something that we have to live with although it's no big deal.

Piston slap is more promenent when cold. Because when metal heats up it expands. this lessens the clearence between the piston and cylinder walls. Generally cracked piston skirts or missing skirts cause piston slap.
Also, depending on the noise, it could be the injectors opening and closing (normal engine noise) a very slight ticking.
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Sunday, November 21, 2004 5:20 PM
The noise is very much like noisey valves in an older engine. It does not disappear on shorter drives even after the temperature guage suggests that the motor is up to full operating temperature.

However, it may be piston slap because I noticed that after a 50 mile drive this weekend, that I could no longer hear it when idling. (The engine was definitely up to full operating temperature.) I even listened with the window down and the car idling next to a concrete wall.
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Monday, November 22, 2004 5:19 AM
i have a valve clatter upon clutch engagement at low rpm's i think the valve guides are not within spec
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Monday, November 22, 2004 9:45 AM
Ry Ry Online
02 eco cavy here with 33,000 miles here and my car has done it for awhile. Do you think its the valve train or piston slap ......what about the timing chain ???? But im with all of you in the summer I cant barely even hear it but when it gets cold out its pretty noisy. Ive been to the a dealership (of course in the summer) and all he heard was the fuel injectors making the ticking sound. Could it be just an alumium engine thing?
Later
Redrider02
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Monday, November 22, 2004 12:55 PM
i still havent experienced this yet. the only noises my car makes is the injectors clicking when the motor is running and i am listening to it under the hood. thats about it.


Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Monday, November 22, 2004 1:36 PM
nova racer wrote:

i have a valve clatter upon clutch engagement at low rpm's i think the valve guides are not within spec

nah, your flux capacitor is going out. Get that thing into the dealership asap.
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Thursday, November 25, 2004 9:55 AM
Marty is the only guy the professor will let purchase a flux capacitor !
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Thursday, November 25, 2004 1:20 PM
In response to Importfightercavalier's message.........

I see that you have a 1997 cav. I believe that the new Ecotec engine didn't show it's face until sometime in 2002. ( correct me if I'm wrong). The engine you have in your car is a different configuration than the Ecotec and apparently does not have the same noise problems. However, I have heard that head gaskets are a problem with the other style engines.

I do find what I think might be piston slap to be annoying when the engine is cold and not up to operating temperature, but you have to consider the enginering of the Ecotec engine to understand why this could occur with a cold engine.

This is basically an all-alumium engine (with the exception of the steel liners in the cylinder bores) and that includes aluminum alloy pistons. All pistons, whether steel or aluminium alloy actually have a taper to them. The piston skirt is wider than the top or crown of the piston. Not by much, but enough to allow for the top part of the piston to expand when the engine heats up. Keeping in mind that alumium alloy has a greater coefficient of expansion that steel, the taper of an aluminium alloy piston is greater than that of a steel piston. The whole idea is to prevent a piston from seizing in the cylinder when the engine is hot.

When a piston comes to the top of it's travel, (because of the throw of the crankshaft ), the connecting rod now pulls the piston down instead of pushing it up (on the exhaust and intake stroke). When this happens, the piston, when cold, tends to rock slightly in the cylinder bore and causes the metallic clicking noise that we hear. On the power stroke, the pressure in the cylinder is much greater and this tends to make the noise even greater as the piston passes top dead center.

When the engine is hot and the clearances have decreased to where they should be at operating temperature, the noise tends to disappear because of the tighter fit.

So considering the fact that this engine is mostly alumium alloy, I guess this is something we have to learn to live with or go back to the old cast iron block and head 305 and 350 GM engines of years ago that ran forever and never made any noise. ( I personally have an 1984 chevy van with over 325,000 KM on it, and it runs so quiet that when idling, you can hardly hear it!) Mind you, being a mechanic, I have babied this van ( and also my other 1989 chevy van) so that I would expect these vechicles to run the way they do.

After I get passed the warranty period with my 2005 Sunfire, I will start to care for this car as well and hopefully it will last me a long time!

Have a great day.......Lionel
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Saturday, November 27, 2004 4:36 PM
Actually, the noisy Ecotec doesn't bother me much because I purchased extended power train warranty and I figure if something is wrong the motor will fail before the warranty expires.

I was a Ford man all my life but purchased the Cavalier because I hate the look of the Ford Focus and the GM price incentives couldn't be overlooked when I bought my 2004 Cavalier.

Thanks for the comments especially from the mechanic.

Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Saturday, November 27, 2004 10:39 PM
How is piston slap going to be different from your 86 van to an ecotec. I mean your van either has build in sleeves if cast iron, and the pistons would be a cast alluminum piece. I see no difference in the design of the engine other than the injectors clicking and making unwanted noise.

And like I said: piston slap comes from cracked or scored piston skirt. Which I doubt any ecotec has this.
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Monday, November 29, 2004 7:50 AM
Hi Tom,

Because the chevy van has an all cast iron engine, the tolerances between the crown of the pistons and the cylinder bore can be less because of the difference in the coefficient of expansion between steel alloy and aluminium alloy pistons. This reduced clearance results in less piston slap when the engine is cold. If an engine has enough wear in the cylinders and there is excessive clearance between the pistons and the cylinder walls, you would hear piston slap in this case.

In the case of my Ecotec, since the noise disappears when the engine gets hot, I can only attribute this noise as being piston slap for reasons I have already stated and not injector noise which would most likely be heard even after the engine is hot. The same with a timing chain, although timing chains tend to make more noise when cold, they still make noise even after coming up to temperature if the chain is in fact causing a problem.

