Code 52 Chevy Sonic – Time For A Timing Belt Replacement?

Code 52 Chevy Sonic – Time For A Timing Belt Replacement?

Have you noticed the code 52 Chevy Sonic on your cluster and you are looking for a way to find out more about what this car is and how you can tackle the problem? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because in this article, there will be quite a lot to cover on this topic and we are going to elaborate on everything in detail.

Doing good research is always a good thing whenever you come across a problem in your car. If you are into DIY stuff, especially. Not all of us want to go to a mechanic’s shop and pay a hefty premium. Some of us simply want to solve problems by ourselves. Which is a really positive mindset to have.

By working on cars, not only that you learn how to diagnose and solve problems on your car. But you understand a lot about doing mechanic work on other cars as well. And someday if you are persistent enough and you learn fast, you can also make a lot of money from fixing other people’s cars.

So, the options are endless when it comes to doing DIY stuff and learning. And this is why we are here to help you out. First, we are going to learn what is car computer diagnostics and what is code 52 Chevy Sonic.

Then we will learn how to remove this code from the cluster. After that, we will discuss why this code appears and what are the symptoms, and diagnostic processes, as well as how to solve the problem. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

What Is Car Diagnostics

Now let’s take a look at what is computer diagnostics before we dive deeper into the code 52 Chevy Sonic problem. Why do we think that this is essential? Well, not all people here are professional mechanics and people also face similar issues.

So, we feel the need to further elaborate on the problem and learn more about what is computer diagnostics in general. So, what is car diagnostics? Well, back in the day cars were diagnosed in a different manner. In these good old days, everything relied on the experience of the mechanic.

So, the mechanic tested the car to determine what is wrong with it. And back then cars were a lot simpler than now. There were no sensors, computers, or other components to monitor the work of the engine and other systems.

Nowadays, when it comes to diagnostics, you have to have an OBD2 tool. You plug this tool into your OBD2 port and let the tool scan for codes. If there are problems, you will get an OBD2 code.

In some cars, even though they have OBD2 ports, sometimes you get a message on the cluster. Like in our case on the Chevy Sonic where you get a code 52 Chevy Sonic. Which is even better since you don’t need an OBD2 tool to learn more about the code.

Unfortunately, not a lot of carmakers list these codes like in the Sonic. So, in 99% of the cases, you will have to learn more about the code from the OBD2 tool.

Then you can move on and diagnose the problem. And for this purpose in most cases, you will need to get a multimeter to find out if a certain sensor or other electronic component is faulty.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic

Now let’s take a look at what the code 52 Chevy Sonic means in the first place. As we noted previously, a positive side of the Chevy Sonic is that this model simply gives you the codes on the cluster, such as code 82 on your Chevy Sonic, for example.

So, you get an error code 52, and then you can consult your browser and learn what does code 52 Chevy Sonic stand for?

Well, this code stands for problems with your timing belt. This means that your ECU detected an anomaly in the work of the timing belt and the timing belt has skipped some timing. Or the belt feels loose.

So, the camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor will notice this and report this as a problem with the timing belt and a clear indication that you have to replace this belt.

What is worth noting about this code is that it is really important that you should react quickly before the problem gets bigger. And when it comes to the timing belt, you just don’t want to take any chances because this component will simply destroy your engine if it snaps, such as what happens when the timing belt broke while driving.

More on the function of the belt we are going to elaborate later on. Now let’s discuss more about how you can deactivate this code from your cluster if you have just replaced this belt and you suspect that this is a false positive.

Since there could be cases such as this and cars can create false positive symptoms including the code 52 Chevy Sonic.

How To Turn Off Code 52 Chevy Sonic

Now let’s learn how you can deactivate code 52 Chevy Sonic. Deactivating this code is really useful in the case that you suspect that you have a false positive situation and the timing belt is actually in good condition and replaced quite recently. So, what you can do about this problem?

Well, the first thing that comes to our mind is to remove the positive terminal from the battery. Just remove the terminal and leave the car to sit like this until the system runs out of juice. This usually happens instantly. But just leave it like that for a few minutes, just for a good measure.

Once a few minutes have passed, connect the battery terminal and the codes should be cleared, including the check engine light if you have a check engine light.

Another way that you can try is to remove a fuse from the fusebox. This fusebox is located on the driver’s side, underneath a plastic cover. Just pop off the cover and you can see the fuses.

On the 2014 Chevy Sonic, the fuse for this light is fuse number 26. Just remove the fuse and leave it like that for a few minutes. Then connect it back in. This should clear off the codes of your Chevy Sonic. More on the process, you can check in the video above where the process is visually elaborated.

