2016 Nissan Serena Cam Timing

Erwin Owner/Technician Barbados Posted   Latest   Edited  
Resolved
Driveability
P0300 — Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
Start-Stalling

I have this 2016 Nissan Serena with a 2.0L direct injection engine with dual VVT and intake manifold runner, EGR valve. It starts and stalls when cold and idles lumpy when hot. The EGR valve was leaking, so it was temporary blocked off. The intake vacuum at idle fluctuates between 10 - 15 inHg. The cylinder pressure at idle is between 145 - 185 psi. 

Can a stretched timing chain cause the cylinder pressure to be so high at idle?

The exhaust is off, the EGR valve is blocked and the intake manifold smoke test was good (no leaks), and the throttle valve is closed.

Is there anything else that can caused the intake manifold pressure to be so high at idle.

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Dmitriy Analyst
Ontario
Dmitriy Resolution
 

Here is my interpretation: both IVO and IVC are late by about 30 deg, so the intake cam is retarded. Area A is vacuum inside the cylinder because the intake valve is still closed and the piston is going down. Area B shows the actual intake manifold pressure as the intake valve is open at that time. It is close to atmospheric, this is why the peak pressure is so high, even though the intake…

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Resolution
Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Dmitriy, I think you are on the right track. This is a condition we use to term as “pre-detonation”, in this case the compression is starting to take over the combustion process. Compression pressures are too high, 145-180 psi is to high on a running engine at idle. If he does a basic manual gauge compression test he will likely find them very high (with VVT unplugged). So a P0300 code is…

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin
   

Yes , this code is sets because of the erratic idle. If cleared and vehicle started it come right back. This is the only DTC present.

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Hi Glenn You've added some interesting points. I'd like to add to it if you don't mind. “The coils do not report misfires (some people do not realize this at times)” If I'm following what you're hinting at, there is slightly more to it than that. Misfire detection based on crankshaft acceleration can be enhanced (filtered for other events) by monitoring the coil loading. “Compression…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Jim, I don't mind at all, this is an open discussion forum to help others. His scope captures pictured specify that the VVT solenoids are disconnected so there is no phasing activity happening. His scope capture indicate a physical timing problem. If only 2 cylinder were effected, then I would consider other possible issues and would focus on just those 2 cylinders. If they were side by…

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Thanks Glenn A few thoughts using the 40,000 ft view. I'm not sure what to think of this situation at this point, but I find some things, that for me, need resolution. I am open to having missed something, it wouldn't be the first time :-) His scope capture indicate a physical timing problem. Yet a 2016 DI VVT engine isn't coding for correlation, target error, or slow response. The wildcard…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Jim, Ultimately, I think this will be determined at teardown inspection (if the customer desires to keep the vehicle). Erwin did good by conducting none evasive testing. In my area, some shops would have had this vehicle engine scattered and then press the customer into a very expensive “best guess” repair. Honestly, it does not hurt my feeling like it use to if a customer makes an informed…

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Hi Glenn I hope Erwin doesn't mind me taking a rabbit trail here. But it does apply I think, in the current context of needed tooling for these problems. I agree on the Pico comments. I have had a Pico for many years. I now have two since one came with my job position. I think I might even have a third one somewhere. It's a great tool. I don't use it often, but when I do it is typically for…

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin
   

I agree 100% about the Autel data recording feature being poor.

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin
 

I agree 100% about the Autel data recording feature being poor.

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Erwin, I would suspect a stretched/loose chain due to failed guides or tensioners. IVO is -33 degrees and EVC is +15, that does look like excess chain slack. There is so much trouble with aftermarket parts, I would not even consider suggesting them. However genuine parts can be found on Rock Auto or Parts geek for many vehicles Just make sure the part number is genuine and does not have…

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Erwin Do you ONLY have a P0300? What did you have in the way of cam timing and solenoid command numbers in your data stream? It seems a bit early to be taking stuff apart.

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin
   

Hi Jim, cam intake timing fluctuates constantly between 19 and 27 degrees at idle. The exhaust cam stays at zero. This engine is a very tight fit and has to be removed to checked the timing chain. It is a very costly job so I need to be sure before I approach the customer with an estimate. Also the timing chain part number (13028-5TA0A) for this van, I can find nowhere as yet. This vehicle…

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Erwin Just to follow up if that is ok… You stated the intake is fluctuating between 19 and 27° at idle. What is the solenoid command percentage at that time? The numbers need context (command). Thanks

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin
 

The intake VVT setup is different to the exhaust VVT. The exhaust uses a solenoid and oil pressure but the intake is a magnet actuator. The scan data only show the command for the exhaust solenoid. However, I know that the intake VVT fluctuation is being command by the computer. When the connector is disconnect and the engine is at idle or WOT, the cam timing does not change. I found some…

