Tundra is a pickup truck with a 5.7-liter powerful engine that is best for towing and off-roading. The timing chain is the engine part that synchronizes the camshaft and crankshaft speed for idling. The timing chain tensioner is the small part mounted with the timing chain to maintain its tension over the pulley.
Tundra 5.7 timing chain tensioner noise can be due to a worn-out tensioner, loose chains, engine overheating, stretched springs, high viscous oil, junk accumulation, lack of lubrication, broken chains, and contaminated oil.
I also faced the issue in my pickup truck while driving. Last weekend, I was returning home and suddenly heard the rattling sound from the engine compartment with the engine backfiring and check engine light on the screen.
I called the mechanic, and he told me about the failure of the timing chain tensioner, which led to poor tension of the metal chain. Loose chains affect the vehicle’s performance and cause ignition and acceleration problems.
|Avoid frequent acceleration and deceleration
|Tighten the timing chain
|Check coolant levels
|Use oil of correct viscosity
|Junk accumulation on the tensioner
|Use oil additives to remove impurities
|Poor lubrication of tensioner
|Change oil after specific mileage
You can hear the rattling sound because of the worn-out timing chain tensioner. It is vulnerable to failure because of its age and extended use.
In addition, the issue comes when you do not maintain your Toyota Tundra after a long trip. It is necessary to perform the routine inspection and maintenance of several components after off-roading trips to reduce the risk of damage and increase the life span of different parts.
A damaged and worn-out tensioner cannot provide the proper tension to the timing chain for its smooth movement over the pully, which leads to uneven sounds.
This part has a specific life span, and you have to replace it after covering the specific mileage. High mileage increases their risk of damage.
Moreover, aggressive driving, including frequent acceleration and deceleration, also strains their components. A tight timing chain also exerts pressure on the tensioner and increases its breaking chances.
It is necessary to check the engine mounts because excessive vibrations from the engine cause the problem. Avoid accelerating and decelerating frequently to reduce the stress on these components.
The primary function of the tensioner is to maintain the tension of the timing belt to enhance the vehicle’s performance and reduce hard starting and idling issues.
Sometimes, the timing chain becomes loose because of its continuous working and vibrations from the uneven roads. Noise is from the engine compartment of your vehicle because of the loose chains.
The chain becomes loose when it comes out from the pulley. It also becomes loose because of wear and tear of internal components.
You have to quickly fix the loose chain because it damages the engine and is unsafe for further driving. It causes misfiring in the engine, leading to power loss and poor acceleration.
You can tighten and loosen the timing chain by rotating the eccentric. You should tighten it properly so it cannot come off from the pulley. Avoid overtightening to reduce their sticking issue.
The high temperature of the Tundra engine parts affects the timing chain tensioner. The metal part expands and contracts according to the surrounding temperature.
The high temperature from the engine causes expansion of this part, directly affecting their overall performance and loud rattling noise.
The engine can overheat because of low coolant levels and their leakage. In addition, it can also heat because of a lack of lubricant or engine oil. Friction and continuous rubbing of the metal part produce friction, which generates heat.
Moreover, the engine temperature also increases because of the high outside temperature and continuous driving. I also faced the same issue while on a long trip last year. I drove my truck for consecutive 9 hours without any breaks.
I heard a loud noise from the engine and stopped on the side of the road to check the motor mounts. I thought the rattling noise came from the broken engine mounts, but those were attached correctly.
I called my friend who works at the dealership to get guidelines from him. He told me to stop there for a few hours and wait until the engine cools down completely.
I did the same, and the rattling noise disappeared when I started driving again. He told me an issue in his pickup came because of the expansion of the tensioner.
The time chain also becomes faulty because of the stretching of its spring. Spring stretching is directly proportional to the stretching of the timing chain.
Timing chain stretching issues occur when it comes off from the pulley. In addition, the overtightening of the timing chain increases the risk of stretching its spring to maintain the tension.
It can also stretch because of broken pins and plates that are connected with metal chains. People usually face the issue because of the lack of maintenance of this component.
You should maintain it regularly and stop driving when you hear the rattling sound from the front side of your Toyota Tundra.
Timing chain tensioners need oil for their smooth functioning and lubrication. You can hear the noise because of the lack of lubrication and maintenance.
Harsh rubbing of metal material leads to the production of uneven noise during driving. My friend also faced the issue because of using the wrong lubricant. He told me he lubricated the tensioner regularly to decrease their wear-out chances but still faced the problem.
I recommended that he check the viscosity of the oil he used for lubrication. He realized he was using highly viscous oil, which was not moving between the tensioner components.
It is necessary to use oil with the correct viscosity. Moreover, you should add additives in oil in winter to maintain its viscosity.
Junk accumulation on the tensioner
Timing chain tensioners cannot work efficiently and start producing rattling noise because of junk accumulation on their parts. Junk can build up on their parts because of a lack of routine maintenance.
In addition, you can also face issues because of the use of low-quality oils. Moreover, when it comes in contact with the tensioner, lubricant with metal shavings interrupts its functioning.
You can also face problems because of grime and dirt deposits on their surface. You should use the additives to dissolve the contaminants and impurities in oil.
Poor lubrication of tensioner
Tensioner needs lubrication to maintain the stretching of the timing chain according to the crankshaft and camshaft movement. It produces a rattling noise when you do not lubricate it properly.
Lack of lubrication comes when you use oil of the wrong viscosity and it does not move between their parts correctly. Moreover, you can face problems when you forget to lubricate this part and do not have sufficient knowledge about it.
You should use a high-quality lubricant in Tundra 5.7 to grease their parts and decrease the risk of corrosion, which comes because of the presence of impurities in engine oil. One of my friends told me that he used the seafoam for lubrication, and the noise from his truck disappeared.
It is necessary to use the correct type of oil for tensioner lubrication. Many people use low-quality oil in Tundra 5.7, which contains several impurities and contaminants.
These can also contain abrasive particles that increase the risk of wear and tear on this part. Moreover, damaged timing chains also stress the tensioner.
Oil contamination occurs because of the rubbing of metal material that produces metal shavings. Small metal shavings mix with the oil and cause abrasion.
It works harder to maintain their tension over the pulley. Avoid using contaminated oil; changing the oil after a certain mileage is better.