If this doesn’t work on a different model year, it must be a different fuse or fuses. Try removing fuses 14, 17, and 25. This reportedly works on the 2013 model according to an owner.

What Is A Timing Belt

So, we covered what is the code 52 Chevy Sonic and learned that this code is triggered in your Sonic often because of a bad timing belt or simply as a false positive.

But what many people do not know about this is what a timing belt is in general. What is a timing belt on a car?

Well, a timing belt is simply a belt that keeps the engine timing in check. This is a rubber belt that connects the camshaft(s) and the crankshaft of the engine.

The timing belt has teeth on it and these teeth basically determine the timing of the engine. If you miss the timing for a few teeth, engine damage could occur.

So, you get the idea of why this timing belt is not like your standard serpentine belt also known as a drive belt.

Timing belts require a lot of precision and each degree of timing is really important for you and your car. But more on the importance, we are going to elaborate on next.

The thing that you should know concerning the timing belt is that this belt should be replaced anywhere between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. So, the answer to ‘can a timing belt last 200 000 miles‘ is a solid NO. Or every 7 to 10 years. Why is this the case?

Well, this is actually the case because the belt is made out of rubber. And as you probably know, over a long time of use, the rubber starts to get really fragile and simply cracks. And once it starts to crack, the belt can simply snap in two.

Why Is The Timing Belt So Important

This is why you should make sure that you sort out the code 52 Chevy Sonic before its gets too late. And more on the repercussions if you don’t sort the problem, we are going to elaborate on it next.

Now as we covered the code 52 Chevy Sonic, let’s elaborate on another really important topic, and that is the topic of why the timing belt is so important for your vehicle.

As we noted previously, each car has a timing belt or chain. This is needed in order for the power transfer to be possible.

The camshafts on top of your engine have to communicate with the crankshaft at the bottom in some way. And the belt is specifically designed for this task.

This proper communication is needed because every double overhead camshaft (DOHC) engine is an interference engine.

So, when the piston goes up to compress the gas, the valves should be closed. And when the valves open, the piston should be at the bottom.

If this alignment is not met, the pistons and valves would collide with each other. And once this happens, there will be complete carnage inside the engine.

In most cases, only the valves would get bent and the piston would be a bit damaged if it skipped timing just for a few degrees. But if the timing of the engine is off quite a bit, then you risk getting yourself with a totaled engine.

What is important is that only a proper disassembly of the engine would uncover the true damage that occurred inside.

Bad Timing Belt Symptoms

This is why we recommend that you don’t ignore the code 52 Chevy Sonic. And act quickly before it gets too late. And in the following chapters, we will further elaborate on the symptoms that occur when this problem happens.

Now that we cleared the basics when it comes to the code 52 Chevy Sonic, let’s move on and learn more about the bad timing belt symptoms that are often present when this code appears on your Chevy Sonic.

In other words, what are the symptoms of a bad timing belt? Knowing the symptoms of a bad timing belt are really essential when it comes to solving this problem since you will be able to tell if code 52 is really triggered by a bad timing belt or not. So, let’s cover this quickly.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic, Symptoms #1: Check Engine Light

The first symptom of a bad timing belt is probably the check engine light. In this case with the code 52 Chevy Sonic, it is really good since you get the input immediately that you have a code 52, in other words, a bad timing belt.

Even though, it is often advised that you also perform an OBD2 check as well. And if the OBD2 scanner notices that you have issues with the timing, it will tell you.

For example, if the camshafts are not aligned well, you will experience a P0017 code that indicates a camshaft position correlation problem.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic

There are other codes as well, that can refer to engine misfires and other common problems that often happen with bad engine timing.

This is why you need to further investigate the matter and learn more about the OBD2 codes that your Sonic has to determine if you really have poor engine timing. Now let’s move on to the next symptom when you experience a bad timing belt and the code 52 Chevy Sonic and other Chevy Sonic error codes.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic, Symptoms #2: Engine Misfires

The next symptom on our list that is quite common when you have a code 52 Chevy Sonic is the case when you experience engine misfires. So, what are engine misfires?

Well, this is the case when the valves are not timed well and the explosions inside of the cylinder happen unevenly.

Audibly, this could resemble engine ticking as many owners claim to experience. So, if the engine ticks, then it probably misfires as well. And this ticking could occur randomly on any cylinder since the poor timing affects all of the cylinders in the process.

So, once this occurs, you could also experience a check engine light and the diagnostics error code P0300. This code indicates a random misfire inside the engine. Although, there could be some other codes that indicate misfires on a specific cylinder.

It depends on what will trigger the computer of the car whenever the timing belt is bad and you have code 52 Chevy Sonic.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic, Symptoms #3: Rough Idle

The next symptom of a timing belt that could be present along the code 52 Chevy Sonic is the rough engine idle. So, what is a rough engine idle, and what causes it?

