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'99 Sentra GXE 130k

My engine runs smoothly with no power loss. However, at idle, there is high pitched rattle, sort of a whine. It's not really loud, but it can be heard from inside the cabin if the stereo is off. When the engine revs it gets a bit louder and a bit more high pitched until around 3000rpm at which point you can't really hear it over the normal engine sounds. Beyond that, it seems to settle down at higher revs. I haven't investigated a lot, but it sounds like it could be those infamous plastic tensioners/guides. Does this sound match up with that problem or could it be something else. I just had the serp belts replaced as well as a wheel axle if those things could be at all relevant. Also, I realize I should get it fixed asap, but how safe is it to drive it this way?

Thanks for the help. I'm a poor college student so I pray that it's not a $1300 timing chain job.
 

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You can put a screw driver to the valve cover on the top right side while puting your ear to the handle when the engine is running to help isolate the sound to be sure. (stethescope)
Do a search on these forums, and you will find that what alot of guys are doing is changing out the upper chain tentioner first ( about a 2-3 hour job, and reasonably simple ) and if that does'nt totally correct the problem, they are then changing out the lower tentioner and chain guides. ( considerly longer and more involved work due to removal of alot of parts to get to it )
You probably would be able to visually inspect the upper chain tentioner by removing the valve cover. Then decide if you need to chainge it out
By doing a search on the 1.6L and sentra platforms relative to your car there is some decent advice from people whom have been thru it already.
 

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My 94 sentra has made that sound for awhile in the valve cover, and I'm going to do what I just posted, but can't right now because of injury,not driving it anyway (can't drive because of broken right ankle ) My car has 171,000 on it.
Its first priority, when I get well enough to check it/fix it.

Check it as soon as you can, but if you must drive your car, I'd advise driving it conservatively ( meaning " don't beat on it " ) and you should be alright. Check it as soon as you can, then you will a least know and order the part(s) if you need to.
 
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