Cam Chain Horror Stories Clarification Please!



I've heard lots of horror stories about cam chain failure and the cost of replacement.
Some say it is only on the early models.
Some say that it is only on the 1.5 engine. (Oh no, I'm begining to sound like Jeremy Clarkson... lock me up.)
Some say the problem exists across the range and has never been resolved and that the replacement chains are just as bad. (Throw away the key.)
Given the number of Almeras sold there are bound to be failures but given the number of comments on the issue there has to be more than a grain of truth... I'm getting really really paranoid about it now.
I'm waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat... (sorry, wrong site wrong thread).

Is there a definitive answer anywhere?
How many mm stretch to expect per 10000miles, for example? (Does it work like that?)
How high does the adjuster sit on initial installation? Are rattles a fair indicator or not? (I don't have any.)
Is it just a lottery and I need to go and shoot me a rabbits foot?
(2006 1.8 sxe 38000miles FSH)


Staff member
The accepted affected models are the phase 1 (early model N16) with the 1.5 engine, so your phase 2 1.8 should be absolutely fine, especially if you continue to look after it.

The only way so tell really is if the chain tensioner is at the end of it's travel and has no more adjustment to properly tension the chain, hence making the car sluggish etc. IIRC you can see the tensioner with the rocker cover off, there has been something on here to say how far out it can be.

Hopefully they went back to the design and producer of the N15 chain, as I have never heard of one of them stretching or needing to be replaced.
think really it depends on how often you service and a bit is pot luck.
i have a 1.5 and its still running strong.
first sign usually is struggle to start, rattling chain and ofter cam position sensor fault code. Often the fault code is actually just a faulty sensor ive had this)


All cars have faults and no car is perfect. my n16 is on 160000 and still pulls like a train and because you can pick up a almera n16 from £400 upwards
with T&T its very cheap motoring.
When my car dies i will just go and get a another n16.
Have fun and dont worry to much just enjoy the car.


Thanks everyone, pulse rate just about back to normal.
I will make sure the maitenance is attended to frequently with plenty of top quality oil, and put it to the back of my mind.
I dont need to change the oil, just keep topping it up... It'll burn thru all its oil in about 3.5k :lol:
Steve the master nissan tech, said the problem wasn`t the chain, but the extended service intervals of the N16.

1. If this is the case then why is the part number and visual look of the chain different (beefyer) when it is replaced?

2. My W reg N16 1.5 had around 50k on it (6 years old) and had been serviced 5 times (by Nissan) and still went...
the qg15 chain was superceeded in early/mid 2001 to the same partnumber as the qg18 chain, (i will post the proper date of change when i put on my big machine and run fast) so you can safely say from late 2001 onwards the chain isn't as much of a worry, but still this is no excuse for not using proper servicing intervals :)


Just chillin'
think really it depends on how often you service and a bit is pot luck.
I think its part pot luck to be honest more than anything else
I had my 1.5 from Nissan as a ex-demo or ex-staff car (it was owned by Nissan I know that) it came with 14000ish miles and it was 2 years old, I had full main dealer Service History up to about 45k after that I started serviced it every 6-7k till the engine gave up at 75k-ish

it was pulling a lot of weight around and the gearbox seal was leaking then when I came round to fixing it the symptom started, hard to start came along I knew as soon as this happening that the timing chain is at fault. I changed the Cam position sensor twice but that never sorted it out so I left the poor QG to die with constantly low gearbox oil (I was at nunny 2010 Xmas meet and the engine was about to die then). it was hard to start and then one day I fired it and it would not start at all. I cranked it over on and off for about 45 mins and then my batteries died out. This is when I got my dad to tow me home. on the way home I bump started it. it started but as soon as I turn off the ignition I could not start it again
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