Rough engine idle is a situation where you notice the needle of the tachometer moving up and down and the engine does not feel happy at all.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic

The engine will simply struggle to run well and will basically suffocate and struggle to keep up running.

This is often the case because of poor timing. This symptom is present along with the engine misfires. And the misfires occur consequentially to the rough engine idle that is often caused by a bad timing belt that has skipped the timing for a few degrees.

And this is what we are going to cover in the following chapter, where we are going to elaborate more in detail about the damage to the belt that often is connected with the code 52 Chevy Sonic.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic, Symptoms #4: Visible Damage To The Timing Belt

The next symptom on our list of symptoms that are connected with a bad timing belt and the code 52 Chevy Sonic is the visible damage to the timing belt.

If you notice how the belt is damaged and is missing some of its teeth, then you should make sure that you act quickly before things get worse and you have serious engine damage on your vehicle.

Also, cracks and a bad timing belt tensioner can as well trigger the computer and show the code 52 Chevy Sonic. So, this is why we strongly recommend that you learn more about these symptoms.

And, try to sort out the code 52 Chevy Sonic. And in the following chapter, we are going to further elaborate on how you can do this type of work.

How To Diagnose Code 52 Chevy Sonic

So, let’s say that you learned about the code 52 Chevy Sonic and you know that you replaced your belt recently. Then, in this case, you might want to remove the fuse and reset the computer in order to stop it from thinking that the timing belt is bad and the code 52 will disappear.

If code 52 reappears once again, then you should seriously consider this as a problem. In this case, you should see if there are any audible symptoms like engine ticking and also problems with the idle. If there are problems like that, then this is often caused by some skipped timing.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic

The next step would require that you remove the timing cover and inspect the belt. You need to make sure that the tension on the belt is there. And in addition to this, you also need to see if the belt is visibly damaged. Check for cracks and also for missing teeth.

Usually, missing teeth can cause the engine to lose a little bit of timing and keep working. If there is damage to the belt, replace it with a new one. But how you can replace the timing belt in order to sort out the code 52 Chevy Sonic? More about that, we will learn next.

Timing Belt Replacement

Now let’s take a look at how to replace the timing belt to solve the code 52 Chevy Sonic. How this procedure is done?

Well, for this purpose, you will first need a timing kit. This includes the pulleys, tensioner, and timing belt.

And this job, frankly, is not recommended for inexperienced mechanics. Because if you don’t do the timing as it should, you will damage the engine permanently when you first crank it. So, whenever you are dealing with a bad timing belt, it is best to go to a mechanic’s shop and replace the belt.

Timing Belt Replacement Cost

Now let’s discuss more about the timing belt replacement cost. How much cash will you pay for a job like this on your car?

Well, the timing belt job is more expensive than your standard serpentine belt replacement. If a serpentine belt replacement costs $300 or less, for a timing belt replacement you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $1,000. With the average cost being about $800 to sort out your code 52 Chevy Sonic.

Code 52 Chevy Sonic: In Conclusion…

In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the code 52 Chevy Sonic. First, we learned more about car diagnostics and how it is done. Then we elaborated on the code and what it means. We also learned how you can turn the warning off.

Then we moved on and learned more about the timing belt and its purpose, the symptoms associated with it, as well as the diagnostic process and the costs involved in replacing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Are Chevy Sonics Good Cars

In general, they are cheap and relatively good cars. Not the best out there but for this market segment, they are probably one of the best cars around.

How Much Is A Chevy Sonic

The Chevy Sonic is a discontinued model. So, you can only purchase a used Sonic. The lowest price that we could find for a 2013 model is about $3,200. While low mile 2020 models can even go for up to $20,000.

How Much Is A 2013 Chevy Sonic Worth

A 2013 model of the Chevy Sonic can be found for relatively cheap. Prices start at $3,200. But cars with low miles can cost you up to $6,000.

Where Is The Chevy Sonic Built

The Chevy Sonic is derived from the international model known as the Chevy Aveo. Luckily, this model was assembled locally here in the US, at the Orion Assembly in Michigan.

How Many Miles Will A Chevy Sonic Last

A Chevy Sonic should easily last for at least 150,000. And we have seen these go more than 200,000 miles with no major issues whatsoever. This is why you shouldn’t be scared of purchasing one, they are cheap cars and the repairs are not that expensive. Just make sure that the car you want to buy was maintained well and that everything is in good running order.

What Does Code 82 Mean On A 2013 Chevy Sonic

This is a trouble code that indicates that your oil was not changed. You need to do an oil flush and reset your oil change interval in the menu of the car.

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