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2014 ATS 3.6L Luxury - KPE Tune + Axle back exhaust
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Discussion Starter #1
A fellow member asked whether I considered replacing the timing chain on my 2014 ATS Luxury 3.6L LFX engine with just under 100K miles. I had not but did some internet research (LOL) and came across several threads of early LFX engines had timing chain issues. As I understand it GM "solved" the issue starting with 2014 engines. GM changed the type/sizing of timing chain. Also, there were suggestions of changing oil more frequently than what the Oil-Life Monitor says, like every 5K miles. Given the high mileage on my ATS I have a couple questions.

1. Does the timing chain issue apply to my 2014 ATS? Any added info is welcome!

2. My ATS runs great but now worried about the chain going bad - Is this likely? I'm thinking increasing the oil change frequency, like when the OLM shows 50%, as a preventative measure.

Any input/feedback welcome and appreciated.

Thanks, Denys
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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2,864 Posts
Denys,

The timing chain issue (actually the major problems were the tensioners and guides) went back to the prior iteration of this engine used primarily in the second gen CTS (RPO LLT). There was a design/parts specification issue that was made worse by the ridiculously long OLM calibration used for initial production which created oil sludge issues for the timing chain and supporting cast, GM was trying to compete with BMW for very long recommended oil change intervals with equally bad results. I had a 2008 CTS prior to my 2014 ATS and it was recalled to re-calibrate the OLM system and GM also extended the warranty coverage on certain timing components.

Had I actually followed the initial OLM calibration with my CTS, oil changes would have been in the 15K plus range but prior to the new OLM calibration I always did the first change at around 60% life and the second change at 20% and then reset the monitor. The new calibration resulted in miles/time intervals very similar to what I was using.

The LFX version of the 3.6 used in the ATS has a revised set of timing chain components and a reasonable oil change interval, GM made a running change with later production LLT design 3.6 but the timing chain/tensioner issues weren't truly corrected until the LFX version was released.

Timing chains ultimately wear out but if your car has had reasonable oil change intervals, it should make at least 150K before chain wear becomes an issue. Just be happy that GM uses a chain (or gear drive in some of their heavy duty engines like the Duramax diesel) rather than the timing belt used by some competitors where it is a regular maintenance item that is still prone to unexpected breakage resulting in engine carnage.

Rodger

A fellow member asked whether I considered replacing the timing chain on my 2014 ATS Luxury 3.6L LFX engine with just under 100K miles. I had not but did some internet research (LOL) and came across several threads of early LFX engines had timing chain issues. As I understand it GM "solved" the issue starting with 2014 engines. GM changed the type/sizing of timing chain. Also, there were suggestions of changing oil more frequently than what the Oil-Life Monitor says, like every 5K miles. Given the high mileage on my ATS I have a couple questions.

1. Does the timing chain issue apply to my 2014 ATS? Any added info is welcome!

2. My ATS runs great but now worried about the chain going bad - Is this likely? I'm thinking increasing the oil change frequency, like when the OLM shows 50%, as a preventative measure.

Any input/feedback welcome and appreciated.

Thanks, Denys
 

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Registered
2014 ATS 3.6L Luxury - KPE Tune + Axle back exhaust
Joined
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Rodger,

Thanks for the thorough reply - I wouldn't expect anything else from you! :)

"Just be happy that GM uses a chain (or gear drive in some of their heavy duty engines like the Duramax diesel) rather than the timing belt used by some competitor " - I am happy about this!

My son's have 2005 Audi 4s and they have been troublesome.

Thanks again,
Denys
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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2,864 Posts
Thank you for you kind comment and you are very welcome! I can't remember the car model but one of my colleagues had one with the change timing belt warning light that came on at a certain mileage. He was on a long summer trip and made it 1,200 miles beyond the time interval and he got an expensive education about what "interference engine" means bringing his relaxing vacation to a premature conclusion.

And I really appreciate your post detailing your maintenance experience with your ATS, it is a very useful post. I keep Excel maintenance sheets for my current vehicles but those are fortunately so far just filled with standard service interval maintenance items and I just started one for the new diesel generator. I had my daughter set up the sheet for that one since she will soon be driving and also a future car owner and I want her to get into the habit of keeping up with maintenance and also the associated records.

Rodger


Hi Rodger,

Thanks for the thorough reply - I wouldn't expect anything else from you! :)

"Just be happy that GM uses a chain (or gear drive in some of their heavy duty engines like the Duramax diesel) rather than the timing belt used by some competitor " - I am happy about this!

My son's have 2005 Audi 4s and they have been troublesome.

Thanks again,
Denys
 
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