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More GS problems- new loud noise under acceleration/vibration

DarrinStephens

Buick Newbie
16
12
3
Fort Worth, Texas
Buick Ownership
2012 Buick Regal GS, 6MT
I decided not to do the water pump when I replaced mine. It just seemed like a lot of work to replace a part that might last the life of the car.
I found that the balancer shaft chain guide that is pressed by the tensioner was broken. I replaced all the chains, tensioners and guides. I also replaced the spark plugs and the serpentine belt while I was in there.
I did it myself, with the engine in the car. I had the front motor mount off and raised and lowered the engine with a jack to get certain bolts out past the frame rail. I spent $199.15 on all the parts.
Before I did the job, I noticed both a ticking/rattling noise at the front of the engine and a strange harmonious hum similar to a twin-engine airplane with the engines out of sync. I'm sure that was from the balance shaft chain having slipped.
She's got just over 189,000 miles now. 44776207_1989244667802889_8166831668544405504_o (2).jpg
 

sdebon85

Buick Newbie
19
7
3
Buick Ownership
12 GS
UPDATE!


So I went ahead with the job and am I ever thankful I did.

First thing the mechanic says to me is. "I don't know how your engine didn't blow, the chain should have skipped a couple teeth." They wouldn't fix it at first as the mechanic could not replicate the issue. So I brought it back a few weeks later and decided to go ahead with it regardless. Turns out, the guide that the Balance Shaft Tensioner push's on to keep the chain taught broke in half after a hard sunday drive and then the first temperature drop of the fall. I did get a bit of luck as once the mechanic opened it up and saw what was going on called my warranty company and started a claim for me and what was going to be around $1200 CDN only ended up costing $325.

She drives good as new now!
 

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CincySpeedRacer

Full Member
77
3
8
Cincinnati
Buick Ownership
2013 Buick Regal GS 6M
Add another one to the list. Had the vibration and low rumble mentioned by others. Balance chain guide had broken. Car has 63k miles, and all maintenance done on schedule (oil changes every 5,000 miles, essentially twice a year based on my typical annual mileage). With my high pressure fuel pump failure just 6 months ago, that’s 2 high dollar repairs in a 6 year old car with fairly low mileage. Disappointing, because I really enjoy driving this car and was looking at a new GS as a possible replacement next spring.

Appreciate all of the information in this thread, as I had already braced myself for the call from the dealer with the bad news.
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swhoops21

New member
2
1
3
Buick Ownership
2012 Buick Regal GS
By chance when you were having these issues did the engine hold the rpms while pressing the clutch over 2000 rpms. Also did it feel like there was a blockage in the exhaust with the lag in acceleration. trying to see if I have the same issue going on. Definitely have the loud engine noise and vibration in pedal and shifter.
 

CincySpeedRacer

Full Member
77
3
8
Cincinnati
Buick Ownership
2013 Buick Regal GS 6M
By chance when you were having these issues did the engine hold the rpms while pressing the clutch over 2000 rpms. Also did it feel like there was a blockage in the exhaust with the lag in acceleration. trying to see if I have the same issue going on. Definitely have the loud engine noise and vibration in pedal and shifter.
I don’t recall the engine holding rpms, but I can’t say for certain it wasn’t doing that. Yeah, at times it felt like there was an exhaust issue, and even the dealer said that might be the problem (just their guess when I described the symptoms).
 

G-614869

i have a 2017 regal T and i am also noticing this issue,, seems sometimes during hard acceleration about 4,000 to redline it will have a really bad sound and vibration coming from the car , does not do it all the time , i will update if i decided to address the issue
 

swhoops21

New member
2
1
3
Buick Ownership
2012 Buick Regal GS
Just an update. Took it to the dealer and had a similar remedie to whats already listed. full timing chain service with components and high pressure fuel pump replacement. Had it back for about 5k miles and runs great. No noise or vibration, acceleration is back. Cost was about $2500 for dealer service.
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CLE12GS

Junior Member
156
37
28
Cleveland
Buick Ownership
2012 Buick GS
UPDATE!


So I went ahead with the job and am I ever thankful I did.

First thing the mechanic says to me is. "I don't know how your engine didn't blow, the chain should have skipped a couple teeth." They wouldn't fix it at first as the mechanic could not replicate the issue. So I brought it back a few weeks later and decided to go ahead with it regardless. Turns out, the guide that the Balance Shaft Tensioner push's on to keep the chain taught broke in half after a hard sunday drive and then the first temperature drop of the fall. I did get a bit of luck as once the mechanic opened it up and saw what was going on called my warranty company and started a claim for me and what was going to be around $1200 CDN only ended up costing $325.

She drives good as new now!
Did you also replace the bolts as well?
 

RIP98GTP

Full Member
85
1
8
Philly PA
Buick Ownership
2012 Regal GS
Hi Everyone! Happy Holidays 2019! I have a few quick question... Is there an updated more bullet proof timing set (not plastic) out there? Also, is the set from ZZP better or the same as the one that you can get from say Rock Auto? I read through the thread and I did read that someone had the tech use his scan tool to verify the chain was out of alignment - would anyone know what the test was so I can tell the dealer to do it rather than pulling the valve cover? I would assume that the valve cover pull would be a 100% verifiable check of the issue.
I just had the trans and engine mounts done the symptoms are still there as noted in this thread. I'm at 68k miles and don't want to put a new engine in. Thanks for the feedback in advance!
 

