Why Is My Car Making a Ticking Sound?

Why Is My Car Making a Ticking Sound?

November 13, 2019

There are a whole lot of moving parts inside of a car’s engine, so it’s not unusual for you to hear some noises when you consider how all of those parts operate. However, if you start to hear a strange “ticking” sound or something that sounds like clicking while the engine is operating, this could be cause for concern. Normal engine operation should not include ticks or clicks, and for this reason you should seek the assistance of a skilled mechanic to determine what is causing the noise.

There are some circumstances in which a ticking noise is nothing to be concerned about, such as when fuel-injected engines fire their injectors. The small valves can occasionally make clicking sounds when operating at idle. In other circumstances, however, it’s important for you to seek professional auto repair services in Nampa, ID to remediate the issue.

Here are some examples of the most common causes of engine ticking:

  • Low oil: If you notice you have a low oil level or low oil pressure, this could be the cause of the issue. In this case, oil is not reaching the top part of the engine, which could result in a shrill ticking or tapping noise. The source of the problem could be the timing chain or some valvetrain components, including cam adjusters, lifters, rockers and camshafts. Oil pressure should be between 15 and 20 psi. Fill up the oil tank if your oil levels are low.
  • Rod knocking: Rod knocking could potentially be what you’re hearing when you notice a ticking or tapping sound. What happens here is that the bearing that’s connected to the rod either gets damaged or wears off completely, resulting in the rod knocking around the crankshaft and creating a noticeable sound when metal meets metal. The speed of the noise will accelerate along with the speed of the car. This can be a significant issue that requires a fully rebuilt motor.
  • Exhaust manifold leaks: Exhaust manifold leaks are also a common cause of engine ticking, both while accelerating and while at idle. When exhaust gases leak at high pressure from leaks in the gasket or manifold, this is one of the results. You can still drive when this is occurring, but it’s best to fix it as soon as possible, because the excessive exhaust will be bad for the engine.
  • Spark plug problems: Bad spark plugs (either cracked or loose) can result in a ticking noise in the engine. Wiggle the plug a bit after removing the spark plug wire, and if it moves, then you’ll need to tighten the plug. Otherwise, if the plug appears to be damaged or worn, you may be better off replacing it entirely.

These are just a few examples of some of the most common issues that can result in a ticking or clicking noise coming from your engine. For more information, contact AATCO Transmissions and Towing about our auto repair services in Nampa, ID. We look forward to helping you get to the bottom of any issues with your vehicle!

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