As a point of interest, Kawasaki brough out a 4 clylinder 4 stroke engine back around 1974 which with the exception of fuel injection and 4 valves per cylinder, is almost identical the Ecotec engine. Same idea....enclosed timing chain, double overhead cams. Back then, each cylinder had a carburetor on it, since fuel injection wasn't being used at that time. Being air cooled, and not having a water jacket to mask the sound, piston slap on these engines was quite noticeable when cold. Also because of being air cooled, piston clearances were very critical to prevent piston seizure or excessive noise. These 900cc engines were quite a revolution in the motorcycle industry back then and my partner and I used to race these bikes on the drag strip and had good success with them. Mind you, these machines were modified by myself and my partner and were running on fuel and not gasoline. Just a bit of trivia........

Have a great day.....Lionel
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Monday, November 29, 2004 9:48 AM
thats maybe what i have right now on my Cavy. When cold the engine knocks and tend to disappear hot. On colder days I can definetly here it more since im going through winter....

Im going to lend my car to the dealer tonight and there going to check it tomorrow.

Is this something to take care right now or let it slowly blow ?!?!
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Saturday, December 11, 2004 3:48 PM
If you dont Use the same brand of gas every time you fill up that will also happen i have a 2004 ION and i dont hear any knocks at all.
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Friday, July 15, 2005 9:51 AM
LOL

My brain is going to explode. "Coefficiant" this and "Rate of expansion" that.

Your ecotec and the 1997 Cavalier both have what is known as a "dex-cool" cooling system. Not only does this system allow for an extremely long period of time of service before the engine coolant needs to be replaced, but it also allows the engine to achieve operating temperature much sooner; while maintaining the best form of heat dissipation available today. There are better methods, but none that allow the customer to control the interior environment of the vehicle as comfortably as this.

So to make a long story short, you need to either accept the fact that your entire engine compartment is not as hot as your engine itself anymore, or you need to go out and buy and old TBI model cavalier (like 1988 or so) where the huge single injector sounded like your engine was gonna' blow up.

That way you can either appreciate how quiet your car is now, or you can be thankful that your not spending all that money on gas just to let your car warm up first.

{{{[[PS]]}}} The initial startup piston slap in your ecotec is different from the piston slap in an 86 van, but I hope you don't go buying an 86 van just to see if it's true.
Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Tuesday, July 19, 2005 11:16 AM
Lionel Smith i now have a 2002 cavy with the 2.2 ecotec... and i have had this since november of 2004 so i had it when i made that post...




Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Thursday, August 25, 2005 7:37 PM
My 03 makes the ticking noise above 3000 rpm only when its in gear and I am WOT.
When idle I can hear what I think to be a slight lifter tick, but you can't here it inside the car.

Any idea what could be causing the ticking during WOT?, it does it wheter car is hot or cold and I have tried premium gas which doesn't make it go away. I think it has done this for a long time, like 20,000 miles or since I got it. It got more audible though recently when I put my header on.




Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Saturday, August 27, 2005 4:42 PM
BlackEco wrote:

My 03 makes the ticking noise above 3000 rpm only when its in gear and I am WOT.
When idle I can hear what I think to be a slight lifter tick, but you can't here it inside the car.

Any idea what could be causing the ticking during WOT?, it does it wheter car is hot or cold and I have tried premium gas which doesn't make it go away. I think it has done this for a long time, like 20,000 miles or since I got it. It got more audible though recently when I put my header on.
what oil are you using? i run amsoil ans mine is quiet. but it did smoke when i started it up in the morning. but that has quit also when it got around 15,000 miles. I think my motor is breaking in now it pull harder now also. I was not nice to my car either. when i picked it up it had 23miles on it and had it's first oil change around 60miles and again at 200,500,1000,1800 switched to royal purple,4,000, 7,000switched to amsoil, 11,000, 15,000 to date


see ya!

Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Sunday, August 28, 2005 5:56 AM
I had been running 10w30 mobile 1 last 5 oil changes, last oil change switched to 5w30 mobile one, no difference.



Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Monday, October 03, 2005 4:02 PM
This is something you guys with ticking noise might wanna try. I too had the same prob, which the dealer and a couple of shops told me was just piston slap and or valve noise and was normal and common with this engine and all aluminum engines. Well I said B/S to their thoughts due to the fact that it didn't start until after almost 35k on the car and most "normal" piston slap you will hear pretty much from day one. Well after checking the specs on the top end and bottom end and finding everything to be right on I finally checked what I now wished I'd checked first, the EXHAUST MANIFOLD!! Four of the studs on the passenger side were at less then a 3rd of their specified torque, and the rest were all below what they should be. So after a little thought it all made sense, the noise stopping after the car warmed up was actually the manifold gasket expanding with the heat thus sealing the leak, and the noise only being made under load was just the simple fact that more exhaust pressure creates more volume from the leak. So far I've talked with 3 other Eco owners in the area who were having this same prob and a simple loosening and re-torquing the manifold studs/bolts cured the prob....

Later
Skinny J


Tara, I will love and miss you forever, you will never be forgotten
http://tara-nagel.memory-of.com/




Re: 2.2 Ecotec Valves Noisy (2004 Cavalier)
Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:23 AM
i bet its the fuel injectors because they are kinda loud at idle....





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