HotZ28

Full Member
7,398
486
83
Buick Ownership
1996 Roadmaster Limited Collectors Edition 58k - 1996 PAU
That timing chain looks like my old bicycle chain, doomed to fail, especially with a plastic tensioner. I can't believe they are still building engines with such weak cam drive parts! If you suspect the chain/tensioner is going bad, you can look at the timing on the scanner. If it is fluctuating @ lower rpm, you have a timing chain/tenisoner issue!
 
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RoscoDog

Buick Newbie
7
0
1
Colorado
Buick Ownership
'12 Buick Regal GS manual
HI, Just found this post researching the same issue. I would describe my symptoms exactly like the original post did. Last year I had the timing chain replaced but they didn’t do anything for the balance shaft components. I have around 63k on my car now. I took it in last Friday and I got the everything checks out fine response but as soon as I started it up I knew it was still there. Thing is I have a dash cam. When they took it for the test drive they had my stereo blasting, so how could they listen and feel if my car was behaving normally. Also, I can’t repeat on here the language they used to describe me when they were working on it but lets just say they don’t think I know how to drive my car and that they think they need to take me out and teach me. I’m fuming mad so bad right now I don’t know how to handle it even. I’ve been going to this dealership since ‘96, not anymore I think.
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Regal GS

New member
1
0
1
Buick Ownership
2012 Regal GS
Hi guys.

I have a 2012 GS with 110000 Kms on it. It was doing a similar thing to what has been described here many times. A vibration noise coming from the passenger side at 1500 rpm under a slight load which would disappear at 2000 rpm. A couple of weeks ago i had the local dealership do the service described in the previous posts. The timing chain and balance chain and all associated parts were replaced. Unfortunately the noise didn’t go away. Anyone have a similar thing happen. The dealership has been cooperative and the technician fully agrees the noise is there and isn’t normal but no idea what it is. He called GM and they weren’t of any help. There is a suspicion it has something to do with a vibration caused by the fuel system but no idea how to fix it. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

RIP98GTP

Full Member
85
1
8
Philly PA
Buick Ownership
2012 Regal GS
Hello Everyone and Happy New Year to you and yours!

So I took the car in to the dealer and gave them some direction to look in to the balance chain and the vibration that can be felt in the steering wheel and shifter and after they had the car 2 days they are telling me that it the turbo that is failing. I just had the turbo replaced at about 45k miles and now at 68k its failing again? I have to call BS on that unless they are Junk. So I was told I could replace the turbo or drive it until it fails - if there is no SES light - the tech does not have a course of action. Now I have the service manuals and when I looked in to the diag for the balance shaft the book tells you to check the tensioner for damage and replace if needed. It also states to confirm oil viscosity for correction operation. There was no note of any of this being done. Who at GM thought it was a good idea to not put a sensor on the balancer assuming that the tech would be competent enough to realize that the engine is not in balance. I read through this thread and I see that the solenoids is something that should be tried to be repalced to get the vibration to stop and the exhaust side was replaced with the turbo at 45k and back at 66k the intake side was done. So, with that said I need a clear course of action - should I march in and tell them to pull the valve cover and use their eye balls to look at the chain? I am not excited to go to another shop and tell them the problem and they see $$$ and tell me that the problem is worse figuring that I am made of money. I plan on calling the dealer the start of the week and see if the service manager thinks that the turbo has enough rotating mass to vibrate the whole car but be quiet as a mouse.
 

Walt G

Full Member
837
55
28
25 miles SW of Chicago
Buick Ownership
'12 Regal GS
It's becoming clear that if these engines suddenly experience a large increase in NVH, but still seem to run fine (power, fuel economy, etc.), it's the balance shaft chain tensioner that has failed, allowing that chain to skip, and causing the vibration because the balance shafts are no longer doing their job.

This failure will NEVER cause a MIL... the MIL is for emissions faults only (by law)... an out of balance engine is not an emissions failure. GM could have still put a sensor on that system for the sole purpose of diagnostics, and just turned on some other warning other than the MIL, but there's no way any OEM would spend that money. They screwed up the design and it fails... that's the real problem.

It also can't be checked by pulling the valve cover. There are two chains... the one that drives the camshafts is the only one that goes up to the valve cover area, but that one also would affect emissions if it was out of time, so if that chain skips, you likely will get a MIL.

The balance shaft chain doesn't go up that high, but I think there is a relatively easy way to check if the tensioner is completely broken.

These engines have a small circular cover on the larger main timing chain cover, over the water pump sprocket area. It's there so that the water pump sprocket can be removed from the water pump and held in place while the water pump is removed from the back, without having to remove the main timing chain cover.

The balance shaft chain drives the two balance shafts and the water pump.

So, if you pull that little water pump sprocket cover off and simply check how much you can rotate the water pump back and forth you can tell if your tensioner is broken. If that tensioner is NOT broken, it won't rotate at all (chain will be under max tension... it is spring loaded with oil pressure reducing the pressure on the chain when the engine is running). If that tensioner is broken, you'd be able to 'wiggle' the water pump sprocket clockwise/counterclockwise a little due to all the slack in the chain... I think that would be a pretty good test a mechanic could do fairly easily.

The car is out of warranty, so I'd avoid the dealer for sure. Find a local mechanic and have him take a look.

I hope it works out for you.
 
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