View Full Version : tick.... tick... tick.... engine making some noise.

03-28-2004, 10:30 PM
So my engine ticks.... and as far as i can remember it has ticked. Now its not loud. And no one really notices besides me. I'm planning on taking it in for a valve adjustment asap.

So first off, is some engine tick normal? and second, if the valves need adjusting am i doing any damage right now driving it?

03-28-2004, 10:43 PM
maybe your lifters are going.... nothing you can do about that, unless you wanna spend mad cash....:(

03-28-2004, 10:49 PM
Engine tick is never really a good thing....

It could be as little as a valve adjustment, but it could be something much worse.

03-28-2004, 10:52 PM
or could it just me being paranoid?

03-28-2004, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by 88CRX
or could it just me being paranoid?

Very well could be. Quite honestly, when I first bought my car, someone told me that the engine was about to blow because of the ticking they claimed they could hear. I could not hear anything, but I started to force myself to hear ticking, and for a while believed that there actually was a tick. I gave it an engine flush and, now 100,000kms later, my engine hasn't blown. I'm still waiting.

EK 2.0
03-29-2004, 12:31 AM
Some ticking is cause by as minor a problem as a lil carbon build up...and like Weapon mentioned some engine flush should solve it if its the build up of carbon...

03-29-2004, 03:39 PM
I read somewhere on a dsm site that ( I think it was linked from 1000 already answered questions) you can use a little auto tranny fluid right into the gas line or something like that.
If you go to a lube shop, they have "Run right" and other engine cleaners that clean carbon from valves. The process that I read about is the same. You have to make sure that you don't suck in too much fluid at a time or you'll hydrolock the motor. According to the person that did it, It worked excellent and made a huge difference on throttle responce.

03-29-2004, 03:44 PM

That is the link if you want to give it a shot. It will explain everything that I can't. Good Luck.

03-29-2004, 03:50 PM
Beware of engine "restorers". On high mileage cars the carbon is the only thing that keeps your engine from burning massive amounts of oil.

The 305 in my Cutlass has 310,000km has been ticking for the past 100,000km now and nothing so far... :knocks on wood:

03-29-2004, 04:35 PM
Could be piston slap.
A wrist pin might be loose.
Injectors may have gotten somehow louder. :dunno:

It could be any of those things. Does it worsen as it warms up, or vice-versa?

03-29-2004, 09:43 PM
Wow it is really going to be hard for anybody to say what it is unless you actually figure out where it is coming from... listen near the valve covers, near the pulleys, near any engine ancillaries etc... May not be a valve train problem in the first place.
This may sound stupid but when I first bought my car an igntition wird was frayed and the excess spark always made a little "tick". Couldn't figure out what it was for a couple weeks.
Narrow it down, and it will be a lot easier to solve.

03-30-2004, 05:59 AM
I wish I could tell you how many cars I have worked on with a "valve tick" that turned out to be the exhaust manifold gasket being blown!

03-30-2004, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by knucklebuster
I wish I could tell you how many cars I have worked on with a "valve tick" that turned out to be the exhaust manifold gasket being blown!

hmmm.... now that you mention it..... it really only started after the header was installed :dunno: we used a new gasket but the surface of the header wasn't perfectly smooth :dunno:

03-30-2004, 12:01 PM
Hydraulic lifters can become obstructed with crud of many types (usually as a result of a less than fastidious oil change schedule) and this can cause them to "pump up" (air gets in them instead of oil) and they will resonate as they pass over a cam lobe.

That is just one cause.
Certain engines, such as Chryslers old Slant 6, and Pontiac's 400V8 were very prone to ticking. I don't know what your car is, or whether it is OHC or pushrod, but if it is not getting worse it is not a huge cause for alarm. Monitor it, notice when the ticking is loudest or when it subsides. Adjust the valvetrain lash, if it is adjustable (something that should be done about every 20,000 km in engines that call for adjustments)

When it is time to uprgade or modify, replace the cam with something that is more useful to you than the stock profile, along with all of the rockers and cam-followers (lifters) and you should have a nice engine.

...unless the click click click is a piston pin....and it isn't really a "Tick". Engine noises take experience to diagnose by ear.

03-30-2004, 12:06 PM
Uh oh - I read the Transmission Fluid down the choke suggestion.
Not really a good thing to do a lot, as burnt tranny fluid produces ash that can be hard on valves.

The Exhaust gasket tick seems likely of you have just had new headers installed. A chunk of dowell (really!) makes a good stethiscope for narrowing down the sourc of the noise. Maybe retorque the headers in the correct sequence.