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Thanks Erwin Interesting, I did not know they used a magnetic actuator on the intake, but this apparently isn't a US engine. Took a while to match the bolt holes in the engine front cover with the other parts to figure out it works just like you stated :-) In your scan data picture showing 27° of advance, I'm assuming the actuator wiring was connected given what you wrote. Are you working with…

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin
 

Yes, but I have no data to confirm this. So my focus is in trying to understand the high intake manifold and cylinder pressure at idle. The only information I have is from a XTrail T32 with the same engine but using oil pressure on both solenoids

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Sadel Owner/Technician
Ohio
Sadel
 

Erwin, few questions to try and help… -which trace did you build math channel off of? ckp or incyl psi? -the picture with the incyl psi waveform, you have stated on there that the vvt was disabled for both intake and exhaust…. in doing so , did the complete waveform stay pretty much the same as far as the 156psi and the timing events for both intake and exh as in the cycle that you have…

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin
   

Hey Sadel, the math channel is off the ckp. Also, with the VVT both disconnected the compression is lower (142psi). The exhaust cam timing stays the same but the intake cam timing is retarded (about 26-27 deg). I did looked at the MAP and cyl pressure together but my lack of experience with having only one wps transducer did not enlighten my analysis. I also thought about the computer…

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Victor Owner/Technician
Florida
Victor
 

Simply remove timing cover and look for tensioner protusion of 11mm or more.

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin Update
   

Today I took a look at the cam and I can see that at 0.004inches the crank is about 34 deg ATDC. My question is, if the timing chain is stretched why does the exhaust cam timing appears to be correct? I see that if the crank it turned slightly anti-clockwise and then turned clockwise, only the exhaust cam moves. This maybe due to the tensioner releasing the chain tension but it seems to be a…

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin Update
 

I understand that this same VVT setup (magnetic Intake control) is in the Nissan Sentra 2020 car in the USA.

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Awesome ! Thank you, this is the first I've read concerning magnetic control of the intake timing. Cool stuff :-) Here is a small snippet from SI Electric VTC responds faster than hydraulic VTC and can extend the operation angle of the camshaft. It appears there is a considerable amount of monitoring going on.

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Roger Owner/Technician
Barbados
Roger
 

Are you able to check if they are any TSBs on this vehicle or engine variant because if it is truly low mileage it might be a software issue. Please post engine code

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin
   

Mr20dd 2.0l . Vin # GFC…

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin Update
   

I reassembled the vehicle and now the running characteristic has changed. We can see that by retarding the injection timing the Intake cam phasing is lowered. The idle speed is more stable and the calculated load and air flow is also lower, but the intake manifold pressure is still higher than normal.

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Jim Educator
California
Jim
 

Erwin Thank you for posting this. I know you were looking for help, yet I think you helped many others with your willingness to share. In an automotive world that often seems boring, I found this pretty cool.

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Jim, I would say 40 years ago or more, if this was handled in the typical independent shop environment back then, it would have been a bunch of old timers (usually) telling him to “go figure it out like I had to”. All the while they would be taking quiet bets on if he would fail or not. If he fell on his face they would get a chuckle. Some of the old ‘knuckle draggers’ could be quite cruel.

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin Update
 

Here are the new cylinder compression tests and the old ones for comparison. I can see that the computer strategy is responsible for the high cylinder pressure. Also, that this van at idle should have valve underlap as stated in the XTrail documentation. I believe that by turning the timing chain anti-clockwise made a change some how. I am now confident in removing the timing cover for…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hello Erwin, Make sure you study the service repair information. For any special tools required, be careful of bogus aftermarket tools. I have 2 junk kits for different engines that were poorly made. also if it requires new bolts for certain assemblies, buy them because they are 1 time use. They are torque to yield (TTY) if they are reused, they will fail. Loctite is never recommended for TTY…

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin Delay
 

Hopefully I can post a resolution here. Thanks for the help so far, it was great. I am grateful for all the response given, was very encouraging. As stated, I will have to do my research before going any further.

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin Update
   

I got to removed the timing cover today and timing chain tensioner protrusion is about 12mm. Both cams are late. Will have to order the timing parts directly from Japan.

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Roger Owner/Technician
Barbados
Roger
 

Well done

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Erwin Owner/Technician
Barbados
Erwin Update
 

Here is an update. This problem is not resolved. I got a timing chain, both rails and tensioner (all parts are genuine). Installed and remeasured tensioner protrusion and it is 11mm. Not much has changed. Should I have replaced the two VVT actuators and crankshaft gear? Will have to search for the correct information on this vehicle before going forward.

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Victor Owner/Technician
Florida
Victor
 

Tensioner protrusion can be altered​.​However look for worn cam and crank sprockets.

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