Tip & How-To about Ford Expedition

Ford Expedition

If you are having a ticking noise at start up, and have tried numerous other remedies to fix it then you may need to have the oil filter changed. The filter has a "valve" that keeps oil at the top of the engine. If this "valve" goes bad or weakens, the ticking comes from oil not staying at the top and the engine ticks until oil reaches the top end.

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my 2003 ford explorer sport making a sound like it needs more oil


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Use professional quality oil filters. While purchasing economy oil filters may save a few dollars, you will be greeted on cold starts by a rattling noise that continues until the engine reaches operating temperature. All oil filters are not made the same. If you were to dissect quality oil filters, such as a MotorCraft, Wix or the Napa Gold Line model, you would see an anti-flowback valve installed within the filter. The purpose of this valve is to keep the oil in the engine's top end after the engine is shut down. By doing so, the valve train is lubricated instantly at start up, instead of seconds later after the oil pump has circulated the oil from the oil pan to the top of the engine. Dissect a cheap oil filter and essentially what you will find is a filter medium akin to a coffee filter, wadded inside a tin can. If you notice the ticking sound on start up, make sure to change your oil as soon as possible and use a good-quality oil filter.
Protect the engine with the factory-recommended-weight oil to keep valve ticking noises at bay. Your 5.4-liter left the factory with 5W-20 or 5W-30 semi-synthetic oil in the engine. Use of thicker oils, such as 10W-30 or 20W-50, no matter the climate, can overwork the engine's top end as it attempts to work with the thicker oil coursing through it. Once you have installed the thicker oil, you will most likely experience a ticking noise that does not dissipate when the engine reaches operating temperature. The longer the engine is operated with the wrong oil, the louder the noise will get. The synchronizer, which controls the timing for the top end, will ultimately become damaged and need to be replaced. As soon as you discover this ticking noise and know you have used the thicker oils, have the oil replaced immediately with the recommended weight.

Aug 06, 2014 | 2003 Ford Explorer Sport

2 Answers

ticking noise


You have a bad lifter if left unattended its starts by" ticking" then "tapping" then eventually ceases up!! The fix..... Have a compression test done on each cylinder and pull valve cover off and replace ticking lifter or u might just get lucky and adjust it... Until then ..... A heavier weight oil will quiet it down...Not a fix tho......

Nov 20, 2012 | 1993 Lincoln Town Car

1 Answer

Ticking noise in engine


It sounds like the lifters are still sticking. Change your oil/filter then after 500 miles change it again. Since motor oil has a mild detergents, a couple of changes should hopefully remove any buildup from around the lifters. Do not use "motor flush". Even though your engine is fairly new, it may remove too much buildup and flush it onto your crankshaft bearings. You may try some marvel mystery oil also and I've heard seafoam does a good job, if you can find it. Mine started ticking after using one of the super thick oil additives. I'm still trying to flush that stuff out.

Oct 25, 2008 | 2006 Jeep Wrangler

1 Answer

Ticking noice


If your not already, try using a genuine Nissan oil filter next time you get your oil changed. Most aftermarket filters allow the oil to drain back so when you start up cold the filter is in essence dry and not primed most likely causing the noise your experiencing. This would be the first thing I would reccommend checking.

Sep 14, 2008 | 2004 Nissan Maxima

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