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91 Sentra E
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I have searched the topic but still a little unsure. I have a 91 Sentra E with 1.6 engine with 207,000 miles and 4 speed manual. Upper tensioner has never been replaced and engine is original. Runs fine but I recently noticed a rattle on start up when cold. I changed oil (5w30) as it was overdue and rattle has stopped. Is my model year (1991) affected by this upper tensioner issue and should I replace it now?
Also will there be an upper chain guide that I need to eliminate? Thank you in advance!!
 

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Sup Mod keeping the peace
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Both upper and lower chain tensioners operate by oil pressure. With the high mileage that is on the engine, there's a good chance that the oil pressure is lower, due to normal wear, then should be causing the tensioners not to fully engage when the engine is cold resulting in a startup rattle. If the oil is not changed according to schedule, then the oil becomes dirty with a possible sludge buildup affecting the tensioners.

The GA16DE engine does not use an upper chain guide.
 

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91 Sentra E
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Discussion Starter #3
Both upper and lower chain tensioners operate by oil pressure. With the high mileage that is on the engine, there's a good chance that the oil pressure is lower, due to normal wear, then should be causing the tensioners not to fully engage when the engine is cold resulting in a startup rattle. If the oil is not changed according to schedule, then the oil becomes dirty with a possible sludge buildup affecting the tensioners.

The GA16DE engine does not use an upper chain guide.
Thank you rogoman for helping me understand the issue. I think I will check out the upper tensioner soon due to the high mileage. Also I think what you mentioned is true because I have not changed the oil often the last few years due to now working closer to home (five miles each way). I agree that sludge may be causing the oil pressure not to build up as quick as it used to. Thank you!!
 
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